We’re available 24/7. Call us anytime.

What is Disc Extrusion?

Disc extrusion occurs when spinal disc material has weakened and lost its typical shape, migrating a significant distance from the main disc body.

Spinal discs act as cushions between vertebrae. A number of underlying conditions–including Degenerative Disc Disease –may cause a disc to weaken and lose its shape. In some cases, the weakened disc will protrude outside of its normal position and begin to migrate away from the main disc body, and intrude on spinal nerves or on the spinal cord, causing significant pain. In severe cases, disc material may break off from its parent disc completely. This results in a condition called “sequestration.” Another term for disc extrusion is “disc migration.”

If you have tried conservative treatments–such as physical therapy, chiropractic, or steroid injections–and your pain has persisted, you may want to give us a call.

Symptoms of Disc Extrusion

You can develop a disc extrusion at any section in your spine, but they most commonly appear in your lower back or neck. The pain from a disc extrusion can range from mild to severe, and grow worse when you engage in a variety of normal actions such as sneezing, standing, sitting, walking or bending your back. In severe cases, you may experience heaviness in your legs or difficulty walking. Disc extrusion can cause the following symptoms:

    Common symptoms of Disc Extrusion include:
  • In the lumbar spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet
  • In the cervical spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and sometimes in the head
  • In the thoracic spine: pain in the upper back, radiating through the stomach or chest, which patients often confuse for cardiovascular problems

Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your disc extrusion, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.

Explore Treatment Options

Causes of Disc Extrusion

    Additional common Disc Extrusion causes include:
  • Age-related wear and tear, which can lead to Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
  • Direct physical injury such as a car accident or fall
  • Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents
  • Arthritis, which can lead to joint deterioration

Learn About Our Procedures

Request a Free Info Kit


Brad J.

Condition: Disc Extrusion

Procedure: IntelliSpineSM (Lumbar)

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

““The entire experience was extremely positive and to ultimately end up pain-free was a blessing.””

“The benefits of the 40-minute procedure seemed almost too good to be true, but after investigation, I approached it as a viable option… Four weeks later, I was in Houston to attend my twenty minute pre-operative visit with my doctor and the following day I underwent surgery to correct an L5-S1 herniation and an L3-4 extrusion. An hour after surgery, I walked out of the University General Hospital and forty eight hours later, I flew home."

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

Connect with a Patient

We love your questions!

Our friendly Patient Care Managers are standing by and ready to help. Call us at 877.474.2225 or complete the form below, and we'll be in touch shortly.