Herniated Disc

What Is a Herniated Disc and How Is It Treated?

In recent years, disc herniation in children has become more common. A herniated disc develops when one of the discs between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine moves out of position and presses on adjacent nerves. These discs are cushions that have a soft center and a hard outside. If the hard part of the disc cracks and the soft part is exposed, it is called a hernia. A herniated disc can also be called a pinched nerve or bulging disc.

Symptoms of a herniated disc may include:

  • Pain in the back
  • Pain in one or both of the legs
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in one or both legs

How is a herniated disc treated?

At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, our specialists will find the best treatment path for each child. Physical therapy is usually the first step in treatment. If additional treatment is needed, our specialists might recommend a surgery called a discectomy to remove the disc. Children and teens typically do better after discectomy surgeries than adults. Most patients report satisfaction and have few complications. Children and teens often return to school and activities quickly after this type of surgery.