Cervical disc herniations are one of the common causes of neck, shoulder and arm pain. I have personally treated hundreds of them at my San Francisco disc pain center. The nomenclature for disc herniations can be confusing. It is rare that an MRI report will actually even use the words cervical herniated disc. Typically, there will be terminology such as "broad based bulge", "para-central protrusion", "extrusion", "protrusion", and "spinal stenosis". Stenosis can actually be caused by a herniated disc or bony degeneration. And, to add to the confusion, many doctors use all the terms differently ( see article ). Because of this there is a push to standardize the nomenclature. This has actually been going on for a while. In fact, the North American Spine Society has published an extensive paper entitled Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology (you can download it here: Download nomenclature_herniated_discs.pdf ) that some consider to be the gold standard for describing and reporting disc herniations. It is also helpful to get an illustrated visual and explanation to better understand the anatomy of the spine and how the spinal discs rupture and herniate. Accordingly, here is an article from the great Spine Universe website entitled Cervical Herniated Disc or Ruptured Disc with some excellent visuals . I also found a back surgeon who posts some very good videos on YouTube.com of spinal anatomy, MRI and x-rays of disc herniations and surgery. They are worth checking out.
If you or anyone you know is suffering with chronic back pain and would like to find out if you are a candidate for care at our San Francisco disc pain center, here are your options:
Call: 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation or fill out our online information request form and someone will contact you by phone or email.