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Toms River, NJ
A 44-year-old male asked:

what is a disc bulge with a superimposed disc herniation ? i have them @ l5-s1, l4-l5, l1-l2& moderate to large one in the right neural foramen @l3-l4

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Kreiner
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 26 years experience
Poor terminology: Radiologists have been employed to use nomenclature and terminology guidelines published in 2001 to describe disc pathology. Unfortunately your radiologist didn't do this. Anyway, this means that the disc has some diffuse widening (bulging) most likely along with some areas where material from the inside of the disc has leaked to the outside (disc extrusion).
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 17 years experience
Multiple Pathologies: A disc bulge is just what it sounds like: a circumferential enlargement of the disc that is broad based in general. A disc herniation usually is either a protrusion or extrusion. A protrusion is one where the base (the part that attaches to the disc) is larger than the part that extends out. An extrusion is one where the base is smaller than the part that extends out suggesting it worse.

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Similar questions

A 30-year-old member asked:

I have herniated. Disc protrusion and a anular tear and a bulging disc been off work 4 two years still nothing happened taken meds will I be able to work again?

7 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Daus
Obstetrics and Gynecology 37 years experience
Depends: You need to get into a good orthopod or neurosurgeon to see if they can help you.
A 53-year-old member asked:

What is the recovery time for a disc bulge?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Various: A disc bulge can be variable in size and more of a problem in certain areas than others. Did you injure it? Was it spontaneous? Do you suffer local pain, areas of numbness, referred pain or muscular dysfunction? After evaluation by your orthopedic surgeon, and institution of proper medication and physical therapy, the bulge should gradually improve over a period of weeks to months.
A 36-year-old member asked:

What are the usual disc bulge treatments?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Levine
Orthopedic Surgery 19 years experience
Depends: Most bulging discs are asymptomatic. And, just because you have a bulging disc, that does mean that it is the cause of back pain. But if you are having pain, the nsaids and physical therapy usually helps. In pt you souled work on a program of stretching, strengthening, and core stabilization. You should also be taught a home program of exercise.
A 29-year-old member asked:

Is there a?Difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Huffman
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 23 years experience
Usually: There are not absolute definitions for either a herniated or bulging disc. What i may call a bulging disc another doctor might call herniated. In general though a herniated disc is actually protruding or hanging out of the normal disc space. A bulging disc is protruding less. Think of a drop of water, the bulging disc is the drop about to fall and the herniated disc is the drop that is falling.
A 44-year-old member asked:

What is the?Difference between?Bulging disc?And a herniated disc?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Guyer
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 46 years experience
Symptoms and size: A bulging disc is similar to your tire that has lost some air and the sidewall bulges. It may cause no symptoms but if it bulges more and is large even to pinch a nerve we use the term herniated disc. It is confusing for patients and for doctors who read the reports. The patients' history and clinical exam must be correlated with the x-rays.

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Last updated Aug 17, 2018

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