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Is there a difference between a bulging disk and a herniated disk?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management
2 doctors agree

In brief: Synonyms

The terms bulging disk, slipped disk, herniated disk are roughly the same idea that they disc has moved out of place where it should be and possibly compressing nerve or spinal cord.
Typically though herniated disk signifies a slight increase in severity of pathology over a bulging disc. It gets a little more specific if terms like disc protrusion and disc extrusion come into the mix.

In brief: Synonyms

The terms bulging disk, slipped disk, herniated disk are roughly the same idea that they disc has moved out of place where it should be and possibly compressing nerve or spinal cord.
Typically though herniated disk signifies a slight increase in severity of pathology over a bulging disc. It gets a little more specific if terms like disc protrusion and disc extrusion come into the mix.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Dr. Qamar Khan
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Dr. Steven Saunders
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Herniated disk

Very much the same but herniated generally connotes greater disc extrusion with greater potential for affecting spinal nerves.

In brief: Herniated disk

Very much the same but herniated generally connotes greater disc extrusion with greater potential for affecting spinal nerves.
Dr. Steven Saunders
Dr. Steven Saunders
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