Resorption of a
herniated disc occurs after the jellylike material
(nucleus) inside a spinal disc is squeezed through the outer shell (capsule or
annulus) and is exposed to other tissues. These tissues respond by making
chemicals that break down the nucleus material and other disc fragments, which
are then gradually absorbed by the body. This can relieve pressure on the nerve
roots, so that symptoms (such as pain, numbness, or weakness) may improve or go away.
Resorption may occur over a period that ranges from months to years.
In some cases only part of the disc material is resorbed. But this is often
enough to relieve pressure on the nerve roots so that symptoms improve or go
March 12, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
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