Fragmented Disc

Fragmented & Sequestered Disc Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

A fragmented or sequestered disc is a non-contained and severe slipped disc characterized by tearing or chipping the nucleus pulpous after it herniates or ruptures into the spinal canal. There are two types of fragmented disc:

  1. Partially fragmented disc
  2. Thoroughly fragmented or sequestered disc

The difference between a fragment and a sequestered disc is the severity of nucleus pulposus tear. If the tear involves part of the nucleus pulpous, it is considered a fragmented disc (partial fragmented). In contrast, a complete tear of the nucleus pulposus that chips the nucleus pulposus, causing it to become a free-floating entity into the spinal canal, is classified as a sequestered disc. Sequestered discs are medical emergencies requiring complex surgical intervention and management.

Can A Fragmented Disc Be Treated Without Surgery?

A sequestered disc and a thoroughly fragmented disc (entirely fragmented) is a surgical emergency. However, a mildly fragmented disc might be treatable without surgery in its early stages. For it to recover, you will need precise methods specially designed for disc fragmentation. A fragmented disc is one of the most changing slipped discs to treat. Treatments provided must be by a highly experienced clinical team and must avoid any aggravating movements during therapy.

Most important, fragmented disc patients must not be treated through stretching or strengthening therapy programs until the disc has improved. Strengthening and exercise therapy for a fragmented disc should be a phase three of the treatment program or, at the earliest, 2 months with a focused fragmented-disc-specific system of integrative treatments.

NSD Therapy® methods can help as it is the latest system of non-surgical spine care offered by the top 2 non-surgical experts; chiropractors and physiotherapists. However, you should only seek chiropractors and physiotherapists with previous successful treatments of disc fragmentation. The general chiropractic or physiotherapy for the typical neck or back issues will worsen fragmented discs; we have provided links to the types of chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment you need below:

What Causes Disc Fragmentation & Sequestration?

Top view illustration of a fragmented and sequestered disc

Spinal disc damage, such as degenerative disc disease, disc bulges, herniated discs, and disc extrusions, are the leading causes of fragmented and sequestered discs. The development of slipped discs classified as fragmentation or extrusions may occur soon after a bulge and herniation, or it may take months or years to develop. We encourage all slip disc patients to start a conservative therapy program that utilizes NSD Therapy® systems in the early stages of spinal disc damage to avoid a sequestered disc.

Partially fragmented discs may respond to non-surgical methods of NSD Therapy® However, a thoroughly fragmented disc (sequestered disc) is a severe condition requiring surgical intervention. A fully or thoroughly fragmented disc is referred to as a sequestered disc. Disc fragmentations are challenging to treat but treatable without surgery through comprehensive measures that repair the damaged fibers.

What Are The Typical Symptoms Of A Sequestered & Fragmented Disc?

illustration of symptoms from a fragmented disc in lower back

Pain and weakness in the neck, back, or extremities are classic for herniated, ruptured, extruded, fragmented, and sequestered spinal discs. What sets fragmented and sequestered discs apart from others is cauda equina syndrome, possible paralysis, or a loss of bowels and bladder controls. We have listed some of the common symptoms below:

  • Pain in the neck, chest, upper back, shoulder, arms, or legs
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the neck, upper back, chest, shoulders, arms, legs, hands, or feet.
  • Weakness in neck, arms, or legs
  • Interruption or disorders in bowels, balder, or reproductive organs
  • Paralysis with severely herniated discs that present with co-conditions
  • Organ failure is a rare occurrence that occurs when the herniated disc obliterates or several compresses the spinal cord

Best Treatment For Partially Fragmented Disc?

General and non-specific spine treatment methods offered by chiropractors and physiotherapists can worsen a partially fragmented disc. Non-surgical treatment of a partially fragmented disc should only be attempted by a non-surgical expert using therapeutic modalities to target the damaged disc without stressing it. Any attempt at a conservative or surgical approach must be carefully planned to avoid complications; contact one of our slipped-disc treatment centers for more information about our treatment of a partially fragmented disc.