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Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (PID)

​Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (PID) is also known as ​​Slipped disc or Herniated disc​​.​​


​The spine is made up of multiple motion segments, each consisting of bone and a soft tissue cushion (interverterbral discs) in between. These intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers and allow stable movement of the spine.

Over time, even starting from a young age, the disc can wear out (disc degeneration). This leads to weakening of its structural integrity and loss of shock absorbing properties. When this occurs, the disc content may protrude from its original space, resulting in a slipped/prolapsed/bulging disc.


Signs and Symptoms​

​When this protruded disc touches or compresses the nerves next to it, patients may experience pain shooting down the legs like an "electrical shock", termed sciatica.

Patients may also experience numbness, "pins and needles" or even weakness of the lower limbs.

​ The worn out (degenerated) disc may also cause back pain.


​Treatments and Programmes​

Pain from most slipped disc may resolve without treatment over time.

​ Physical therapy may aid with the relief of symptoms and recovery. Often, oral medication may be prescribed to aid the recovery process.

​ In patients whose symptoms are persistent, injections to the spine may be considered for pain relief.

​ In patients who are still significantly affected after a period of recovery, surgery may be advised to remove the involved disc to reduce symptoms of pain, numbness and weakness.

Contributed by Department of Orthopaedic Surgery