Spontaneous regression of herniated cervical disc

Spine J. 2003 Mar-Apr;3(2):171-3. doi: 10.1016/s1529-9430(02)00556-9.


Background context: Spontaneous regression of herniated lumbar disc has been well established. However, spontaneous regression of herniated cervical disc is rare, and such reports are few.

Purpose: To present a rare case of spontaneous regression of herniated cervical disc.

Study design: A case study.

Methods: A 27-year-old man presented with severe pain on the left C6 level. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a lateral extruded disc at the C5-C6 level. The patient refused discectomy.

Results: The patient's pain disappeared after 3 weeks. Follow-up MRI revealed partial spontaneous regression in the extruded disc after 3 weeks and complete spontaneous regression after 12 months.

Conclusion: All previous cases of herniated cervical disc that regressed spontaneously have been of the extruded type. In the patient with the cervical extruded disc, nonsurgical conservative observation should be considered an option for treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae*
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / diagnosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors