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A 32-year-old member asked:

I have a disc herniation causing a pinched nerve so will i need to have part of the disc removed?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Charlap
Holistic Medicine 37 years experience
They usually don't: Disk herniation is actually more common than people realize because it doesn't always cause symptoms. If it is causing compression, and the pain is getting worse or is unbearable, you can undergo surgery. Most people's issues resolve without surgery and usually one year out the people who have had surgery fare no better. Surgery should be a last resort.
Dr. Kornelis Poelstra
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 24 years experience
Disc herniation: Nowadays, we typically just remove a small part of the disc that was extruded out of the origianl disc through a tear in the outer disc-lining (the anulus), that was pressing on a nerve. The rest of the disc stays behind to reduce the risk for early disc degeneration.
Dr. Nathaniel Brooks
Neurosurgery 19 years experience
Disc removal : Most disk herniations that cause nerve pain will get better with conservative treatment in 6-8 weeks. If the pain does not improve at that point then epidural steroid injections or surgery to remove the disc can be an option. Talk to your primary doctor about a referral to a surgeon if you pain does not improve in 6-8 weeks.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management 27 years experience
Try ESIs before surgery.
Apr 9, 2013

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Last updated Jan 29, 2015

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