A member asked:

Long term effects of herniated disk if untreated?

4 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Thomas Dowling answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Most get better: Without any long term issues although there is a risk of another herniation over your lifetime at a 5% risk.

Answered 4/16/2017

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Dr. Kornelis Poelstra answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Longterm disc hernia: The long term effects are insignificant, unless the herniated fragment(s) are pushing on a nerve. There is no evidence that patients with herniated discs over time get more back pain. Even long standing weakness due to nerve compression can improve if the body resorbs the disc hernia, or if it get removed by surgery. Only have surgery if nerve compression is making you feel miserable!

Answered 7/24/2018

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