Doctor insights on:
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Herniated Disk Surgery
Quick: Arm pain is gone usually within days. Sore throat and swallowing probs disappear in first week or two in most. Healing allows light activities for most in first week or two. Brace discontinued immediately if short fusion and plate/screws used; 6 weeks later if no plate. Medium activities after 6 weeks. I allow heavy activities 3-6 months postop including contact sports. ...Read more
Wear and tear can cause degeneration in the vertebral column, and cause discs to deteriorate. The supportive basket, nucleus fibrosis develops small tears. A bulge is minimal perhaps a few millimeters, and is clinically insignificant, but additional disc displacement such as protrusion or herniation may compress ...Read more
I have a L4-5 herniated disk with pinched nerve. Pain is ok with gabapentin. But I do not want to take medicine for ever. Should I go for surgery?
No Simple Answer: L4/5 herniated disk w/pinched nerve and pain will often - but far from always - respond to surgery. Factors such as exact location of disk material pressing on nerve root, weakness present (if any), exam findings like changed reflexes all matter. Minimally invasive techniques are helpful in some cases; others need surgery. A focused neurologic exam and a visit w/a neurosurgeon is a good plan ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Unfortunately, yes.: Unlike wear and tear on knees, hips and shoulders, there are no adequate replacement parts for spines. Disc surgery only changes your spine but does not "fix" it. Even fusion surgery does not fix the problem, but only is an attempt to change the structure of your spine. The current "replacement discs" are not an adequate substitution for the original cushion. Be evaluated by a pain specialist. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Definite indications: 2 indications are a disc herniation leading to myleopathy or cauda equina syndrome. A myleopathy is compression of the spinal cord leading to its dysfunction and cauda equina syndome is bowel/bladder control issues due to those nerves being compressed. Otherwise, disc surgery is for those who fail non op care or may be having intractable pain or a progressive deficit in terms of weakness. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Same day low back: A microdisectomy or a minimally invasive version are typically same day surgeries with return to all activities by 3 months for best results according to studies but most activities by 2 weeks depending on conditioning and health status. For cervical, this is usually done with a fusion but all activities around same time period as lumbar but no contact sports usually with a fusion, . ...Read more
No such medical term: Nevwr heard of a diagnosis with that title. ...Read more
Is it true that most people return to do the physical activities they love after a herniated disk surgery?
Doctor dependent: I would see what your surgeon thinks. Swinging is probably not that bad. Loading and unloading heavy clubs into your car and other similar things that go into the logistics of playing golf are probably not good in light of recent back surgery. I usually tell my patients to stick with putting for the first 6 weeks. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
WHEN: The patient has radicular pain consistent with a disc herniation and specific nerve root compression/irritation that has not responded to a well directed conservative treatment program. A decompressive laminotomy & discectomy may be the treatment of choice. An endoscopic approach is a minimal invasive approach to the surgical care. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Conservative: Most patients with a diagnosis of disc herniation do not need surgery. Unless there are significant neurologic symptoms such as severe or progressive weakness, and bowel or bladder changes, non-op management for up to 8-12 weeks can sufficiently alleviate most patients. If symptoms do not get better or recur, then properly indicated surgery should help. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Maybe: Cortisone injections (why 3?...There is no standard to do 3 shots.) can help the inflammatory process of the nerve roots irritated by the disc hernitaion. These injections do not "heal" the disc, but can cause accelerated pain relief. Disc herniations occasionally resorb (disintegrate) over time, but there is no guarantee that a disc is healed once the pain is gone, even from injection therapy. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Depends: Many variables needs to be considered including your status of overall fitness, location of your disk surgery, level of involvement and the nature / complexity of your surgery. Make sure you have a thorough discussion with your surgeon to minimize suprises and/or disappointment postop. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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