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Doctor insights on: Surgery For A Bulging Disc

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What is deciding factor for surgery or not with bulging disc?

What is deciding factor for surgery or not with bulging disc?

Symptoms: The main factor would be symptoms - either pain or nerve compression leading to weakness, numbness. Usually after conservative management and epidural injection is symptoms persist, then surgery should be considered. ...Read more

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Dr. Thomas Dowling
817 doctors shared insights

Bulging Disk (Definition)

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


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My doctor told me I had a bulging disc in my back. Will I need surgery?

My doctor told me I had a bulging disc in my back. Will I need surgery?

Maybe: You are a surgical candidate if 3 criteria are met: 1.) pain that lasts more than 6 months and that has failed to respond to nonsurgical measures. 2.) there is a surgically "correctable" problem. In the case of a bulging disc, one does not know the answer to this until a discogram has been performed. Yes, bulging discs can be sources of severe pain. 3.) you determine that you can't live with it. ...Read more

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My 18yr old son just found out he has a bulging disc l3-l4is there something else or new beside surgery?

My 18yr old son just found out he has a bulging disc l3-l4is there something else or new beside surgery?

Many other things: Surgery is not the first treatment option for bulging discs. In fact, it is usually the last option if it is appropriate at all. Usually, treatment includes medications and physical therapy. Many people seek chiropractic care. If there are leg symptoms, often interventional pain management can be helpful. ...Read more

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I have 2 bulging disc and 2 herniated disc and shots did not help and I want to know what to try next or go ahead with surgery?

Bulging discs: Herniated and bulging discs are basically arthritis of the spine. In the low back, the most common course of treatment is nonoperative. If cortisone shots are not working, physical therapy, chiropractic care, back bracing, traction and neuropathic pain medicine such as Neurontin (gabapentin) may help reduce the pain. If these fail or there is significant weakness then surgery is indicated. See the neurosurgeon ...Read more

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I've a protrusion disc on L5 s1 level and a bulging disc on t12 l1level. I'm an athlete. Do you recommend surgery? I want heal it fast! thank you

I've a protrusion disc on L5 s1 level and a bulging disc on t12 l1level.  I'm an athlete. Do you recommend surgery? I want heal it fast! thank you

Not enough info: Generally these issues will not require surgery. Look for other causes of back pain at age 19, particularly spondylitis unless there is nerve entrapment and you do not respond to conservative therapy, surgery is not a good idea. ...Read more

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Is a bulging disc that is 8.7 mm in my L4-5 a candidate for surgery? It's causing me to lose all strength in my right leg and I can't walk on it.

Is a bulging disc that is 8.7 mm in my L4-5 a candidate for surgery? It's causing me to lose all strength in my right leg and I can't walk on it.

Bulging Disc: It depends on wether or not the disc is impinging on the nerve or spinal cord. I'm sure that a physician ordered the radiological study that gives you the information on the disc. Consult with him/her about the next steps in your treatment. You can always get a second opinion if not satisfied with heir recommendations. ...Read more

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Do I need surgery for a Bulging disc compressing on thec sac, I have intermittent nerve pain in legs ?

Do I need surgery for a Bulging disc compressing on thec sac, I have intermittent nerve pain in legs ?

Bulging disc: Just having a bulging disc dose not mean surgery. Your pain is intermittent only - what matters is are there ant other features (weakness, sensory deficit etc...) and how bad the pain is in terms of what you can and cannot do. ...Read more

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Ongoing pain in neck and trapped nerve. After having a mri and xray it has been confirmed bulging disc between c5 c6. Surgery next option?

Ongoing pain in neck and trapped nerve.  After having a mri  and xray it has been confirmed bulging disc between c5 c6.  Surgery next option?

Cervical spine surge: Surgery should be your last option. More than 90% of damaged discs heal by themselves over time. For ongoing nerve pain and neck pain , you should get a cervical epidural steroid injection done by a qualified and experienced pain physician under x-ray guidance. Also start physical therapy as soon as you can to relieve muscular spasm. ...Read more

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I have herniated disc and bulging disc L4 L5 L5 s1 i had a snrb done and nothing is working does this mean surgery ? I have trouble walking too

Please see below: Herniated disc can be a generic term and not necessarily symptomatic unless it causes nerve root compression. In this case its most important to be able to correlate your symptoms with the specific nerve root impingement. It may be that the symptomatic nerve root has not been injected yet. Even if you don't respond to an epidural, a discectomy that can be done minimally invasively can help you. ...Read more

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