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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
845 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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If I request a microdiscectomy as oppose to conservative treatment for a lumbar bulging disc what are the pros and cons?

If I request a microdiscectomy as oppose to conservative treatment for a lumbar bulging disc what are the pros and cons?

Microdiscectomy: There are always inherent risks of surgery (infection, nerve damage, spinal fluid leak, anesthesia risks including heart/lung problems, blood clots, stroke, even death). Although rare, all of these can happen with surgery. Herniated/bulging discs have a good chance of resolving without surgery within 6-8 weeks from onset of symptoms with conservative management ...Read more

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What is the best option for a herniated disc? Is it discectomy or fusion?

What is the best option for a herniated disc? Is it discectomy or fusion?

Usually diskectomy: In the majority of cases of low back disk herniation needing surgery, diskectomy is the best approach. In the neck, diskectomy combined with fusion is the best approach most of the time (in select cases neck diskectomy without fusion is a good option). Review your options with your provider. If in doubt, get a second opinion. ...Read more

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Please explain vitreofoveal traction in layman's terms. Any nonsurgical treatments? What is prognosis if left untreated? Dad age 84 just diagnosed w/vft. Not a candidate for surgery due to age and other complicating factors, as per retinal specialist see

Please explain vitreofoveal traction in layman's terms.
Any nonsurgical treatments? What is prognosis if left untreated? Dad age 84 just diagnosed w/vft. 
Not a candidate for surgery due to age and other complicating factors, as per retinal
specialist see

VMT VFT treatment: New treatment jetrea is for symptomatic vft/vmt. It doesn't always work though so surgery can still be done. Because of his age, surgery would be safest under local anesthesia. If untreated, he simply won't see well. Surgery can be under an hour in length. The medication is expensive and works about 26% of the time for vmt but worth a try if surgery not an option. ...Read more

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How do you determine whether surgery for my herniated disc is necessary?

How do you determine whether surgery for my herniated disc is necessary?

If you are not ...: If you are not getting better after 12 weeks of care & the symptoms are such that you cannot or will not live with them & your leg pain is worse than your back pain, if you even have any back pain, ; & your exam reveals findings consistent with a disc herniation & it is demonstrated on an imaging study compressing the appropriate nerve & you are healthy enough for surgery, then you have reason! ...Read more

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How common is it for people with a hiatal (gut) hernia to really NEED surgery? What are the deciding factors?

How common is it for people with a hiatal (gut) hernia to really NEED surgery? What are the deciding factors?

Uncommon: Please see this link: http://www.sages.org/publications/guidelines/guidelines-for-surgical-treatment-of-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-gerd/

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What is the treatment of enteroptosis? Can excercises really reverse it to previous position? Is there waist pain with enteroptosis as a symptom?

What is the treatment of enteroptosis? Can excercises really reverse it to previous position? Is there waist pain with enteroptosis as a symptom?

Enteroptosis: Enteroptosis is an old term not used in current practice, that refers to a sagging of internal organs. The medical literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries describes 4 distinct causes of sagging of the internal organs, and proposes different treatments for each. Modern medicine does not recognize enteroptosis as a defined medical condition. ...Read more

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What is meant by minimal evasive back surgery for degenerative disc. What is done during this procedure?

What is meant by minimal evasive back surgery for degenerative disc. What is done during this procedure?

Variety : There are a variety of things that can be done depending on the diagnosis. Minimally invasive refers to making smaller incisions, sometimes working with a microscope to accomplish the same thing as that done through a large incision. The advantage is less pain and recovery time. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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What is the surgical options for herniated disc . Is it includimg radiofrequency ablation?

What is the surgical options for herniated disc . Is it includimg radiofrequency ablation?

No : Radiofrequency does not help with the herniated disc. Surgical options are plenty, i would suggest seeing a surgeon to discuss your options. ...Read more

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I have moderately large right paracentral C5-6 disc protrusion.I need to undero surgery. is it safe and is there any other method except for surgery?

Depends: Most important is to be sure you really need surgery. Do you have radiculopathy - pain down arm, weakness, numbness, loss of function or do you have myelopathy - numbness, clumsiness, hyperreflexia. In the absence of these you may not need surgery. Some patients will get better without surgery - need to get a feel for how acute is your clinical situation. ...Read more

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What impact does ehlers danlos type 3 have on lumbar fusion surgeries, and is ther a type of fusion that would be better for an eds patient?

What impact does ehlers danlos type 3 have on lumbar fusion surgeries, and is ther a type of fusion that would be better for an eds patient?

EDS has surgery risk: Ehlers danlos syndrome (eds) is a connective tissue disorder that has many subtypes. In type 3 eds, joint overextensibility can cause serious orthopedic issues.In eds of any type, anesthetic & surgical complications, while rare, are more common than in someone without eds, including blood vessel rupture, hemorrhage, and airway and neck damage.Type of lumbar fusion doesn't seem to affect these issues. ...Read more

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What type of surgery would a manometery test indicate/rule out? The doctor mentioned cutting a muscle but i'm not sure what this surgery is.

What type of surgery would a manometery test indicate/rule out? The doctor mentioned cutting a muscle but i'm not sure what this surgery is.

Depends on Body Part: What's being measured? Manometry is measuring pressure in a squeezing hollow tube. The most common organ studied is esophagus, to find if it moves food to stomach normally. It is often done in severe heartburn that does not respond to meds, or poor movement of food. Cutting a muscle sounds like a treatment for lower esophagus muscle that doesn't relax normally, achalasia. Contact me for more. ...Read more

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I am a sports person with disc herniation/spurs at c5/6. The surgeon recommended acd without fusion. What are the reasons to have an acd over acdf?

I am a sports person with disc herniation/spurs at c5/6. The surgeon recommended acd without fusion. What are the reasons to have an acd over acdf?

Little: Standard of care is acdf for symptomatic arthritis in the spine. To preserve motion in a healthy patient, an artificial disk is an option. If you have bony arthritis and no soft disk bulge type arthritis, a posterior cervical foraminotomy is also good to preserve motion. This is what payton manning had done. ...Read more

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TX for herniated disc l5s1 told to be cortisone injections, PT, or surgery Doc says no surgery due to weight 205lbs what other treatments are there?

TX for herniated disc l5s1 told to be cortisone injections, PT, or surgery Doc says no surgery due to weight 205lbs what other treatments are there?

Herniated disc: In most cases the discomfort from a herniated disc subsides without any treatment within 6 weeks. For additional up to date treatment options consider consulting a center that only specializes in spinal disorders. Pain management specialist may also be helpful even if you opt not to receive epidural injections.Bring your MRI images along with any record of treatments you already received with you. ...Read more

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What is another option for replacing cervical discs due to ddd if I have severe osteoporosis, is there something that will succeed?

What is another option for replacing cervical discs due to ddd if I have severe osteoporosis, is there something that will succeed?

↑Bone strength learn: Anatomy, recognize your internal power to change, etc. 1: doctors rarely cure anything, just offer/promote partial treatment for symptoms. You are in primary control over your body, use great caution delegating control to someone else. 2: get vitamin d3 level up into 60 range so you can absorb ca+2 & get it into bones. 3. Exercise carefully & seek the rare physical therapist who will empower you. ...Read more

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