4 doctors weighed in:
How do you determine whether surgery for my herniated disc is necessary?
4 doctors weighed in

Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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!

In brief: 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!
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Thank
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Take it slow
In general, it is time to consider surgery only when nothing else helps.
Getting yourself fit with low impact exercise (i.e. Aquatic), working with physical therapist and your doctor will make decision making easier. If in doubt, get a second or even a third opinion. Spine surgery is evolving and many exciting options are on the horizon.

In brief: Take it slow
In general, it is time to consider surgery only when nothing else helps.
Getting yourself fit with low impact exercise (i.e. Aquatic), working with physical therapist and your doctor will make decision making easier. If in doubt, get a second or even a third opinion. Spine surgery is evolving and many exciting options are on the horizon.
Dr. George T Tsai
Dr. George T Tsai
Thank
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