11 doctors weighed in:

I have a herniated disc and had an epidural, doctor said it massively herniated, it has been 24 hours since the shot. Should I consider microdiscetomy?

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Roth
Neurosurgery
4 doctors agree

In brief: Not necessarily

The decision is not only based on the size of the disc.
The following criteria would push you toward surgery: the presence of weakness, duration of symptoms more than 6 weeks, repeated symptoms over years, superimposed spinal stenosis, and spinal cord compression if the disc is cervical. 24 hours is not enough time to decide that the epidural has failed.

In brief: Not necessarily

The decision is not only based on the size of the disc.
The following criteria would push you toward surgery: the presence of weakness, duration of symptoms more than 6 weeks, repeated symptoms over years, superimposed spinal stenosis, and spinal cord compression if the disc is cervical. 24 hours is not enough time to decide that the epidural has failed.
Dr. Patrick Roth
Dr. Patrick Roth
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Dr. Robert McMurtrie
Pain Management
3 doctors agree

In brief: May take 7-14 days

Epidural steroid injections sometimes take as long as two wks to work.
If you have problems with bladder/bowel control or real leg weakness, consider diskectomy.Disc surgery only trims the disc but does not "fix" it. The disc may even be weaker and herniate again after surgery.The elasticity can't recove.Even the current "replacement discs" are not an adequate substitution for the original cushion.

In brief: May take 7-14 days

Epidural steroid injections sometimes take as long as two wks to work.
If you have problems with bladder/bowel control or real leg weakness, consider diskectomy.Disc surgery only trims the disc but does not "fix" it. The disc may even be weaker and herniate again after surgery.The elasticity can't recove.Even the current "replacement discs" are not an adequate substitution for the original cushion.
Dr. Robert McMurtrie
Dr. Robert McMurtrie
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Dr. Douglas McNeill
Family Medicine

In brief: Consider all

There are two general indications for surgery: intractable pain and progressive neurologic deficit (nerve injury).
The size of the herniation and use of the epidural shot do not directly factor in this choice. Work with your doctor(s) and wait and see what develops. Even a 'massive' disk can retreat in time.

In brief: Consider all

There are two general indications for surgery: intractable pain and progressive neurologic deficit (nerve injury).
The size of the herniation and use of the epidural shot do not directly factor in this choice. Work with your doctor(s) and wait and see what develops. Even a 'massive' disk can retreat in time.
Dr. Douglas McNeill
Dr. Douglas McNeill
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Dr. Gregory Hines
Family Medicine

In brief: Follow up

If it is not improved, and it as herniated as you say, then your surgeon will have to make the call, but it sounds like you will need surgery.

In brief: Follow up

If it is not improved, and it as herniated as you say, then your surgeon will have to make the call, but it sounds like you will need surgery.
Dr. Gregory Hines
Dr. Gregory Hines
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