7 doctors weighed in:
How do they decide if you need surgery for a herniated disc?
7 doctors weighed in

Dr. Stan Lee
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
3 doctors agree
In brief: Refractory symptoms
Herniated disk surgery should only be considered in the presence of all 3: a)mri evidence of a herniation that is visibly pinching a nerve b)symptoms of a pinched nerve that anatomically corresponds well with MRI evidence c)meds, pt, and epidural injections are first considered.
A good predictor of successful surgical outcome is increased nerve pain with nerve tension on exam(straight leg raise).

In brief: Refractory symptoms
Herniated disk surgery should only be considered in the presence of all 3: a)mri evidence of a herniation that is visibly pinching a nerve b)symptoms of a pinched nerve that anatomically corresponds well with MRI evidence c)meds, pt, and epidural injections are first considered.
A good predictor of successful surgical outcome is increased nerve pain with nerve tension on exam(straight leg raise).
Dr. Stan Lee
Dr. Stan Lee
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Rishi Kumar
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Symptoms
The severity of symptoms and/or location of the herniation often dictates whether or not surgery will be performed.
Discuss the options with your physician.

In brief: Symptoms
The severity of symptoms and/or location of the herniation often dictates whether or not surgery will be performed.
Discuss the options with your physician.
Rishi Kumar
Rishi Kumar
Answer assisted by Rishi Kumar, Medical Student
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