Lumbar Herniated Disc - Surgery
Surgery is considered if the
following conditions are present:
- You have leg pain that
hasn't improved with at least 4 weeks of nonsurgical treatment, and your symptoms are bad enough to interfere with normal activities and work and to require strong pain medicine.
- You have weakness, loss of motion, or abnormal
- Tests show that your herniated disc can be treated surgically.
People who have surgery may feel better faster. But in
the long run, people treated with surgery and people treated without surgery
have similar abilities to work and to be active.3 Some people require
additional disc surgery after their first surgery.
- Lumbar Herniated Disc: Should I Have Surgery?
Many people are able to gradually resume work and daily activities soon
after surgery. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a rehabilitation
program after surgery, which might include
physical therapy and home exercises.
Disc surgery isn't considered effective treatment for low back pain that
is not caused by a herniated disc. Disc surgery is also
not done if back pain is the only symptom the herniated disc causes.
- Discectomy. This
may be the most effective
type of surgery for people who have tried nonsurgical treatment without success
and who have severe, disabling leg pain.
- Percutaneous discectomy is considered less effective than open
- Laminotomy and laminectomy. Either procedure may be done at the same time as a discectomy, or
A number of technologies using small incisions or injections for destroying the disc are used by some surgeons. Examples are endoscopic discectomy and electrothermal disc decompression. These techniques are experimental and unproved. If your doctor recommends one of them to treat your herniated disc, make sure to get as much information as possible about the procedure. Consider getting a second opinion.
discectomy uses a focused beam of light to dissolve a herniated disc. Although
this technology has been used by some surgeons for several years, it is
considered experimental because of the lack of studies on its effectiveness and
Other treatments that have
been tried include removing the center of the disc and removing all or part of
the disc by using suction. These treatments are not considered to be