All surgery involves some risk.
If you are considering surgery, consider the following factors:
People with moderate to severe symptoms may
gain relief from surgery. Surgery is usually not done unless symptoms are
severe enough to interfere with normal activities and work, and to require
strong pain medicines. 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.5
People with milder
symptoms tend to do well without surgery.
Some people require
additional disc surgery after their first surgery.
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 unproven. 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 a second opinion to further evaluate
whether such a procedure is appropriate for you.
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.