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Slipped Disk (cont.)

Is Surgery an Option for a Slipped Disc?

If the medical measures are not successful within a reasonable time (6 weeks or more), and the tests confirm a herniated disc as the source of symptoms, surgical repair may be considered. Except in extreme situations or in those that have a high potential for permanent nerve damage, surgery is not considered early. Neck surgery and back surgery are serious procedures and considered under specific situations where unrelenting pain and risk of permanent damage to nerve tissue exists. Frequently, time and basic spine care resolve most slipped disc symptoms without the need for operation. Several surgical options exist. Your doctor will refer you to a spine surgical specialist (an orthopedic or neurosurgeon) to discuss which option is best for you and what the likelihood of success will be.

What Follow-Up Is Needed for a Slipped Disc?

Follow your instructions carefully and do not overexert yourself too soon. Your initial treatment plan may need to be extended or modified based on your response.

Is It Possible to Prevent a Slipped Disc?

  • Regular exercise can improve the overall strength and tone of the supporting muscles and structures. Low back exercises are particularly important to prevent recurrent back injury.
  • Use proper techniques while performing strenuous exercise and strenuous work, including lifting. Lifting should be done with the legs performing the work, not the back. The worst possible combination of activities for your spine is heavy lifting while bending and twisting simultaneously.
  • Use of a spine brace during heavy lifting may be advised. Its proper use is to keep your back straight and encourage proper lifting technique. It should not be used as a substitute for proper technique or to encourage you to exceed safe lifting limits.
  • If the patient is overweight, losing weight can help decrease the back pain.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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