The Vault

There will always be a 5% chance of a disc herniating again, regardless of the treatment a patient follows. If a patient follows the non-surgical approach, symptoms may take months to be resolved. When surgery follows through after 6 months of conservative care, there is still a chance that its final outcome may not be as good as if the patient had elected surgery earlier. There is an exceptionally low risk of surgical complications. If it does happen, possible complications include:

  • All About Herniated D isc Spine CENTER OF TEXASInfection
  • Nerve damage
  • Dural leak – This is when the nerve root’s thin lining opens up and causes cerebrospinal fluid loss. This lining may be repaired if seen during surgery. Headaches may occur after surgery, but will improve over time.
  • Nerve compression due to hematoma – This may happen after surgery when blood clots around the nerve roots.
  • Recurrent disk herniation – There is a possibility of another piece of disc breaking off and causing another round of leg pain, wherein another surgery may be needed.

All About Herniated D isc Spine CENTER OF TEXASMicrodiskectomy results generally go well. Surgery is rarely prescribed if there is only back pain, because its outcome is much more reliable if there is leg pain. The majority of patients who undergo surgery notice improvement several weeks later, but it may take months for some patients to feel any change. Pain is the first to go, followed by an increase in overall leg strength and sensation improvement. It is not uncommon for numbness to linger in the leg or foot. Many patients may slowly return to doing daily activities several weeks after surgery.

Surgery results are considered much better compared to the results of conservative treatment. There is a definitive improvement in pain relief and function after surgery. When it comes to disc herniation treatment, a health care practitioner is the best person to determine and explain the best approach for a patient who is suffering from back pain.

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