For lumbar and cervical herniated discs, non-surgical treatment options can usually be applied to help alleviate any pain and discomfort (4-6 weeks). Patients may try non-surgical treatment to assess if further treatment options (including surgery) may be needed.
The benefits of surgery should be weighed carefully against its risks. Despite a large percentage of patients with herniated discs reporting considerable pain relief after surgery, it does not always guarantee a successful outcome.
A patient may consider spinal surgery if there is:
- Constant pain that negatively affects quality of life
- Development of neurological issues such as leg weakness and/or numbness
- Difficulty in standing or walking
- Loss of normal bowel and bladder functions