If you’ve been diagnosed with a bulging disc, you’re likely wondering if surgery is in your future. It’s often said that bulging discs can heal on their own, and that conservative therapies can help manage any symptoms as the body works to restore the disc to its natural positioning. However, the key word here is often — not always. In some instances, bulging discs do not heal on their own. In instances where symptoms persist after several months of conservative treatment, surgical intervention may be considered.
Taking your medical history into consideration
When talking to a physician about whether you are a candidate for bulging disc surgery, your medical history will be a significant area of focus. Your physician will likely ask:
- When your symptoms started
- What type of conservative therapies you have tried and what sort of impact they’ve had on your symptoms
- Whether any particular activities make your symptoms worse
- What your current activity level is and how it compares to your former activity level
- Whether your symptoms are interfering with your ability to work, study or participate in your hobbies, and if so, to what degree
Your physician will also use imaging scans, such as CT scans, to get a visual idea of what is happening in your spine.
Exploring multiple options
At one time, there was only one option for bulging disc surgery. Traditionally, open neck or back surgery was required to treat a bulging disc, and all patients had to deal with long hospital stays, large incisions and extensive recovery periods. However, minimally invasive procedures are now offered in certain situations, and at USA Spine Care, they are often the clinically appropriate first choice.
USA Spine Care’s minimally invasive outpatient procedures for bulging disc are performed using muscle-sparing techniques and there is no lengthy recovery. To find out if you are a candidate for our procedures, contact us today.