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Do you need disc protrusion surgery?

Disc protrusion surgery might be an appropriate next step for you — that is, if you haven’t found the relief you need with nonsurgical treatment. This is an important caveat. If you’ve been diagnosed with a bulging or herniated disc and haven’t yet tried conservative treatment, your physician will likely recommend that you do so prior to thinking about any type of surgery, unless your pain is very severe or debilitating. The reason is simple: many people are able achieve good results with nonsurgical therapies, allowing them to avoid unnecessary surgery.

Treatment options for a protruded disc

While it is often relatively straightforward, conservative treatment for mild-to-moderate discomfort associated with a protruded disc can be highly effective. In many cases, this involves:

  • Avoiding pain-inducing body positions, movements and activities
  • Stretching and exercising regularly
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications as needed

For symptoms that do not respond sufficiently to these first-line treatments, a physician may prescribe more aggressive options, such as muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers or corticosteroid injections.

The role of surgery

When necessary, disc protrusion surgery can also be performed to relieve symptoms by addressing the precise source of the discomfort. Specifically, if a damaged disc presses too tightly against the spinal cord or a nerve root, the excess pressure can affect the nerve’s function. This can produce a variety of symptoms, such as shooting pains, numbness, tingling sensations and muscle weakness. A surgeon can perform a procedure to alleviate the pressure on a compressed nerve by removing the protruding portion of a damaged disc.

If you’re considering disc protrusion surgery, you may be interested in knowing that a highly invasive open neck or back procedure may not be your only option. At USA Spine Care, our surgeons perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^ If you would like to find out whether you’re a candidate for minimally invasive disc protrusion surgery, contact USA Spine Care today.

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