Most patients with a herniated disc require only anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxation medications combined with a cervical collar for neck disc ruptures and restricted activity for lumbar disc ruptures. When pain is intolerable or does not steadily decline over the first few weeks, more potent anti-inflammatory medications or injections may be needed.
Surgery is needed only when:
- There is progressive loss of nerve function
- The level of pain is too severe
- Duration of pain is too long to tolerate despite use of anti-inflammatories
Surgery to remove the herniated disc fragment and relieve pressure against a nerve has a very high rate of success. Our spine surgeons at The Maryland Spine Center use the smallest incision possible to completely remove the disc fragment. Most patients are able to go home the same day as surgery.
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