Bulging disc surgery is a perfectly legitimate option for alleviating the debilitating symptoms often associated with spinal nerve compression if – and this is a big “if” – the symptoms remain stubbornly unaffected by the potential benefits of a well-planned regimen of conservative, nonsurgical treatment. The fact is, more than 90 percent of patients who experience nerve compression related to a bulging disc need never consider surgery. And of the small minority who do consider it, many find through a second or third medical opinion that another, nonsurgical option had been overlooked or ignored. Who, then, should actually consent to surgical treatment for a bulging disc?
Try Conservative Treatments First
Before even considering bone spur surgery for chronic neck pain or lower back pain, make sure that you and your medical team have eliminated all conservative options from your repertoire. These might include:
- Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Over-the-counter or prescription painkillers
- Exercise and stretching
- Applications of heat and cold
- Behavior modification training
- Corticosteroid injections
Many people also have experienced success using alternative and complementary treatment methods, such as chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, and more.
When to Ramp Up the Research into Surgery
Once a few weeks have passed, you should have a good idea about whether your symptoms will be manageable using conservative treatment. If there has been no discernible improvement, or if your symptoms have actually gotten worse, tell your doctor and ask whether bone spur surgery might be an option. At this point, it might be wise to begin to research the various procedures available for your particular condition, and find out whether there is a local surgeon who has achieved success with that type of procedure. Never consent to any type of surgery without making absolutely certain that all conservative treatment methods have been attempted.