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Re: Herniated Disc

Posted By CCF MD GS on December 03, 1998 at 09:48:35:

In Reply to: Herniated Disc posted by Patrick on December 03, 1998 at 09:31:19:

My MRI results from 11/20/98 show a large herniation at L5-S1.  This herniation is pressing upon both the right and left nerve roots.  On Nov. 30th I received a cortizone shot and had a conversation with a physician.  who stated that he also once had a herniated disc and that he did absolutely nothing about it .  The pain slowly dissipated and now he is back to normal.  For myself I have seen improvement form the time between  the cortizone shot and now however I am still feeling discomfort and I would assume that the pain will last for a substantially longer period if I keep on treating conservatively.  I would like to get back to normal and I am wondoring if you have any information about how long the discomfort usually lasts for herniated discs if no surgery is performed?  This information may help in deciding what route to take (surgery or continued conservative treatment).
Thank You

Thanks for the question. As you can imagine it is impossible to give you an answer for this question because the range of responses is so variable. The fact that you are having improvement already is a good sign. For patients that are only having pain associated with disc disease and not true weakness or sensory changes then the more conservative you are in general the better. There is not gaurantee that having surgery will resolve your pain. I think you need to give yourself at least 3 months and the injections may need to be repeated. You should also be involved in a physical therapy program and instructed in back safety. I would not rush into surgery at this point.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only. PLease consult your doctor regarding diagnostic and treatment options.

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