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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

3 Things You Didn't Know about Bulging Disc Surgery

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Wed, Jan 01, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

bulging disc surgeryWhen you have frequent pain caused by a bulging disc, you might be anxious to get it taken care of. Dealing with this kind of pain can make it hard for you to go about your day and perform your usual activities. If common forms of medical treatment, like over-the-counter pain medications or heating pads, don’t help and your pain is severe enough, your doctor might recommend surgery. Before you agree to undergo bulging disc surgery, though, there are some things you should be aware of. 

It Might Not Help

Disc surgery doesn’t always provide the relief that back pain sufferers are looking for. It’s usually done as a last resort when other forms of treatment haven’t worked. You might have surgery done, only to discover that you still experience mild or occasional back pain afterwards. Considering the potential complications associated with disc surgery, it’s important to decide whether it’s worth the risk. 

treating chronic back pain risks of surgery CTA

It Takes Awhile to Recover

When you have traditional open-back surgery done to treat a bulging disc, you’ll be spending a long time recovering and regaining your strength. You might have to attend several physical therapy sessions in order to build up your back muscles and reduce the risk of experiencing back pain again. You might also need to take pain relievers for the discomfort that occurs after having major surgery. The long recovery time that traditional disc surgery requires could also affect your job and other areas of your life.

It Can Be Risky

Having any type of major surgery done involves some degree of risk. When you’re having a surgical procedure done to correct a bulging disc, there’s a significant amount of risk to your spinal cord. This can make people nervous considering that damage to the spinal cord could result in paralysis, as a worst case scenario. Other complications include nerve damage and trouble swallowing, if the surgical site is higher up. The main types of bulging disc surgery, known as anterior cervical decompression, artificial disc replacement and spinal fusion, are all highly invasive procedures involving the spinal cord area. 

If you decide that you would rather avoid surgery to treat a bulging disc, there are several non-surgical procedures to choose from. Non-invasive treatment methods, such as Functional Disc Rehydration, are much less risky and can be highly effective at providing long-term relief from back pain caused by bulging discs and other disc problems. 

If you would like more information on non-surgical treatments for bulging discs, contact the Illinois Back Institute. We specialize in performing non-invasive procedures to alleviate back pain and correct disc problems.

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Topics: Back Pain, Bulging Discs, surgery