The decision to undergo bulging disc surgery is a complex one, and many factors can influence your choice. For instance, the degree to which your symptoms are interfering with your daily life. Symptoms can affect your ability to perform tasks that were once easy. It can also keep you from participating in activities with your loved one. These combine to determine if – or when – surgery becomes a potential option.
And while nobody wants to have an unnecessary operation, considering what might happen without surgical treatment can help you put the pros and cons of bulging disc surgery into perspective.
The Impact of Bulging Disc on Your Daily Activities
Many people who have been diagnosed with a bulging disc find that their symptoms interfere with their day-to-day lives – at least to some degree. The pain, muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling can in some instances become debilitating. Without effective treatment – be it surgical or nonsurgical – you may experience:
1. Trouble focusing on work or school
2. Difficulty completing chores or participating in hobbies
3. Temporary driving limitations (if you are taking prescription painkillers)
In very rare instances, a bulging disc in the lower back can also lead to a serious condition called equine syndrome, in which bowel and bladder function become compromised. This occurs in only a tiny number of cases and requires urgent surgery to prevent long-lasting complications.
It’s difficult to predict how a person will respond to bulging disc surgery, but many people find surgical treatment can be helpful if their symptoms are interfering with their daily lives or if nonsurgical treatments are not producing the desired results.
However, your physician will probably encourage you to use several conservative treatments. These include treatments such as medication, physical therapy, injections, and exercises before considering operative options.
Alternatives to Open Spine Surgery
If you are avoiding surgery due to concerns about the potential for a lengthy recovery, high complication rate, or long hospital stay, BEST Health System offers an alternative.
Our minimally invasive surgeries are often the clinically appropriate first choice, offering many advantages versus open neck or back surgery. Dr. Girton and Dr. Abbott, the board-certified surgeons at BEST, are both specialized in minimally invasive and muscle-sparing techniques. Our procedures use a less than one-inch incision, which can help you both avoid lengthy recovery periods as well as an overnight hospital stay.
To find out if you’re a candidate for bulging disc surgery at BEST Health System, we offer MRI as well as other diagnostic imaging.
If you are interested in learning more, free to contact us today.