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Hi, I'm 47 years old and six months ago I had a nasty fall which caused a herniated disc in the lumbar portion of my spine. My doctor said that the surgery wasn’t necessary at the time and he said that he will try to control the pain caused by the herniation conservatively. So he gave me ibuprofen for the pain and said I should rest a few weeks. The situation did improve but at my latest examination he said that the herniated disc is damaged and I will probably need surgery. What should I expect from the surgery and how fast will I recover from it?

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The surgery of the herniated spinal intervertebral disc is the ultimate solution for treating disc herniation and should be used only if all other less invasive methods fail. You said you used analgesics for the pain control but you didn’t mention if there was pain right before the visitation to the doctor when he said you should have surgery. If the pain is still present and all other methods have failed then the surgery is definitely indicated. There are many types of herniated disc surgery used today to treat this problem. Most of them are minimally invasive, they are endoscopic and have a shortened recovery period. Still those surgeries are one of the most risky ones because they are conducted so close to the spinal cord. A possible damage to the spinal cord could be fatal for the patient, so these surgeries require special caution to be taken. The time of recovery depends on the severity of the damage to the disc, most of the times microdiscectomy is performed, only a smaller part of the disc is being removed and the recovery time is shorter, in some heavier cases a total bone fusion and disc removal will be necessary and then the recovery time increases. About the details of the treatment and the exact information about the recovery period consult your doctor, because this mainly depends on your current status and on the procedure that is chosen for the treatment, it usually shouldn’t take more than 2 – 4 weeks to fully recover if there are no complications. Good luck.
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Get atleast a couple different drs opinions on surgery. I had 3 bad discs and had surg 4 years ago, and had 2 titanium cages implanted. The pain still exists-mainly nerve damage. I am your age, and when I had it done, it took over 3 months to fully recover. I will NEVER have back surg again. Most people I know who have had back surg, did not get relief from pain. I have tried PT, many meds, and finally found one thing that worked. Spinal injections. I had a very genlte Dr who did it, and for the first time in years was pain free. Good luck to you.
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The whole recovery period after herniated disc surgery varies fro 6 to 12 months. Results differ form one another, but the most of them are successful. I have herniated disc too and I dont recommend you surgery if there is a little chance not to do it - try swimming which really helps.
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In addition, the one should remember that ***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed is a serious medical procedure and everybody should start preparing process 2 months before it.
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