Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: back | surgery | pain

Do I Really Need Back Surgery?

By    |   Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 06:00 PM

Question: I have a herniated disc in my back and my doctor thinks I should go for surgery before I get older (I’m 54). But the pain isn’t terrible and I’m able to golf and play tennis. Is back surgery really necessary?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Back surgery is one procedure where there is no going back. You cannot reverse this. I do not agree that herniated discs need surgical management unless you are disabled with pain, or if the disc is placing pressure on you spinal cord or a nerve at risk for further injury.
 
Back surgery is rarely "necessary" simply because you are age 54 and aging as we all are. If you are comfortable, and not in a lot of pain, why is surgery even a consideration? Get yourself a fully informed second orthopedic or neurosurgical opinion.

Herniated discs that cause pain but are stable, rarely need intervention. Stable herniated discs that cause little pain are more likely to resolve on their own and most often do not require further intervention.

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Herniated discs that cause pain but are stable, rarely need intervention.
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2013-00-21
Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 06:00 PM
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