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 | pain | surgery | disc

Is Surgery My Only Option for Back Pain?

Friday, 21 Mar 2014 09:45 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I have 3 herniated discs in my spine and have had steroid injections to deal with the pain. I do daily exercises my doctor recommended and am not overweight. But I am not getting better. Is it time to consider surgery?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Non-traumatic Multi-level disc disease is not usually treated surgically. If any surgery is proposed, it usually would be a minimally invasive laser in select circumstances because the laser procedures are themselves not without risk.
 
Steroid injections do not heal, but they do provide a means for pain control. I advise you return to your physician for review of options available to you. If you are not satisfied, you may always ask for a referral to a spine surgery center for a review of your options.
 
Often these centers will provide these reviews after they have seen a copy of your MRI, just to save you a wasted visit. Many physicians tend to favor conservative management of non-traumatic multi-level disc disease because of more favorable long-term results with less risk of complications. 

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