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Decision Aid for Herniated Disc in the Lower Back

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about making treatment decisions for my herniated (bulging) disc?

You can work with your healthcare provider to choose a treatment plan that works best for you. Your treatment choices include nonsurgical options and surgery. Your provider may recommend nonsurgical treatments first. Learn about the benefits and risks of nonsurgical treatment and surgery so you can make an informed choice.

What do I need to know about a herniated disc?

Discs are spongy cushions between the vertebrae (bones) in your spine. The bulging disc may press on your nerves or spinal cord. This pressure causes pain in your lower back, buttocks, groin, or legs. It can also cause numbness or weakness in one leg.

Lumbar Disc Herniation

What are the benefits of treatment for a herniated disc?

What are the risks of treatment?

Even with treatment, your symptoms may return, or you may develop another herniated disc. The following are risks of surgical and nonsurgical treatment:

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider to help me make a treatment decision?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.