TREATMENT OPTIONS: SURGERY VERSUS CONSERVATIVE CARE
One of the most surprising discoveries regarding treatment options for disc herniation-induced radiculopathy
is that disc surgery and conservative non-surgical treatment
work the same with respect to over-all long-term improvement. The only advantage disc surgery has is that it often get the injured person out of pain faster and back to work fast IF they have the surgery in time and they are a proper candidate. There is, however, an important exception to this rule for patients who are forced into disc surgery because (1) they simply can't stand the pain, (2) they have a progressive worsening of neurological symptom (i.e., worsening of muscle weakness
in the upper or lower extremities) and (3) the development of the dangerous cauda equina syndrome. All of the latter three conditions are surgical musts in most cases.