Is Herniated Disc Permanent?

“Is A Herniated Disc A Permanent Disability For Most Patients?”
by Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki

A herniated disc in the neck is not necessarily a permanent disability. It does indicate that the disc that's herniated has been compromised in some way, either from trauma or from degeneration or a combination of the two.

So it is true that the disc itself is permanently abnormal unless treated. That does not mean it will cause permanent symptoms. There are many patients that have mild or even severely degenerated discs, but very few symptoms from those with very little pain, and they can function normally in life without having treatment.

So the answer is no, it's not necessarily a permanent disability. There are some cases of pain, numbness, and weakness that can persist long-term. And if that's not getting better, that's when surgical interventions can be considered to try and correct the problem. But the condition itself varies. Some people get more long-term disability related to this. Others may have pain for only a few short weeks and recover after that.

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Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki