When a herniated disc causes pain in the lower back and leg, there is more than one way to treat it. To help people work with their doctors to decide which treatment option is right for them, the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has developed a Shared Decision-Making® program called Herniated Disc: Choosing the Right Treatment for You.
This program is for people with low back and leg pain (sciatica) who have been told by a doctor that the pain may be due to a herniated disc. The pain should have lasted for more than four to six weeks and be bothersome enough for someone to consider additional treatment, including surgery.
The program describes the spine, a herniated disc and sciatica (pain or other sensations that radiate down one or both legs). Then it compares nonsurgical and surgical approaches to treating a herniated disc. It explains how the decision depends considerably on the individual situation, including how the person feels about living with sciatica and how greatly the pain limits normal activities. It also discusses the role of imaging tests and the importance of staying active.
This program includes interviews with real patients who chose each of these treatment options. They describe how they came to the decision about which option was best for them. The program also features interviews with an orthopedist and an orthopedic surgeon.
This program was developed with our production partner, Health Dialog. It is available as a DVD, a booklet and a web-based program (Health Crossroads®) for Health Dialog members.