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Is surgery the only option for treating slip disc?

Q: I am a 29 years old woman having back pain for the last one year and it has become severe for the past 4 months. The doctor advised me some exercises along with some tablets. I am having that for the last 2 months but in vain. I have started getting pain in my legs while standing or walking. I consulted another doctor and he confirmed that I have slip disc problem and only surgery will solve my problem. This problem was there since birth and due to aging it got aggravated. He also informed me that he can try weight putting along with some exercises but still the problem may not solve. Is there any risk in this operation? What will be the approximate cost for the operation? My husband took family mediclaim insurance about 3 months back. Will I be able to get any benefit from that if I undergo surgery?

A:As far as slip disc is concerned there are few treatment options available.

  • Conservative treatment - This is the most likely course of action for most patients. Treatment options include rest, traction, back strengthening and flexibility exercises, short wave diathermy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, weight control, steroid injections in step by step order.
  • If a patient does not get relief after 8 to 12 weeks of conservative therapy surgical intervention is considered. The most common surgical procedure is a discectomy, which involves removing the soft gel-like material in the disc. This procedure returns the disc to a more normal shape, relieving the pressure on the nerve. The surgeon can also perform a foraminotomy, which is a procedure designed to expand the opening the nerve travels through.
The approximate cost of the surgery would depend on the hospital you decide to get operated. You need to confirm this with your orthopaedic surgeon who is going to perform operation. As far as mediclaim is concerned, you should definitely get the amount of your operation charges plus your postoperative physiotherapy charges also reimbursed by the mediclaim provider if the condition is diagnosed recently (i.e. after taking the mediclaim policy). Still confirm it with your mediclaim provider company.


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