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Indications for Intervertebral Disk Surgery

There are four indications for intervertebral disk surgery:

  1. Progressive motor weakness from nerve root injury demonstrated on clinical examination or electromyography (EMG),

  2. Bowel or bladder disturbance or other signs of spinal cord compression,

  3. Incapacitating nerve root pain despite conservative treatment for at least 4 weeks, and

  4. Recurrent incapacitating pain despite conservative treatment.



Related Criteria

McDonald Diagnostic Criteria for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

NIH Diagnostic Criteria for Neurofibromatosis

Diagnostic Criteria for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)

Diagnostic Criteria for Neurocysticercosis

Diagnostic Criteria and Associated Features of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)




  1. Larequi-Lauber T, Vader JP, Burnand B, Brook RH, Kosecoff J, Sloutskis D, Fankhauser H, Berney J, de Tribolet N, Paccaud F. Appropriateness of indications for surgery of lumbar disc hernia and spinal stenosis. Spine. 1997 Jan 15;22(2):203-9.[Medline]

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Created: Jan 05, 2009
Last Modified: 10/23/2010

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