When is discectomy indicated for lumbar disc disease?
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Emergent discectomy is indicated in the presence of cauda equina and severe, progressive neuromotor deficits (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, expert opinion). Elective discectomy for sciatica caused by lumbar disc disease provides faster relief of symptoms than conservative management, but long-term outcomes are equivalent (SOR: A, a systematic review and randomized controlled trial [RCT]).
Journal of Family Practice, 60(8) 2011: 490+.