I have sciatic pain due to a ruptured disc in my low back. I've heard that removing the disc can clear up the pain, but is surgery just a quick fix? Will the benefits last?

Research has shown that the surgery you describe--discectomy--can relieve sciatic pain and help patients toward better back functioning. 

A recent study looked at 220 patients who had this type of surgery. The benefits were the most pronounced within two years of surgery. However, these benefits were still clear at a five-year follow-up. Seventy percent of patients who had surgery had less pain five years later, and 63 percent of them were satisfied with their results. In fact, eighty-two percent said if they had to go back, they would choose surgery again.

Surgery for your condition may be a fast fix, but it isn't an immediate fix. The benefits can take three to 12 months to appear. In rare cases, there may be a need to repeat the surgery to get the full effect. In general, though, the evidence suggests that surgery is the fastest and the most complete fix for patients with moderate to severe sciatica.