I just found out I have a collapsed disc at L45. What are my chances for a good result with surgery with a collapsed disc?
This may depend on how you define "good result" and what kind of surgery you're planning. A common operation for this type of problem is the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF). The remaining disc material is removed from between the two vertebrae. Two fusion cages are then inserted into the disc space. The goal is to restore the normal disc space. You won't have normal spinal motion at that segment because it will be fused. But reduced motion and restored space will result in pain relief in 80 to 86 percent of all cases. In fact a recent study from the Virginia Spine Institute showed that patients with the worst collapsed discs had the best results when measured by pain relief.