Physicians often encounter surgical candidates with lumbar disc herniation (LDH) who request non-surgical management even though surgery is recommended. However, second opinions may differ among doctors. Therefore, a prospective comprehensive cohort study (CCS) was designed to assess outcomes of nonsurgical treatment for surgical candidates who were recommended to undergo surgery for LDH but requested a second opinion. The CCS includes both randomized and observational cohorts, comprising a nonsurgery cohort and surgery cohort, in a parallel fashion. Crossover between the nonsurgery and surgery cohorts was allowed at any time. The present study was an as-treated interim analysis of 128 cases (nonsurgery cohort, n = 71; surgery cohort, n = 57). Patient-reported outcomes included visual analogue scores for the back (VAS-B) and leg (VAS-L), the Oswestry Disability Index, the EuroQol 5-Dimension instrument, and the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), which were evaluated at baseline and at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. At baseline, age and SF-36 physical function were significantly lower in the surgery cohort than in the nonsurgery cohort (p < 0.05). All adjusted outcomes significantly improved after both nonsurgical and surgical treatment (p < 0.05). The nonsurgery cohort showed less improvement of VAS-B and VAS-L scores at 1 month (p < 0.01), but no difference between cohorts was observed thereafter for 24 months (p > 0.01). Nonsurgical management may be a negotiable option even for surgical candidates in the shared decision-making process.