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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Disk protrusion at L5

 twosocks - Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:51 pm

i have degenerative disk desease. i have slight disk protrution at L3 and L4 and severe protrution at L5.I have severe pain in my back and right leg also weakness in my right leg and walk with a cane.what are my options for treatment and how much damage will be done if i cant get help?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:13 am

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for writing in.

You have reported disc protrusion at L3/L4 and L4/L5 with radiating pain and leg muscles weakness.

Muscle weakness due to disc bulging or protrusion is a concerning sign. This indicates severe neurological damage and may be permanent.

Decompressing the nerve through surgery usually helps with radiating leg pain, numbness and tingling, and muscles weakness. Surgery does not guarantee resolution of localized back pain however.

Conservative options are physical therapy, lumbar traction, and pain control.

An EMG would help define the extent of the nerve damage to the leg and allow you and your physician to judge if surgery should be presently pursued.

Take care and keep us posted.
 twosocks - Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:29 pm

new trouble with my leg i am haveing sharp pains in my calf and it feels like a pulled muscle in my upper leg.havent been able to see my doctor yet becouse of money problems. what can i do?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:25 pm

User avatar Hello,
Sometimes a disc protrusion will respond to 5 minutes of prone on elbows positioning (can use heating pad during this time too). If leg symptoms worsen with this position then stop and lay on back and pull both knees to the chest.

Take care.

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