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Non-surgical solution for Sequestered Fragment?

A few weeks ago my back flared up while cycling. It's been a recurring issue. In the past I had been diagnosed with a disc bulge at L5-S1. However this pain was a bit different. It was in the right buttock, outside of right thigh, and in the right knee. After a week I went to the doctor and he ordered an MRI. Yesterday I was a bit shocked at the results. 5mm right paracentral extruded disc herniation at L5-S1 with peripheral annular tear. L4-L5 is minimally desiccated with a 2mm protrusion with a peripheral annular tear. L3-L4 distal right foraminal extruded disc herniation with is a sequestered fragment measuring approx 6mm as is contiguous and displacing the sensory root ganglion. The transverse diameter of the extrusion and sequestered component of the extrusion is 1cm.

In the 2.5 weeks since the flare up it's gotten marginally better.

The doctor scheduled me another appointment in 4 weeks but told me if the symptoms started to worsen or I started stubbing my toe and having trouble lifting my leg, to come in right away. I asked if the fragment could move or disolve on it's own, and if I can manage it without surgery by core strengthening and weight loss. He said maybe, but it seemed to me he was being overly optimistic.

I'm a very active 45 year old male that regularly surfs, mountain bikes, hikes, etc, workout daily, but could stand to lose about 10-15 lbs and develop more core strength.

Does it seem possible to recover from this without surgery? If so am I looking at total lifestyle changes in order to avoid another flare up? At this point I would welcome surgery if it would get me active again, rather than have to baby my back for the next few years,only to have surgery anyway. Has anyone here had a non surgical recovery to a sequestered fragment?




  • I didn't. But I didn't find this website until later.

    Many here have offered the advice to get to a good physiatrist (google it) to work with you on this.

    Also the sciatic section of the treatments area of this website discusses other options.

    Personally, I would get the best physiatrist possible.

    Welcome to Spine-Health.
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