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Bulging disc L5 S1

Had some back pain in July which got progressively worse. I went to chartered physio who worked on it. Got an MRI which confirmed bulging disc.

The MRI report state: Marked degenerative disc desiccation is seen in the L5 S1 lumbar intervertebral disc. At this lever there is a moderately large right posterolateral disc extrustion compressing the proximal aspect of the inferior exiting nerve root on the right side at this level.

The physio did some more work on it but has said there is no more he can do for me.... I need to look at an alternative route ie surgery.

I am trying to put off the surgery. While I am not as bad as I was I am still not back to normal. Sitting down can be sore and ache. Turning the wrong way in chair can send shock waves through my body. Standing up after sitting for any length of time can be very sore.... initial stand up can be an adventure and first 10-12 steps like an old man walking/limping/hopping. After those few steps it can free up and walk easier.

Also, while sitting a can feel it down my leg, knee.

Any advise please.

36, male


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 11/17/2013 - 2:19 PM
    a disc bulge is simply a disc that lays a bit outside the normal margins of where it would be. An extrusion is where part of the disc has broken away /off the rest of the disc. If there is contact between a disc fragment and the nerves in the canal or the foramen where the nerve roots exit, then it can contribute or cause nerve damage.
    It would be worthwhile to see what the surgeon tells you about the possibility of surgery, and the benefits, risks and associated outcomes before ruling it out.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Ron DiLauro


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • stenosisRosesstenosisRose Posts: 489
    edited 11/18/2013 - 11:54 AM
    I tried the spinal injections with a pain mgmt doctor before thinking of surgery
    After four injections, the pain mgt said "its time for the S word"

    I am now 13 weeks post op surgery

    For some the injections do work and gives relief. If it buys you time, its worth it


  • wind1wwind1 Posts: 6
    edited 11/19/2013 - 8:27 AM
    Your symptoms sound very similar to mine. Mine started July last year (16 months ago) and I have only just in the last few weeks begun to feel it is getting better. I had 2 caudal epidurals, one in Jan and one in Feb, they helped a lot but I still had pain/aching/tingling in hip/leg/foot. My worst position has always been sitting, this is when I was at my most uncomfortable and like you standing and taking the first few steps was painful. I was booked in for a third injection in Oct but I was starting to feel much better so I cancelled it. I have continued to improve daily since then. My consultant was very reluctant to operate and I was willing to try anything to avoid surgery. I certainly wouldn't rush into surgery if you are managing day to day and not in severe pain.
  • I had L5 S1 micro discectomy 17 days ago. Over the last 3-4 four days I have pain starting to travel down my right leg (same side as before). The pain is not as bad as before but it is certainly there. I can feel the pain down the back of my knee or just below knee level.

    I am telling myself that it is just the nerve starting to settle down post op and it will all be fine. Is this ever the case? or could it be something more?
  • can often flare up once you have surgery to relieve the compression of the nerve. It usually disappears just as suddenly as it showed up, but if it does not improve , talk to your surgeon and in the meantime, make sure to adhere to the post op instructions you were given.
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