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L5-S1 Protruding Disc

Hi, everyone,
I am 47 years old. I had an MRI this past Summer (2013) and the diagnosis was that I have an L5-S1 protruding disc. The doctor did not use the word "herniated." He says my best treatment will be a lumbar injection. I have resisted doing this, hoping that chiropractic would help. It didn't. It is now December and I'm struggling with the pain. My worst symptom is hip pain. I have read a few of the posts of people having heel pain, which I also have. However, the heel pain comes and goes. But the hip pain is horrible. It is at it's worst when I've done anything on the floor for more than a minute or so. When I try to get up, the pain is severe. I'm trying to determine if I have an additional problem going on. Does anyone else with an L5-S1 protruding disc have hip/groin pain as the worst symptom? Thanks so much!!!!
I'm going to copy and paste the first paragraph in the "leg pain" section of this forum. I'm hoping this is the correct thing to do as I'm trying to connect with others who have my same symptoms.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • BreadmomBBreadmom Posts: 31
    edited 12/09/2013 - 4:52 PM
    Hi, first of all I am sorry for your pain, and I know how frustrating it is when you have no clear answers. I have been dealing with right upper thigh, hip and groin pain since July. I do have disc herniations at L4/L5 and L5/S1 with nerve root compression...this caused severe sciatica 2 years ago...was in agony, off the chart pain for 8 weeks until I finally saw the right Dr and since then epidural steroid injections every few months have helped tremendously. The hip, thigh, groin pain came on gradually this past summer. I had an MRI with contrast that showed a labral tear in my hip...so I started PT for that. The PT helped the groin pain, but the searing hip and thigh pain remains. So back to my Neuro dr and he sends me for facet injections at 4 levels...I have moderate facet changes throughout my spine and also spondylolithesis at 2 levels. The facet injections worked very well, but unfortunately it was very short lived...only 3 weeks.
    Wow, sorry this is so long. Basically wanted to share my experience with pain in the same areas. I would maybe ask for a contrast MRI of your hip to look for a tear, or try facet injections. The L2/L3 and L3/L4 levels typically would effect the front of the upper thigh.
    Hope this helps!
  • Have you ever looked at a dermatome map? It will show you where it is normal to have pain. I have a herniated disc @L5-S1 and I have pain down my right buttocks, hip and now all the way down to my toes.
    A lot of people get relief from the injections. I wasn't one of them and I have used all conservative treatments so I am headed to surgery.
    Acdf C5 C6 12/13/12
    Laminectomy and Discectomy L5 S1 12/12/13
  • Donna YDDonna Y Posts: 3
    edited 12/28/2013 - 4:49 PM
    Summi1408, how are you doing now after your surgery? And Breadmom, is a facet injection the same as a lumbar injection?
  • I'm not sure what type of injection your Dr is referring to? I would guess any injection to the lumbar spine area could be called a lumbar injection? I would ask for the specific type he/ she is referring to? Typically there are Epidural Steroid Injections which are done into the disc space and can greatly relieve sciatic nerve pain ...I get these at the L4/L5 and L5/S1 levels due to herniated discs at both those levels. The Facet Joint injection is also done under fluoroscopy (like x-Ray) but the medicine is injected directly into the little joints along the vertebrae. I had these done at 4 levels from L2 down to S1. The facet injections were more uncomfortable than the epidural but I saw a big improvement in the hip and front of thigh pain. That pain seemed to be stemming from the joints at L2/L3 and L3/L4. I hope this helps and you can clarify with your Dr. Wishing you relief soon!
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