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New to Forum - L5 S1 disk herniation - anyone relate?

SulldogSSulldog Posts: 1
edited 05/09/2014 - 6:26 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi - New to the forum - read MRI results with MD yesterday - have L5 - S1 right paracentral disk herniation with sequestered fragment - 1.22cm. You can see on the film that the disk has penetrated the sac that protects the disk and is resting on the S1 nerve (the healthy disks are white and this one is black).

Pain started in Feb (most likely injury from picking up kids, also have a desk job so I sit a lot, not exercising at time, etc). Took round of steroids and seemed to clear up. Intermittent pain here & there (especially waking up in am, then will get better through the day). About 3 weeks ago picked up son (45 lbs) and had unbearable lower back pain the next morning (MD thinks that is when the disk ruptured). Took 2nd round of steroids and didn't do much but back pain lessened over time (through today)...but this week started severe pain in right buttock & down right leg, tingling in both legs, numbness in right leg also, numbness in right foot & toes (especially when sitting or any random movement can set it off).

The last thing I want is surgery - I would like to try shots and PT. MD seemed very doubtful that it would work (I guess it's that bad?). He described surgery as minimally invasive and could just go in there and "pluck it out."

What happens to your mobility when you have a disk removed? Anyone out there have a similar story who did shots and PT with success? Can a "black disk" eventually heal? There is no sac there now to protect it so I'm thinking it would have to come out?

I would appreciate some feedback. I'd like to try shots and PT first but I also don't want to get myself in a situation where my symptoms get worse & as time goes the nerves become permanently damaged?

Thank you!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi Sulldog

    I feel your pain! Similar story - had lower back pain end Dec 2010, actually was swollen on lower spine, went for physio, then seemed to get better and a month later I got tingling in my toes that didn't go away. After referral from GP who said I probably had scoliosis was sent to specialist and had MRI scan,Huge rupture L5 S1 - I didn't want surgery either and spent 6 weeks on 1600mg of Ibuprofen a day, plus some other triazepam kind of things that knocked me sideways, plus steroid shots every few weeks when I was in such pain I ended up at hospital a few times. It got worse and I had nerve spasm down my left leg , numbness got worse. Didn't have the foot drop that is cause for concern , but drs basically told me after 4 weeks of it not getting better surgery was only likely to fix it. I was completely anti , but couldn't handle the pain anymore - I had a 8 month old baby who was completely breastfed despite my efforts to wean her and couldn't take strong medication. Plus a toddler to pick up etc.

    In the end I went for surgery - after 3 days I had the feeling back in my toes and nerve pain was gone. Within a couple of weeks I was fine walking though my leg still felt a little wooden and had to retrain my left foot to roll from heel to toes again rather than flat footed. For me it was the right choice. They told me if I waited too long to make a decision the nerves in my leg could suffer permanent damage that surgery could not then fix.

    Good luck with your back , I hope it has improved.
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