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can a slipped disc cause paralysis? urgent response please

Hi. I am a 38 yo female from Cape Town, South Africa. I am healthy and rather fit. I've had hip pain for about 7 months with lower back pain on and off for a year. I've had physio and needling. Im a bit scared because since Wed last week I can't walk properly and I have to wait to see a back ortho tomorrow...they suspect a slipped disc and I've been in bed since Friday on oxycontin orally 10mg and cortisone injections..but all of a sudden my right leg is totally numb. I haven't had an MRI yet....should I worry or is this normal and I should wait to see doc...or should I go to hospital?
I've heard horror stories about paralysis...urgent response needed please.


  • If you can't feel your leg at all, then the best option is to seek professional medical advice.

    5.12 You agree that any information, opinions or other content provided by doctors or patients on Spine-health.com forums is for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical diagnoses or treatment. Always consult with a physician for any health problem or medical condition.
  • I am definitely seeing a specialist tomorrow....just wanted to know if anyone has heard of this before or experienced this...
  • When I had a herniation pressing on my S1 nerve root my leg went completely numb. It was the strangest feeling ever! I could see my foot on the ground but it was like an illusion...I felt as if my foot would continue straight through the ground. Ugh!!
    I'm glad that you're seeing a specialist. It's my understanding that several different things can cause what you're experiencing. My feeling came back pretty fast (less than a week) but left me with very painful sciatica. I concentrated on conservative treatments (physical therapy, injections etc) as surgery was not advised. Now 8 years later that disc is completely 'gone', just a thin black line which still contacts my S1 & natural fusing is taking place. I have permanent nerve damage. Fortunately no electrical sciatica but I do have strange, annoying thigh feelings with some pain. I will never know if I'd be better off now if I'd had surgery at the time to remove the herniation. Your specialist will tell you what's causing your problems & advise you the best action. I'd get a second or third opinion & ask the question "What can I expect if I delay or avoid surgery?"

    This is just my experience. Until you've had diagnostic tests you won't know if our cases are similar or not. Let us know how you get on at your appointment. Best of luck ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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