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L5-S1 Disc Prolapse and Immigration

AhmedHassanAAhmedHassan Posts: 1
edited 01/11/2015 - 7:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm 28 years old male from Dubai. I've been suffering from chronic low back pain for the past 4 years. I have been managing it with pain killers and some exercise. A MRI last year showed a slight bulge at the L5-S1 level but the doctors said it wasn't serious. A week ago, I woke up with severe low back pain radiating to my left leg. I was taken to hospital where I took some strong pain killers for the pain and went for a new MRI. The pain was gone but my left leg has become numb and weak. The Achilles reflex is absent and I can't really move my toes upwards to overcome the pressure the doctor applies by his fingers. The new MRI showed an obvious disc prolapse and immigration at the L5-S1 level. The doctors suggested immediate microdisectomy. They scared me when they said that I will never regain the strength of my left foot again and that if I didn't go for the surgery right away, my leg will turn into a drop limb. I'm taking a second opinion on the MRI from other specialists and arranging for the surgery in my home country. I'd really appreciate it if you give me some hints on the proper postures for sitting, sleeping and walking. Any precautions I should take during the coming week before the surgery.
N.B. I will have to go on a 4hrs flight to my home country for the surgery, is there any risk?
Thank you


  • I don't have a lot of answers for you, but I have suffered from the same problem. Very long story short, I likely have lost the use of my foot (not completely, but still no strength in my toes and I can't bend them down or stand on my toes on that leg at all. My brain sends the message to do something like stand on my toes, but absolutely nothing happens in that foot. There are also some movements with my leg that I cannot do, despite physical therapy.

    So my advice would be to do the surgery. I found the microdiscetomy to be a very easy surgery from which to recover. I had two of them, neither of which "held" if that makes sense. I continued to rupture the same disc 3 times in a very short period of time, leading to a fusion of the L5/S1, but by the time I argued with insurance and did all the other procedures, the nerve was in very bad shape and I have a feeling the damage is permanent. So if you are experiencing neurological symptoms such as you describe, it's likely time to look into surgery.

    Best wishes to you for a full and speedy recovery! (And don't let my story scare you....this surgery has a very high success rate, I just happened to fall in that tiny percentage for which it didn't work based on my own anatomy issues.)
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
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