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L5/S1 nerve roots..can they cause pain on opposite side ?

LNRLLNR Posts: 1
edited 04/07/2015 - 9:04 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have an MRI report which states that I have a degenerative disc disease with moderately severe disc height reduction at l5/s1. There is moderate broad based central posterior disc protrusion causing moderate indentation of the anterior theca and moderate entrapment of the right s1 root at the thecal sac exit. No root entrapment is seen on the left side.
I have had really bad pain in my back and left side of my buttocks, groin and leg since October 2014 and have had two lumbar epidurals. Unfortunately the epidurals only lasted a few months and now I'm back to square one and in agony. My doctor now suggests I have surgery for a disc decompression and spinal fusion with pedicle screws.
I wanted to get a second opinion and see if anyone else has had this done because I'm concerned that the MRI report says that the right nerve root is trapped but I don't have much pain in my right leg, it's mostly on the left side - could something else be causing the pain? Please help


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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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
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    A second opinion for any surgery is always a good idea. Did you have another doc in mind? Or do you need, maybe your primary doctor, to give you referral?

    I don't think anyone here would be able to diagnosis your MRI. We are fellow sufferers as yourself and very willing to walk through your journey towards getting pain in control . And as you read the guidance from Liz, above, you'll see none of us are to attempt diagnosis.
    Although someone may come along who can relate to your issue...and they could share ther story .
    As you travel around the site, I found it helpful to use the search at top of page, for whatever I was interested in reading older posts very useful.
    Also, the article and videos very informative.
    Please keep in touch with your second opinion...and how you are doing!
    Good luck
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • im curious this as well. i have a similar report, ut my disc herniated to the left not right. i have pain on both sides of the body though.
  • Prior to my fusion surgery the MRI indicated my symptoms should all be in my rig side, but I felt them predominately on the left with some minor stuff on the right. For me, it ended up being a bone spur compressing the nerve, not seen on X-ray or MRI. I was recently told that the a specialized cat scan with dye injected directly into the spinal column would probably be the only way to see some bone (I can't think of the medical name of this scan right now)

    You are fortunate that the injections lasted months. Second opinions are definitely a good thing. I was told that if the injections did not last at least 6months, which they didn't-i had two weeks of pain free bliss, after three rounds the next best course of action would be fusion surgery, Everyone's case is different and only you and your doctors know what will be best for you, but this is what happened in my case with similar symptomology. Best wishes!
  • cynmarccynmar Texas, USAPosts: 64
    Absolutely! I had the same experience. Lumbar microdisectomy Feb, 2014. I have the same story as you except my pain was on the right side. My surgeon told me he removed the biggest bone spur he'd ever seen. I had immediate relief from the sciatic nerve, but I'm still experiencing pain with the damaged disc. I, too had two injections prior to surgery that didn't work. Now I'm headed back for more pain management unfortunately. And my lower back pain is now on the left where it should be. Dr says it's a different scenario after surgery. Good luck to you.
    Cervical foraminotomy 12/20/13 (herniated disc) C5-C6
    Lumbar microdisectomy 02/28/14 (herniated disc) L4-L5
    Mild Disc Bulge L5-S1
    Moderate Facet Arthrosis L4-L-5 w/gr1 Anterlolisthesis
    Spondylosis w/gr 1 Retrolisthesis L3-L-4
    Failed Back Surgery
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