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Central disc protrusion l5 S1

 Hi everyone,my name is Dave.I got my MRI back a few weeks ago and the results showed a minor disc bulge at L4 L5 and central disc protrusion at L5 S1,which has been causing sciatica symptoms down both legs on and off since the beginning of November.I re-injured my back at the end of October. I took time off work and it’s been like 3 weeks since I haven’t gone back, and afraid I won’t be able to work for awhile.Anyways I am worried this will take awhile to heal and I am in the process of sponsoring my wife who lives in another country and I need to be working to help her get to Canada.So I don’t know how much time it’s going to take to heal.I’m also worried about the nature of my injury, its a central disc protrusion and I have heard of some people getting “ cauda equina” from central disc herniations, which concerns me.From my MRI readings it seems like a small disc protrusion but its still out there and touching the nerves,hence why I feel the sciatica diwn both legs sometimes,especially the right leg and foot.Should I be concerned about this? My family doc told me just to be careful and that the MRI report said it was a central disc protrusion but that it looks “ stable”.I forgot to mention that it gets irritated when I sit too long or stand too long, and i spend most of the day lying down with legs raised and that seems to bring relief. What should I do? Should I get a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon or neuro surgeon? I am real worried and have been thinking about this every day. Please help.



  • You need to talk to a orthopedic or neurosurgeon about this, disc material is contacting the nerves and something needs to be done sooner than later, that does not mean surgery is the only option, there are many treatments that may help this, but only a qualified spine doctor can help you with it. You don't want this to cause permanent nerve damage. 

    Spine-Health Moderator

  • @challenger: Thanks I will try to get a hold of one and see what he thinks.Although I am a little nervous of getting back surgery, since I heard of people getting worse or re- herniating their discs.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,229

    Welcome to Spine Health
    All new members should take the System Tutorial

    I agree with challenger, get a second opinion. But remember, everyone is different. So many people have surgery and are fine afterwards. And there are some that don't.
    If you do get another opinion,please come back here and le us know how it went.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Dave as I said there are many treatments out there for bulging discs that do not require surgery such as epidural injections and physical therapy, if they don't work then you will have to make the surgery decision. I was hardheaded about surgery myself and have some permanent nerve damage to show for it, that's what you don't want. Good luck and let us know

    Spine-Health Moderator

  • It’s important to remember that just because conservative treatments don’t work doesn’t mean you’ll be offered surgery or are even a candidate for surgery.

    This is the conundrum and pickle that I currently find myself in.

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  • @ challenger: I would rather avoid epidural injections due to the risks involved, especially with the nerves.

    I want to give physical therapy a try but don’t know if it will help since I cant stand or walk for long periods of time, and any flexion or extension activates the sciatica. I guess the protrusion is close to the nerves and any back and forth movement triggers it. 

    I will see what a spine specialist says if I can get a hold of one. Like I said central disc protrusions make me nervous, since that canal is small and cuada nerves are right there.I would be less concerned if it was a lateral disc protrusion.

  • @ memerainbolt

    Yes I have I heard mixed results from people as well. It’s like playing russian roulette it seems,but if I do decide to go with it ,I hope and pray everything goes well. I will let you guys know what happens.

  • @L4 L5: what issues are you having?

  • @ L4 L5: Just read your thread.How bad is your sciatic symtoms and is surgery a possibility for you?

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