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So what is the difference between a bulging and herniated disc...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
This is my first post here and I have a few questions. I have been diagnosed with a bulging disc L5-S1. I have had this pain on and off for several years, however, about a month ago it became worse. Another MRI was done and it showed foraminal disc bulging. This extends into the interval space and contributes to flattening of the ventral sac in the midline. There is no displacement of the emerging s1 nerve root. So, could someone explain this to me. I have numbness in my foot and leg, along with weakness and the horrific pain in the leg and back. I have tried injection in the past which has worked, however, I had another one last week and it did nothing. My ortho doctor has sent me to a spine/neurosurgeon tomorrow afternoon. He ( the ortho doctor) is suggesting a microdiscectomy. It seems, by the MRI results, that there is no displacement of the nerve, however, does that mean that the nerve is not pinched, because the ortho guy seemed to say it was.

Sorry for the long post but there is so much to understand and I was hoping one of you dear ones could put this in simple terms. Thanks you so much for your help. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    Here is a direct link:
    Difference between Bulging and Herniated Disc

    But please, also visit our FAQ for more details
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • You will have an answer soon enough. I imagine at your appointment tomorrow you will learn that the nerve is being compromised at some point or you would not have the symptoms that you have been experiencing. Nerves are imaged on the MRI, but not as clearly as one would like. And as I would interpret your notes, it just states that the nerve is not being displaced as it exits from the central cord area. Obviously, it is being irritated somehow!!
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