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CT scan of lumbar spine showed disc bulge. Pain in buttock and leg. Taking Panadol. What options for treatment do I have?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
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I have just had a ct scan of the lumbar spine (no contrast) as I have extreme pain in the RIGHT side of my buttock and the back of my right leg, just under the buttock.
My scan results as follows: at the LEFT L4/5 foramen there is a left foraminal disc bulge indenting on the existing left L4 nerve root. No evidence of spinal canal stenosis. At the L5/S1 level there is mild degree of left lateral disc bulge contacting the left L4 nerve root. The right neural exit foramina appear capacious. Body height is intact and normal. Conclusion: Left foraminal disc bulge at L4/5 indenting the exiting left L4 nerve root. Left lateral disc bulge at L5/S1 indenting the left S1 nerve root.
What options for treatment do i have? Why is my pain radiating down the right hand side of my buttock and leg. what is best to allieviate the pain. Currently taking panadol osteo and stretching but both are not helping.
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
You have a disc prolapse with compression of nerve roots L4 and S1. This bed rest along with pain killers and muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants can help with your symptoms if used in appropriate dosage in combination with a potent analgesic.
You can get the appropriate drugs prescribed from your Orthopedician after examination.
Meanwhile you can follow these measures:
- If the pain is severe, you need bed rest till the pain resolves.
- Get some analgesics prescribed and apply analgesic spray or ointments.
- While resting, keep a pillow under your knees if it doesn't bother you.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Back strengthening exercises and stretching exercises for your hamstrings daily as advised by a Physiotherapist.
- Avoid exercises in times of pain.
- Improvise your posture while sitting.
- Using an LS contour belt of appropriate size might be helpful in providing support to back muscles.
Also, maintain a proper posture while working, sitting and standing. Keep your back straight. If you work for long hours on the computer, the following link will tell you the posture to maintain while working:
WWW.WWWW.WW Back strengthening exercises will also help.
Physiotherapy is also plays a major role in treating such conditions. Epidural steroid injections have been used if oral pain killers are not very effective and surgical treatment is not considered. Discuss with your orthopedician and an appropriate treatment can be planned depending on the response to medical drugs.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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