Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
167 Doctors are Online

Have a herniated disc confirmed from MRI. Had back pain, left leg pain and numbness. Epidural recommended?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9308 Questions
Question
Hello. I have a herniated disc at L2-L3, confirmed by MRI. The problem began about 8 weeks ago with back pain and left leg weakness/numbness (caused me to fall - that's what prompted the MRI). My treatment has been 9 days of prednisone at onset of condition, ice, daily gentle stretching exercises, over the counter ibuprofen, and spinal decompression (chiropractor - ExtendTrak). My pain is now minimal, but I still have some left leg weakness and numbness. I saw a physiatrist last week who recommended an epidural followed by physical therapy. I question the benefit of an epidural (with the risks and possible reactions) at this point in my recovery, when pain is not really an issue. If I continue with only the treatment I have described can I expect my recovery to progress?
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Back Pain
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
Since you have a minimal pain now, epidural injections are not required for recovery of mild numbness and weakness. The treatment you are getting right now is enough to cause complete recovery in next 4-6 weeks.
You must continue gentle stretching exercises and spinal decompression. Taking some methylcobalamin supplements orally will help in early recovery.
While resting, keep a pillow under your knees if it doesn't bother you.
Avoid lifting heavy objects. Improvise your posture while sitting.
I hope this answers your query effectively.
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.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have a herniated disc confirmed from MRI. Had back pain, left leg pain and numbness. Epidural recommended? 12 hours later
Thank you Dr. Tayal.

I have a trip to XXXXXXX (from New York City) planned for March 5th. The flight is about 5 1/2 hours. I don't intend to lift luggage and I plan to get up from my seat frequently but do you have any other suggestions for someone traveling with a healing herniated disc?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 7 hours later
Hello.

Thanks for writing again.

While traveling you must be careful regarding your sitting posture. Getting up from your seat frequently is a good idea.

You can ask for front seats with more leg space. There should not be any problem in such a journey by air.

Hope my answer is helpful. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wish you speedy recovery.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Have a herniated disc confirmed from MRI. Had back pain, left leg pain and numbness. Epidural recommended? 7 hours later
This is my last question. Once again, my MRI showed a "large herniation" at L2-L3. That was about 10 weeks ago. I have improved.

My question is, in your practice have you seen large herniations like this heal or be reabsorbed completely and how long would it probably take for this to happen? (I realize that every case is different.)

This has been so upsetting because of the initial leg weakness and falls that I took.
I want to hope that at the end of this I will once again be able to put full weight on my left leg without fear.

Thank you for your helpful answers and best regards.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 8 hours later
Hello,

Thanks again.

With appropriate rest, exercise and posture, herniations do heal. The time taken depends on the size of herniation and the efforts put in by the patient.

Your situation is most likely reversible with treatment. So don't worry, just consult your doctor and make a healthy start.

Hope I have answered all your queries. Do accept the answer if there are no further queries.

Wish you an early trouble free recovery.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Procedures

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Orthopaedic Surgeon

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor