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What does 'right posterolateral disc protrusion at L5/S1' indicate?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5931 Questions
Hi, I have been suffering from lower back pain and pain that radiates from my right buttock to the back of my right thigh. for the past 2 months. I had an MRI and the findings were " Right posterolateral disc protrusion at L5/S1 compressing the thecal sac and right S1 nerve root causing severe lateral recess stenosis.My doctor told to take bed rest for 4days and gave me steroids to cure it. Is there any other treatment? Will I be able to have a normal life and get back to work? Thanks
Posted Sun, 16 Feb 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 52 minutes later
Brief Answer: You have to do physiotherapy exercises. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for your query. I have gone through the report attached. You are suffering from prolapsed inter vertebral disc compressing upon a nerve root that either exits or traverses through that level. After initial bed rest and medications(muscle relaxant with analgesic,and neurotropic medicine), you have to do physiotherapy in form of stretching & strengthening exercises in which you have to stretch tight muscle & strengthen weakened ones which will alleviate stress on facet joint and disc. Instead of giving oral steroid, epidural steroid injections in back is more beneficial. You must avoid any activity that aggravates the condition, like bending forward and lifting heavy objects, sitting long hours on computer, inappropriate sitting posture, etc. Drink lots of fluids since dehydration affects the disc. Do not worry, You will be able to have a normal life and get back to work. If you don’t get better with these treatment , another option is surgery, by which the nerves are decompressed by removing the protruded disc (discectomy), which would significantly improve your symptoms. I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query. Take care
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Follow-up: What does 'right posterolateral disc protrusion at L5/S1' indicate? 18 minutes later
Hello Dr XXXXXXX I would like to ask for how long should I do these physio therapy. Also what kind of bending forward should I avoid. It becomes very hard since I have a 3 year old & at times I need to to take care of him. Please explain more on that. Also is 4 days of bed rest enough? Are there any risks involved in epidural steroids? Usually how long does it take for this symptom to reside. Also what kind of preventive checks I should get done to prevent this reoccurring. Is it safe to conceive again? Where is the best place that I can get the surgery done if required. Are there any risks again? Thank You,
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 21 hours later
Brief Answer: Following are answers to your questions. Detailed Answer: Hi, Avoid lifting weights by leaning forward or bending your back. Rather sit and lift the object. 4 days of bed rest is enough. Prolonged bed rest is not recommended as it causes weakening of back muscles. Generally, however, there are few risks associated with epidural steroid injections and they tend to be rare. Risks may include: Infection,bleeding, nerve damage, dural puncture. It will usually takes 6 weeks to 3 months for symptoms to reside with physiotherapy and conservative treatment. To prevent recurrence of such episodes, you have to do back exercises regularly. Yes it is safe to conceive again. You can get the surgery done by a well qualified spine surgeon in your country if required.As with any surgery, there are some risks. There is a slight risk of damaging the spine or nerves. There is some risk of infection. There are risks with anaesthesia. I hope I have answered your query to your satisfaction. Please feel free to revert back in case you need any clarifications. Wishing you speedy recovery.......
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