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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have lumbar spine issue with numbness and pain in my feet. Why i am getting back pain?

Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
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Yes. I have a lumbar spine issue, with numbness and pain in my feet. Specifically, I have two herniated disks at L2-3, L3-4, which protrude moderately to severely into the thecal sac. I ,also, have quite severe back pain in that area. I am essentially disababled, because of my inability to walk and the pain caused in my back and feet. Is this condition treatable and is there a case for radiclopathy?
Wed, 26 Dec 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 26 minutes later

Thank you for posting your query.

First of all, I would like to let you know that your problem is treatable.

Herniated discs in your case are at L2-3 and L3-4. Nerve compression at those levels would not lead to symptoms in the feet, but the symptoms would be confined to thighs and legs. For symptoms in feet, one should have disc herniation at L4-5 and/or L5-S1 levels. However, your back pain is related to the disc herniations that you have.

So, we still need to find out the reasons for pain and numbness in your feet. Common reasons for the same could be a peripheral neuropathy (disease of the nerves of feet), which in turn could be caused by diabetes, neurologist could help in that, as a radiculopathy, the typical symptom is a radiating pain, which starts in the lower back and radiates to the feet. This pain may increase on walking or coughing.

For treatment, the initial approach is with medications (such as gabapentin or pregabalin) and physiotherapy. 90% people respond to this treatment. In the remaining 10% people, surgery may be needed.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.

Wishing you good health,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
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