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Having pain in calf muscle and lower back. MRI showed diffuse disc bulge with annular tear

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
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my mri shows "diffuse disc bulge with annular tear at l5-s1 level leading to effacement of anterior fat planes. Mild disc bulge with ligamentum flava hypertrophy and bilateral facetal hypertrophy at l4-5 level leading to mild thecal sac compression:

pl tell how critical my position as i am also having pain in my calf muscles at night mostly and regular pain in my lower back pain, what is the solution sir.
Posted Wed, 3 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Prasad Akole 34 minutes later
Dear friend,

Welcome and thanks for entrusting your query here at XXXXXXX

I am Dr. Prasad Akole (Critical Care Expert- and am glad to address to your query here.

You are not critical at all.

The MRI must have been done for backache and it reveals a ‘slipped disc’!
At L5-S1 level (lower back) there is a slipped inter-vertebral disc and some tear in the disc causing it to protrude forward causing some pressure and hence your pain.

Also there is thickening of the small facet joints of the vertebrae that bind them to each other and the binder band (Ligamentum) at L4-5 level. This is pressurizing the last part of spinal cord sac which is responsible for the pain and maybe some tingling/ numbness in the calves (areas supplied by the compressed nerves.)

This is by no way serious. At this level spinal cord has already ended (at L2) and only some nerve may get irritated or mildly compressed. No paralysis will occur.

However you should be guided by a spine surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate manually and advise you accordingly. Mostly pain killers and physiotherapy, strengthening exercises will be advised.

Advancement of pain may necessitate surgery occasionally. Nowadays minimally invasive day care surgery is possible.

So, do not worry. I would advise to act on your specialist’s advice.

Avoid strenuous activities. Till evaluation, can use simple pain killers like paracetamol and local application of pain gels/ sprays.

I hope to have answered your query satisfactorily. I would be glad to answer any further queries. Please ask for any clarifications before closing and rating this answer.

Take care and please keep me informed of your progress at

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