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Pain in the back and leg after a fall, numbness in the thigh. Should I go to a doctor?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I fell this past week and it was a pretty hard fall. i am 199 cm and 130 kg so i am a big man. I am having a pain in my middle back running down into my lest butt cheek and left leg. My right leg the thigh area keeps going numb I am in Afghanistan and Need to come see someone can you help is this a major problem or something minor
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 23 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

Pain in the back which refers to left leg with numbness in right leg after a history of fall is suggestive of nerve root compression due to minor spinal injury or disc prolapse.

Most of the times such minor symptoms can be treated with medicines and proper physiotherapy. Signs of worsening of symptoms are- pain causing disability, numbness, weakness, loss of urinary or bowel control.

You need to get an MRI of the spine done to find out the type and extent of injury. A competent orthopedician can streamline the test and guide you through the treatment.

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.
- You can take methylcobalamin supplements to improve numbness.
In case the pain is severe, muscle relaxants are also needed for relief.

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.

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Dr. Praveen Tayal
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