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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is it risky to undergo surgery for L4 L5 disc prolapse?

Sir I have L-4, L-5 Disc prolapse. Pain on my waist spread through my entire right leg and a tingling sensation. For that my sleep breaks at 3 or 5 am almost everyday. doctor prescribed me pregabalin and baclofen. I causes sleepiness dizziness which gives me a happy feeling. Now all i want is a sound sleep. what should I do? I have shown my MRI to many doctors. the Neuro surgeons tell me to go for surgery and the therapists tell me to go for conservative measures. The pain is increasing day by day. what should i do to have a sound sleep? and is the surgery too risky?
Thu, 18 Jun 2015
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello there,

Due to an L4-L5 disc prolapse the cushioning discs between your spine are out of place. This leads to the discs are compressing against the nerves in your lower spine(lumbar spine). This irritates the nerve and causes shooting pains and spasms along the distribution of the nerve. Generally starting from the back, moving on to the back of the thigh and going to the heel.

The treatment for this involves-
1) You sleeping on a hard surface. The mattress that you sleep on should be firm not soft or uneven.
2) Doing lower back strengthening exercises under physiotherapy
3) Accupressure/accupunture therapies are also of some help but go to a therapist only if you have talked to the patients he has treated first and they can see an improvement in their symptoms.

Meds which are painkillers like vicodin or tramadol are a temporary fix as they only treat the symptom(pain) but do not treat the cause of pain.

It would take you upto 2 months to start seeing positive results under physiotherapy but being regular is the only way you can keep off the pain.


Now in my professional opinion both surgery and conservative measures have equal chances of success. And even though surgery can be done and seems to be an instant kind of solution it also requires rehabilitation and quite some time where you would be bed ridden and would require assistance for daily chores. Physiotherapy/chiropractice or accupressure is a more holistic approach to treatment and cures you in a longer timeframe but you will have a lesser phase of being bed ridden.


Hope this helps, Please get back to me with any further queries. I would be glad to help you,
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Is it risky to undergo surgery for L4 L5 disc prolapse?

Hello there, Due to an L4-L5 disc prolapse the cushioning discs between your spine are out of place. This leads to the discs are compressing against the nerves in your lower spine(lumbar spine). This irritates the nerve and causes shooting pains and spasms along the distribution of the nerve. Generally starting from the back, moving on to the back of the thigh and going to the heel. The treatment for this involves- 1) You sleeping on a hard surface. The mattress that you sleep on should be firm not soft or uneven. 2) Doing lower back strengthening exercises under physiotherapy 3) Accupressure/accupunture therapies are also of some help but go to a therapist only if you have talked to the patients he has treated first and they can see an improvement in their symptoms. Meds which are painkillers like vicodin or tramadol are a temporary fix as they only treat the symptom(pain) but do not treat the cause of pain. It would take you upto 2 months to start seeing positive results under physiotherapy but being regular is the only way you can keep off the pain. Now in my professional opinion both surgery and conservative measures have equal chances of success. And even though surgery can be done and seems to be an instant kind of solution it also requires rehabilitation and quite some time where you would be bed ridden and would require assistance for daily chores. Physiotherapy/chiropractice or accupressure is a more holistic approach to treatment and cures you in a longer timeframe but you will have a lesser phase of being bed ridden. Hope this helps, Please get back to me with any further queries. I would be glad to help you,