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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to the board. You did mess yourself up exercising. In fact you have an extruding disc located toward the base of your spine between the lumbar 5 and sacral 1 vertebrae.

The disc is comprised of a tough outer membrane that is reminiscent of a radial tire. This membrane wraps in concentric circles around the inner center of the disc, called the nucleus. This center part of the disc is a soft gelatinous matter that is normally contained by the outer layer. But sometimes, the outer layer rips or tears, allowing some of the nucleus to squish out.
I don't know whether this is the case here....but the MRI reports that the disc material is pushing out beyond the disc space toward the left side, left of center, where it is coming in contact with the S1 right spinal nerve.

Since the disc material is pushing out more on the left side, it is compressing the S1 spinal nerve on the left side and it is also indenting the thecal sac. (The thecal sac is a tough membrane that contains the spinal fluid and nerves in the central canal. Since it contains nerves, when something is pushing into it, thereby making the space smaller than normal, it results in nerve pain that radiates down the leg and may feel tingly or even numb.)

The other phrases indicate normalcy -- the spinal cord terminates at the L1 level and appears to be normal above this point.

There are a number of terms that are used for a disc herniation...among them, ruptured, extruded, prolapsed, even slipped. There are slight differences in terminology, but even doctors use different terms for the same condition.

Your doctor indicated you have a prolapsed disc that requires treatment. I cannot say what the specialist will say in your country, but here in the US you would be examined to determine the neurological damage. Most likely conservative treatments such as a course of physical therapy, oral medications to reduce pain and inflammation would be given, and most likely a series of epidural steroid injections would be given to reduce inflammation.

The disc can heal on its own, but depending on the size of the herniation and the amount of nerve compression, a discectomy may be suggested.

Hope this helps, and that you feel better soon.

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