Doc – I have a herniated disk protusion of 5mm between L4-L5 creating severe sciatic pain down my leg. I have been told that muscle dysfunction is likely the cause. I tried decompression for 3mo. and get temporary relief ~2hrs. Is it possible to reduce the protusion with epidural cortisone injections for inflammation in conjunction with decompression (or traction) and physical therapy? I want to avoid surgery.
Muscle dysfunction is not the cause of this problem but the result of the herniation. If you have no motor weakness but pain and numbness down your leg, in my practice, you would be a candidate for a physical therapy rehab program and an epidural steroid injection. This injection does not reduce the size of the herniation but reduces the inflammation around the nerve and “toughens” the nerve root. Traction is relatively ineffective for this disorder.
PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.