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  • lobograndemalo
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    Post count: 1

    Dr. Corenman,
    I have lower back pain that goes to my left buttock and when agitated the pain goes down past knee. I like to lift heavy and I’m a Soldier so I must do PT. The doctor is telling me to stop all lifting and PT. My question is will it heal? Will I ever be able to lift again? Will surgery allow me to lift again and at same strength levels? The less I work out the better it feels, but it never goes away. It even limits the range of motion that my left leg can move and somewhat my right leg also but not as much.
    Below I have posted what the doctor put on my MRI CD.

    1. Mild disc bulging and central protrusion at L3-4.
    2. Disc bulging with central extrusion and narrowing of central/lateral canals at L4-5.
    3. Disc bulging and central protrusion at L5-S1.
    4. No abnormal signal intensity in bone marrow or spinal cord.

    Thanks you.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8436

    You have lower back pain that radiates into your left buttocks and occasionally radiates below your left knee. You do not mention when the onset of pain occurred. Was it gradual or immediate as the result of an action like lifting? Did you have long standing intermittent lower back pain that increased recently? Is the buttocks and leg pain newer onset or just increased in intensity?

    Is the lower back pain or the leg pain worse and by what amount? Example- 60% low back pain and 40% buttocks and leg pain or 70/30 or 30/70? What makes the low back and leg pain worse? Standing vs. sitting vs. lifting vs. walking vs.???????????

    Your MRI notes degenerative disc disease at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1. You have a rather large herniated disc at L4-5 which fills up about a third of the canal and is compressing the L5 nerve root on the left. That explains your leg pain. Your lower back pain could be from the three degenerative discs, the herniation itself, stenosis from the herniation (see web site) or even the facets.

    I don’t know what facilities you have there but an epidural steroid injection and physical therapy are the initial tools I use for this disorder in the beginning. You may eventually need surgery but if you have no motor weakness, the conservative route is the one to take in the beginning. To test for motor weakness, simply heel walk (duck walk) around the room. If your left forefoot stays off the ground with prolonged walking, you have no significant motor weakness. If you have weakness, surgery should be considered.

    By the way- using flicker to show your images worked very well. That was a great idea.

    Dr. Corenman

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