Sudden back pain radiated to the leg with previous history of discectomy L5-S1

Patient

Q: I'm 17, had a lot of back problems (bulging disc L5S1) (was unable to sit down for 6 months) had microdiscectomy surgery 4 months ago. been perfect ever since til now when i went down stairs way too fast 30 mins ago and had huge pain, i think all over my back, but i dont really remember where. felt a lot better straight ater but still a lot of pain, not really too much around my disc or middle lower back, mainly all the way down the right side. i dont think i am getting any sciatica. i have iced it and had an anti inflammatory. do you think i may have re-bulged my disc? or is it most likely muscular. i will o course see my doctor tomorrow if im still this bad just want an honest opinion thank u so much

Doctor

A:   A herniated disc may produce a root nerve compression at a given level of the spine that causes an inflammation of the nerves and radiated pain to the arms or legs depending on the level of compression. If this compression progresses, meaning, gets worse over the time, it can produce irreversible damage of the nerve root, then the discectomy is performed to decompress the nerve root involved so the neurological symptoms (numbness, tingling and pain local and radiated to the legs) improve and also avoid further damage to the nerve. The first treatment for a herniated disk is a short period of rest with pain and anti-inflammatory medications, followed by physical therapy. Most people who follow these treatments will recover and return to their normal activities. A small number of people need to have further treatment, which may include steroid injections or surgery. Changes in your lifestyle are a must, like diet and exercise are crucial to improving back pain by controlling weight .Physical therapy is important for nearly everyone with disk disease. Therapists will tell you how to properly lift, dress, walk, and perform other activities. They will work on strengthening the muscles that help support the spine. You will also learn flexibility of the spine and legs. Steroid injections into the back in the area of the herniated disk may help control pain for several months. Such injections reduce swelling around the disk and relieve many symptoms. Spinal injections are usually done on an outpatient basis.

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