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Disc prolapse causing leg pain and numbness

Q: Due to injury during weight training I suffered from acute disc lesion at L4-L5 and L5-S1. MRI showed mild compression of nerve root nerve by the swollen and protuded disc causing leg pain and numbness in feet. I was on bed rest for 8 weeks and following that on physiotherapy. I have returned to work but after one month, during a long tour, pain reappeared with similar but mild symptoms. The doctor initially advised surgery but due to good recovery I avoided it. But due to recurrence of pain I am once again in dilemma. Shall I go for fusion or some type of disc cleanup? What is the success rate of such surgery? What rest is advised after surgery? What is expeced cost of such surgery?

A:Since you have recurrent pain despite bed rest for 8 weeks, it appears that the compression of the nerve(s) in your spinal canal is severe. Numbness in the feet also points to this conclusion. Under the circumstances, especially if the pain is interfering with your daily activities, surgery to relieve the nerves may be the only answer. The operation usually consists of removing the offending disc tissue and ensuring that no further material from that disc emerges to cause recurrent compression. The surgery, properly performed, has an excellent chance of success. The patient is usually made to stand and walk within a day or two of the operation. In most instances, the patient can resume work within 3 - 6 weeks provided the occupation does not involve lifting weights, bending or squatting. The cost depends on the hospital where you choose to get the operation done and the kind of luxury you demand.

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