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Lumbar disc disease

Lumbar disc disease is the protrusion of the material between vertebral bodies[?] due to tearing of the fibrous tissue (which lies between the vertebral bodies and constrains the disc material inbetween) as a result of degeneration[?], trauma or other diseases. Symptoms (pain, loss of muscle strength and loss of touch sensation) may occur, if this herniation[?] causes the compression of the most proximal part of the nerve closely neighbouring the intervertebral disc material. Pain is in the distribution of the nerve compressed, usually down the back of the leg, side of the calf and inside of the foot (sciatica). Most commonly, the fourth, fifth lumbar and the first sacral nerve roots are impinged. In symptomatic cases the diagnosis should be established by an MRI scan. However, in cases with slight symptoms, a faster and cheaper CT scan (although it is inferior to MRI scan) may be recommended. Moreover, CT scan can show the bony structures in more detail. Initial treatment in lumbar disc disease is bedrest (although growing number of studies shows that it makes little difference) and pain relieving medications. In cases with ongoing pain despite conservative treatments, a surgical operation that will remove the compressing disc material is recommended.

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