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Do all disc prolapses requi...

Do all disc prolapses require surgery?

By Mr George Ampat, Consultant Spinal Surgeon,

90% of disc prolapses get better within 6 weeks. Sequential MRI scans in patients with disc prolapse show that the herniation/disc bulge/prolapse will naturally regress with me even without surgery. 

See what happened to a lady in her mid-20s 

MRI scan of lower back after disc prolapse

 

These are the vertical sections of the lower back seen on an MRI scan. The lady developed severe back and leg pain due to a disc prolapse. The image on the right is same as that on the left but the discs have their edges traced in various colours. The disc marked with the green border shows a good disc. The disc marked with the orange border shows a degenerate/dark disc. The disc marked with the red border shows a disc that has prolapsed into the spinal canal and is pressing the nerve (marked in blue). The pressure on the nerve causes the leg pain. 

A year later 

MRI scan of lower back one year after disc prolapse

 

MRI scan of the same lady a year later showing near complete resolution of the disc prolapse. She did not have an operation. The disc prolapse resolved naturally. The residual symptoms were well controlled with core stability exercises and yoga. 

 
885477791
885477791