healthy athletic 45 year old woman

by christy
(charlotte nc usa)

I was acutely stricken 4/2016, started 4 days before with pain in right groin, assumed just needed stretching; woke unable to stand more than an L shape, bent at waist facing floor, barely walking a few steps with pain in the right buttock, inner thigh and right quad.

Mri results indicated a possible anterior L4 disc sequester with nerve irritation; also had knee buckling in right and numbness in left calf.

I still have electricity feeling behind my left knee and right quad is visually smaller.

Neurosurgeon gave me steroids and pain meds.

I have returned to yoga and gym but still feel odd;
worried for a recurrence mainly. The quad still aches;
it has been 5 months since acute onset.

Chiropractor helped, neuro said do not return.
Thanks.

Hello Christy,
I always say the direction counts; are you better than a month ago and still improving? Are the signs improving? For example, I'm sure you had a strongly positive femoral nerve stretch. Is it less strong.

The knee jerk reflex is almost certainly zero and will probably never return; that's not critical but regaining the size and strength of the quad is vital. If you have numbness it may continue but you can live with that.

I'm concerned that you still have pain in that quad, and I presume it continues to give on steps and even walking. Do you have a marked limp?

Also is of concern is that you have tingling in the other leg too.

You are right to be concerned about a recurrence; be extremely careful if you're back at the gym. Something there probably caused it in the first place. Are you doing daily back exercises at home?

A sequestered disc is extremely serious and you're lucky not to have been operated on. I've had one myself, so I know the pain you've been through.

It's really your decision what to do from here. There is a certain amount of risk have further chiropractic treatment, particularly by an inexperienced person, but your chiro has helped you, so you say.

Frankly there's also considerable risk if you do nothing; you may end up with a permanently weak quad. In my book it's vital that the femoral stretch is less painful and tight, and the quad is slowly regaining strength.

If the quad reflex was unaffected then there's a whole question of the diagnosis. I'm a little surprised a L4 disc gave you pain in the groin. Did the tingling and pain continue down the inner lower leg?

Lots of questions, Christy and no easy answers. I myself have recovered completely with chiropractic care, but many chiropractors wouldn't touch a sequestered disc. In fact I wouldn't have for the first twenty years of my career.

Good luck, I hope this contributes.

Let me know how you get on. In good grammar please; I spent nearly as much time correcting your no so smart phone English as writing this reply!

Dr B

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