If you have a herniated disc paralysis and are considering surgery, you may be worried that the procedure could leave you paralyzed.
A herniated disc is a common condition that can cause neck or back pain. It occurs when a tear in the outer layer of an intervertebral disc allows some of the inner material to push outward against the spinal cord or nerves, which can cause numbness, tingling, weakness and pain.
Herniated discs usually do not require surgery. In many cases, nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy or medications are successful at relieving symptoms and allowing patients to avoid invasive procedures.
However, if nonsurgical treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from your symptoms, then surgery might be an option for you. Although there are many different types of surgeries available for treating herniated discs, all of them involve making an incision in your back and removing some portion of your damaged disc material.
While this type of procedure does carry some risks associated with any type of surgery — including infection and bleeding — it generally does not cause paralysis
A herniated disc can cause paralysis if it presses on the spinal cord. This can result in temporary or permanent paralysis of one or more limbs. The most common causes of paralysis due to a herniated disc are:
Spinal cord compression. A herniated disc can compress the spinal cord, which may cause temporary or permanent paralysis. The most common symptoms of this type of injury include pain and numbness in one or both legs.
Cauda equina syndrome (CES). CES occurs when pressure from a herniated disc compresses the nerve roots that exit from the spinal canal near the tailbone (cauda equina). It’s a rare but serious condition that can lead to permanent loss of bowel and bladder function, as well as other symptoms such as weakness in your legs and difficulty walking.
There are many causes of spinal cord injury (SCI), including herniated discs. The spinal cord is the part of the nervous system that carries messages between the brain and other parts of the body. A herniated disc occurs when a tear in the outer layer of an intervertebral disc allows some fluid to leak out into the spinal canal. This can cause pressure on your spinal cord, which can lead to paralysis if left untreated.
In general, most cases of paralysis following spinal surgery are temporary and resolve within several months after surgery. However, there is a small risk of permanent paralysis following surgery for a herniated disc. Paralysis may occur if your surgeon accidentally cuts through the spinal cord during surgery or if there is damage to the spinal cord due to other factors such as infection or bleeding around the site where your surgeon made an incision into your spine during surgery.
The answer to this question is no, herniated disc surgery can not cause paralysis. This is because a herniated disc is simply a bulge or tear in the innermost layer of your spine’s cushioning called the annulus fibrosus.
The annulus fibrosus contains many nerve roots that exit the spinal cord and travel through it to reach different parts of your body. This means that if you have a herniated disc, there is still an intact spinal cord underneath it.
If you’ve had a herniated disc, you may have heard that it can cause paralysis. This is true in some cases when the spinal cord itself becomes damaged by pressure from the bulging disc. However, this is rare because most people with a herniated disc don’t have any symptoms at all until they experience back pain or numbness in their leg or foot.
Can you become paralyzed from herniated disc?
The herniated disc can cause pain in the back and neck or even loss of feeling in the arms, hands and legs. It’s a serious condition that can cause permanent damage to your spine if not treated properly.
If you have a herniated disc, you might experience:
Limited range of motion in your neck or back.
Pain that travels from your lower back up through your upper body.
Weakness or numbness in one or more limbs.
Difficulty walking due to weakness in your leg muscles.
It is possible, but not likely. Most people who develop a herniated disc do not become paralyzed as a result.
Herniated discs are not common causes of paralysis. If a person has a herniated disc and becomes paralyzed, it’s usually due to other medical problems or complications caused by the herniation itself.
Herniated discs are most often found in people between the ages of 20 and 40. Most of these people have no symptoms from their herniated disc until it ruptures or presses on a nerve root. This can cause pain and numbness in one leg or arm, which may cause weakness or loss of feeling in parts of the body controlled by that nerve root. The most common complaints are pain in the back or neck and numbness in the arms or legs, but symptoms may also include headaches, balance problems and muscle weakness (spasticity).
A relatively small percentage of patients who have herniated disks experience neurological problems such as weakness or paralysis after an MRI scan shows that they have this condition. This happens when pressure builds up against the spinal cord because the disk has shifted out of place, causing damage to its protective covering (the dura mater).
Herniated discs are a common cause of lower back pain. In fact, about 80 percent of people experience some sort of herniation at least once in their lives, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
A herniated disc occurs when the softer center portion of an intervertebral disc pushes through its tough outer covering and into the spinal canal, which contains the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Herniated discs can cause many different symptoms depending on where they occur in your spine and what nerve root they affect. In general, however, you might experience:
Pain that radiates into your buttocks or thighs
Weakness or numbness in your legs (sciatica)
Tingling or burning sensation in your legs or feet
A herniated disc can cause a lot of problems, but it doesn’t usually lead to paralysis.
A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like center of the disc ruptures through its outer wall, or annulus. This allows some of the nucleus material to press against the spinal cord or nerve roots and cause compression. The amount of compression may vary from one patient to another depending on where their herniated disc lies.
Herniated discs are common in the spine and can cause back pain, leg pain and numbness or tingling in the extremities. The spinal cord is protected by vertebral bones above and below it, so if you have a herniated disc that’s pressing on your spinal cord, you probably won’t lose any feeling below that level.
But there are other potential complications associated with herniated discs:
If your doctor suspects that your symptoms may be caused by a herniated disc, he or she will order an MRI scan of your back to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions that could be causing similar symptoms (such as tumors).
What are the risks of herniated disc surgery?
There are risks of any surgery. Before you decide to have surgery, make sure you understand what your options are and what the potential complications are.
Complications of herniated disc surgery include:
Dangerous blood clots in your leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism)
Damage to other nearby nerves or blood vessels
Numbness or weakness in the area where the surgery was done
Spinal fluid leak that causes a collection of spinal fluid at the site of surgery
Herniated discs are a common cause of back pain. A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like center of an intervertebral disc pushes through a tear in its surrounding, outer ring.
The risk of complications from surgery for a herniated disc is small but real. Certain factors increase your risk of serious complications after surgery.
The most common complication is nerve injury during surgery. Other possible complications include bleeding, infection and blood clots in the leg or lung.
Risks vary depending on your individual situation and the type of surgery you undergo.
In general, herniated discs are treated conservatively with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. However, surgery is sometimes necessary. Surgery to treat a herniated disc is called a discectomy.
The risks of the surgery include:
Allergic reactions to the anesthesia (rare)
Blood clots (thromboembolism) in the legs or lungs (very rare)
Infection of the surgical site (very rare)
Bleeding at the surgical site (very rare).
Most people who have herniated discs can be treated with nonsurgical methods. But some people need surgery to treat their herniated disc.
The risks of surgery for a herniated disc depend on the type of surgery that’s done and your overall health. Surgery for a herniated disc can have complications, including:
Reaction to anesthesia
Damage to nerves or blood vessels in the spine
Herniated disc surgery has been linked to arthritis. The risk is higher if you smoke or are obese before surgery than if you don’t.
How common is paralysis after back surgery?
How common is paralysis after back surgery?
Paralysis is a rare complication of back surgery. About 1 in 10,000 to 20,000 patients will experience it.
What are the causes of paralysis after back surgery?
Some causes of paralysis after back surgery include:
Infection (such as sepsis or meningitis). This is one of the most common causes of paralysis following back surgery.
Spinal cord injury due to bleeding or inflammation around the spinal cord. The bleeding or inflammation can result from injury during surgery or from an underlying condition such as cancer or osteoporosis. In some cases, the bleeding or inflammation may be caused by an infection that spreads from the lungs into the spine (called thoracic epidural abscess).
How common is paralysis after back surgery?
In general, the risk of paralysis after any type of back surgery is very low. The chance of losing some function after fusion surgery is even lower.
It’s hard to know exactly how many people suffer from this complication because it’s not always reported in medical literature. However, some estimates suggest that up to one in every 5,000 patients may become paralyzed after spinal surgery.
Patients who have had spinal fusion are at higher risk for paralysis than those who have had other types of back surgery. However, even in these cases, the risk is still very low — around one in every 6,000 to 7,000 cases.
The risk of paralysis after back surgery is relatively low. However, it’s important to be aware of potential complications and symptoms that can occur following surgery.
The risk of paralysis after surgery is related to the type of procedure performed and the number of vertebrae in the spinal column that are affected by the spinal cord injury. The most common types of back surgeries are:
Laminectomy – A laminectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove part or all of a vertebral lamina. A lamina is one of several layers that make up the vertebrae in your spine. During this procedure, an incision is made through the skin and muscles on one side of your spine. In some cases, a small portion of bone may also be removed from above the damaged disc space to provide more room for your spinal cord.
Discectomy – A discectomy is a procedure used to remove herniated or bulging disks that press on nerves within your spine. During this operation, an incision is made into your back so that damaged disks can be removed from around nerve roots. If you have severe degenerative disk disease or stenosis along with nerve root compression, your surgeon may recommend fusion surgery as well as discectomy
The overall risk of paralysis after back surgery is low. The most common cause of paralysis after surgery is when the spinal cord itself is damaged. This happens in about 1 out of every 10,000 surgeries.
The risk of paralysis after back surgery depends on many factors:
The type of surgery you have. Spinal fusion, which joins two or more vertebrae together, carries a higher risk than other types of surgery.
Your age and overall health. Younger patients and those with other medical conditions are at greater risk for complications.
Whether or not you smoke or drink alcohol regularly before and during your recovery period. Smoking causes inflammation in the lungs, which can increase your risk for infection after surgery. Alcohol can cause dehydration and interfere with healing from an operation.
Can you get paralyzed from a discectomy?
A discectomy is a type of surgery that removes the herniated disc material compressing the spinal cord. The purpose of the surgery is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and alleviate symptoms such as pain and weakness.
The surgical procedure takes around 45 minutes to an hour and involves making a small incision in your back to access the spine. The surgeon will then remove part of your damaged disc, which is often replaced with an artificial disc made out of plastic or metal.
While discectomy is a common procedure, it’s not without risks. It’s possible to get paralyzed from a discectomy if there are complications during or after surgery. These complications include:
Paralysis from nerve damage: The most common complication associated with discectomy is damage to nerve roots, which can lead to paralysis or loss of feeling in one or more limbs. This can occur because the surgeon accidentally nicks one or more nerves as he or she removes damaged tissue from around the spinal cord during surgery.
Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding occurs when you lose too much blood during or after surgery due to trauma from instruments used during the procedure or from uncontrolled bleeding following
There is a risk of paralysis after a discectomy. This risk is very low, but it is possible. The most common cause of paralysis after a discectomy is bleeding in the spinal canal. The blood can compress the nerve roots and cause permanent damage to them.
Another cause of paralysis after discectomy is infection. Infection can lead to meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord), which can also cause permanent damage to nerves that are compressed by fluid in the spinal canal.
There are other causes of paralysis after a discectomy, but these are less likely than bleeding or infection.
Yes, you can get paralyzed from a discectomy. Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Spinal stenosis is most common in people who have osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease (DDD). The risk of a spinal cord injury during discectomy depends on several factors, including the type of procedure performed and your overall health.
The purpose of a discectomy is to remove herniated (protruding) disc material that presses against the nerve root or spinal cord. There are two basic types of discectomy: open surgery and minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Open discectomies require an incision through which the spine surgeon accesses the damaged disc and removes it surgically. MIS procedures involve small incisions and use cameras to guide surgical instruments through tiny openings in your skin.
Complications with either type of discectomy include bleeding, infection, paralysis and damage to nearby organs such as the bladder or bowel (intestines).
Stenosis risk factors include age, smoking history, hypertension and obesity (being overweight).
I am a 32 year old male and I had my L5-S1 disc removed 3 weeks ago.
I had a very bad pain in my lower back that radiated down into my right leg. The pain was so bad that I could not walk without a cane. I also had severe sciatica down my leg.
The doctors said that I needed surgery and that the chances of getting paralyzed were very slim. They said that most people who get paralyzed from this type of surgery are older than 50 years old or they have had previous back surgery before.
The doctor told me that there was a possibility that I could get paralyzed from this surgery but it was very unlikely. He also said that if I did get paralyzed it would only be temporary because he would leave enough nerves in place for them to regenerate after the operation is over (he did not cut any nerve roots).
The doctor explained to me exactly what he was going to do during the operation so I knew exactly what to expect afterwards including when I would start feeling better again and when I could go back to work etc…
I had this operation done at one of the best hospitals in town (it’s considered one of the top 5 hospitals in Canada). The hospital has two neurosurgeons on staff
Can L5 S1 cause paralysis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal at the level of the lumbar spine, typically due to degenerative changes. The most common symptoms are back pain and sensory loss (numbness).
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include pain in the lower back and buttocks, numbness or tingling in the legs, difficulty walking and bowel incontinence.
The answer to your question is no.
L5 S1 is a vertebral level and it does not cause paralysis.
The L4-S1 disc is the most common disc to herniate and cause sciatica or leg pain.
I hope this helps.
Yes, L5 S1 is the most common site of disc herniation. However, it does not always cause pain or injury to the adjacent nerve roots, nor does it always cause paralysis. The most important factor in determining whether or not a disc herniation at L5 S1 will cause pain and/or nerve root symptoms is whether or not the disc prolapses through the spinal canal. If it does, then there will be damage to the nerve roots as they pass through this area.
If a person has a herniated disc and no other injury or disease process that has caused nerve root compression, then they may have some degree of weakness but not paralysis. If there is an additional process causing compression on the nerve roots (such as an infection), then they may have more significant weakness or paralysis than when only considering the disc alone.
L5 S1 is the vertebrae at the base of the spine. It is a common area to have herniated discs or bulging discs.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain can be caused by many different things, such as:
• Herniated discs
• Bulging discs
• Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
• Spinal stenosis
• Slipped disc/herniation
• Degenerative joint disease (DJD)
• Compression fractures of the vertebrae
What is the success rate of herniated disc surgery?
The success rate of herniated disc surgery is about 85 percent. The recovery time depends on the type of surgery performed and the severity of the injury.
A small percentage of patients need a second surgery. The success rate for the first surgery varies from 70 to 80 percent. A second surgery has a higher success rate than the first, but it’s still less than 90 percent.
The success rate for any type of surgery depends on many factors including:
The patient’s age and physical condition
The type and location of herniation (bulge) or tear in the disc
The number and size of discs involved
The presence of other diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis that could complicate treatment
The success rate for herniated disc surgery is very high. The most common complications are related to the anesthesia and occasionally a postoperative infection.
In general, there is a 90 percent success rate for herniated disc surgery in patients with a surgical indication (such as one leg shorter than another). The patient must also have an adequate range of motion before surgery.
In addition, patients who have had prior surgery which went well and did not cause further problems have an even higher success rate for subsequent surgery.
The success rate of surgery is based on several factors, including the severity of your injury and your age. In general, the success rate for herniated discs is:
100 percent if you have no pain after surgery.
95 percent if you have minor pain after surgery.
85 percent if you have moderate pain after surgery.
70 percent if you have severe pain after surgery.
The success rate of herniated disc surgery is high, but it depends on the type of surgery that was done. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, most people who have a lumbar disc herniation will experience relief from their pain within three months after the operation.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons says that more than 90 percent of people who have undergone surgery for a lumbar disc herniation say that they are satisfied with the results of their operation. The North American Spine Society says that as many as 95 percent of people who have undergone surgery for lumbar disc herniation report that they are satisfied with their experience.