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Can anyone tell me about pain symptoms and disc issues

Is there a map that can tell you which disc is having issues by where the symptoms are?  

I have one doctor tell me its the L4-L5 and the other doctor saying L5-S1.   Anyone

I have am having pain on outside of thigh, outside of calf, and big toe numbness ,as well as numbness on outside of calf.  




  • There is a dermatome map which gives an idea what nerves are affected at each level.  I also believe it is a general guide.  As your two levels are next to each other you would require more testing.  Have patience, find a good dr you trust. 

    Good luck


  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,303
    edited 07/16/2019 - 3:23 PM

    Th pinpointed disc location and problem area would be for the doctor to formally diagnose and identify.

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  • hurtcathhurtcat Posts: 39
    edited 11/19/2017 - 3:47 AM


    Have you gotten an MRI? If so that would be pretty easy to see. [edit]

    Edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator There are no medical professionals on the forum so members are not permitted to give an opinion on another members diagnosis

  • MRI Shows ruptured Disc at L4/L5 and L5/S1, Surgeon did Microdiscectomy on L4/L5, I asked him to double check the MRI before surgery, and he did, From the dermatome maps  everything tells me where my pain is it is the L5/S1.  Surgeon  said the pain I was feeling was L4/L5, I said well you are the neurosurgeon do what you think.  I woke up from surgery 100% pain free of sciatic pain.   Was a pain level 9 for six weeks before surgery.  Was off Pain meds same day of surgery and have not taken even an aspirin, advil or anything for pain.  Level is a 1, now and that is from the incision and just the stuff he had to cut and move.  Super glad I found this guy and trusted him.  3 weeks post op appointment on Monday.  Still have some toe numbness but 99% better.   Thanks for all you guys advice.      

  • @toprank - Did you have surgery between 11/16 (your first post) and now? I have the same problems as you and disc bulge at same location that you have your ruptured one. I am wondering if surgery is an option for me (meet with the neuro friday). If so, I am happy to see positive posts about successful surgeries. I can only hope one day I will be as pain free as you seem to be post op! 

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  • I had surgery on November 20th a Monday.  This past Monday was 4 weeks.  So far so good.  Doctor knew what he was doing I guess.  I still have some weird feeling in both legs below the knee like not getting good circulation, so I assume that has something to do with the L5/S1 disc but the sciatic pain is 99% gone.  Some low back pain on both sides but that was expected.  If my pain was not a 9 out of 10 I would have waited on surgery, but I could not walk or stand or really do anything but drag myself to work park right by the door sit and work then leave.  It  sucked so bad for those 5 weeks.  Let me know what the neuro says and if you do get scheduled for surgery and have any questions let me know.  

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