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Can a ruptured disk affect multiple nerve roots?

Can more than one nerve root be affected in a herniation? For Example, could an L5/S1 affect both the L5 nerve root and the S1 nerve root? Still waiting on an MRI, but I have had partial numbness on the outside of my foot that is moving across my toes, bottom of foot & up the back of my leg with some significant sciatica. Looking at the maps, it doesn't seem to line up right with the nerves.




  • Hi HerrLaws,

    I have L5S1 herniation too and the answer is yes.  Mine affects several nerve roots.


  • Thanks Phil! For yours, was it size of herniation or location, both?

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  • Hey - I have a "small" (didn't give me the dimensions) L5S1 and I get all sorts of weird fellings all over my legs and feet.  Thankfully nothing too painful, just tingly and the occasional twinge.  Hoping it settles down and goes away soon!  Next step is some sort of injection for me and i'm slightly terrified of that!
  • Thanks, Yeah, I am hoping for something "small", but my anxiety issues are making me believe it will be the worst case scenario--pretty much have had 30 years of anxiety attacks in the past month. What's so weird with all of this--2 weeks ago, I thought I was doing great, and walking seemed to help, now I can barely get 30 steps before the sciatica hits me square.

  • Hi.  I have a large herniation (really the disc is a pancake) which the MRI shows is impinging on the nerve roots on both sides slightly more on the right hand side.  It is also pressing on the spinal column. I have sciatica in both legs, some numbness from waist down and back pain. Booked in for a PLIF on the 25 th.


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  • Good luck on your Surgery, Phil!

  • If you have a look at some of the articles on the technical side of this site you will see references to exiting and branching nerve roots...  

    Theres also the dorsal and ventral nerve roots....found out about these after my op..apparently my DRG was compressed..apparently made me a little over sensitive .

    Yes Phil thats why the NS gets the big bucks, i needed to use google..he already knew just by looking at it.
  • Apparently the guy who makes titanium screws and cages makes bigger bucks. Can't see they can be that hard to make.

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