Disc protrusion occurring in the L1-L5 vertebral region

A disc protrusion can occur between any two of the L1-L5 vertebrae, which are the names for the first through fifth vertebrae in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. Disc protrusion refers to a portion of the outer layer of a disc expanding beyond its normal perimeter in the spinal column.

This condition is particularly common because of the weight burden placed on the lower back. Not only is the lumbar spine responsible for allowing the body to bend and move, but it also supports most of the body’s weight. These two factors can lead to the development of an L1-L5 protrusion affecting one or more of these spinal discs.

Causes of an L1-L5 disc protrusion

In a healthy, well-functioning spine, the vertebrae in the lumbar region are cushioned by flexible discs that absorb everyday pressures and movements. With age these discs can lose elasticity, and combined with stress from years of repetitive movements, may eventually weaken and protrude out into the spinal canal.

Common symptoms of an L1-L5 disc protrusion

When discs in the lower back begin to bulge or protrude, they may come into contact with a neighboring nerve root or the spinal cord, causing back pain and other nerve-related symptoms in the lower body.

Common symptoms of L1-L5 disc protrusion can include:

  • Pain or stiffness in lower back
  • Cramping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain, numbness and tingling in the legs and feet

Treatment for an L1-L5 disc protrusion

To diagnose a disc protrusion as the source of symptoms, your doctor will likely perform an imaging test, like an MRI or CT scan, to gain an accurate view of your spine in order to properly diagnose your condition. Once diagnosed, a lumbar disc protrusion often can be treated with physical therapy, pain medication and other conservative pain management techniques.

In some instances, patients may not respond to conservative disc protrusion treatment and surgery can become an option. If you are exploring your surgical options, reach out to Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures are an outpatient alternative to traditional open back surgery, offering advantages to our patients that include no lengthy recovery^ and less risk of complication.

We specialize in minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery used to treat common spine conditions. To relieve pressure on the pinched nerve in the L1-L5 area, our surgeons can remove a portion of the damaged disc causing the nerve compression.

Contact us today for your no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures. We can help you take the next step toward pain relief.