Lumbar degenerative disc disease is very common. Virtually everyone at some point in their life has lower back pain. Fortunately for many the pain resolves never to return. For others their back pain becomes chronic and erodes the quality of their life. These individuals seek the advise of professionals which include surgeons.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to evaluate a patient who was seeking a second opinion for her severe left sided back pain. A surgeon had recommended a discectomy. Her MRI showed moderate degeneration of the L5/S1 disc with a slight protrusion.
Her examination was significant for exquisite tenderness in her left buttock with only mild tenderness in her back. At the Centeno Schultz Clinic we are committed to identifying the source of a given patients pain. We accomplish this through diagnostic injections performed under intermittent x-ray. Back pain can arise from many sources which include muscles, ligaments, facets, the sacroiliac joint as well as the disc. Due to this patients severe tenderness over her left buttock I injectioned her left sacroilliac joint which to her surprise provided her with 100% pain relief.
The sacroillac joint is a source of lower back and buttuck pain in approximately 15% of the population.
This patient did not need a discectomy but rather a thorough assessment of her back pain.