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Carrollton, VA
A 32-year-old female asked:

what else can cause sciatica and tingling in both legs, numbness in both feet, when mri says broad based disc bulge at l4, l5 and spine dr says looks normal and the bulge isnt causing my symptoms! help?

5 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pankaj Desai
Internal Medicine 42 years experience
Sciatica: It is possible you may have developed a polyneuropathy- please have your physician consider ordering a nerve conduction study and emg, or you can request referral to a neurologist.
Dr. Douglas Linville II
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 30 years experience
Leg tingling: Other options: poor circulation, peripheral neuropathy (diabetes or other causes), or compression outside the spinal canal. Based on your age, i would make sure that the spine doc looked personally at the films. I see too many patients with missed diagnoses because the report-only was reviewed. If in question, sometimes ct myelogram will show pathology better. Emg/nerve conductions also may help.
Dr. Ihab Ibrahim
Pain Management 29 years experience
DM: Dm: diabetes mellitus, can cause tingling in legs, but usually in the distribution of your socks. May want to get a second opinion?
Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 31 years experience
Sounds right to me: Disc bulges are most frequently not causing symptoms but always found in the symptomatic since we get MRI in only the symptomatic unless . Within studies when asymptomatic people are imaged they appear 30%. Thats why failure rates for injection and surgeries for disc bulges are around the same numbers their prescence dosent mean they are definitely the symptom generator.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 17 years experience
Bulge: is not normal. Just because we all get them, doesn't mean we all act the same way with them. For some those bulges can still cause significant pain and sciatica. See a true fellowship trained spine/pain specialist that can address your concerns.

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you might check this out as well: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00351
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Last updated Sep 11, 2020

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