6 doctors weighed in:

Does the pressure of a herniated disk on the nerve cause paralysis?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: It can

Some disks can be silent (no symptoms).
If a disk is large and compresses the spinal cord (neck or mid back) it can cause paralysis. Very large disks in the low back can compress numerous nerves (not the spinal cord) and also cause weakness in both legs. The size of the disk herniation, the size of the canal (space for the cord and nerves), inflammation, acuity of the rupture influence its effect.

In brief: It can

Some disks can be silent (no symptoms).
If a disk is large and compresses the spinal cord (neck or mid back) it can cause paralysis. Very large disks in the low back can compress numerous nerves (not the spinal cord) and also cause weakness in both legs. The size of the disk herniation, the size of the canal (space for the cord and nerves), inflammation, acuity of the rupture influence its effect.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Dr. Michael Bolesta
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Dr. Roger Frankel
Neurosurgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Rarely

The herniated disc would have to compress the spinal cord for paralysis to occur. If it is compressing a nerve, complete paralysis won't occur, but there can be weakness of the specific muscles that the nerve supplies in a particular limb.

In brief: Rarely

The herniated disc would have to compress the spinal cord for paralysis to occur. If it is compressing a nerve, complete paralysis won't occur, but there can be weakness of the specific muscles that the nerve supplies in a particular limb.
Dr. Roger Frankel
Dr. Roger Frankel
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