5 doctors weighed in:

Would a central disc herniation ( l4/l5) have to be quite big to cause sciatica down both legs? And could it cause pain in front of the thigh?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Orthopedic Surgery
4 doctors agree

In brief: Lower leg symptoms

L5 nerve impingement (L4-5 level) from a herniated disc can cause weakness in extending the big toe and potentially in the ankle (foot drop).
Numbness and pain can be felt on top of the foot, and pain may also radiate into the buttock. S1 nerve impingement (L5-S1) may cause loss of the ankle reflex and/or weakness in ankle push off (patients cannot do toe rises). Numbness and pain in foot noted.

In brief: Lower leg symptoms

L5 nerve impingement (L4-5 level) from a herniated disc can cause weakness in extending the big toe and potentially in the ankle (foot drop).
Numbness and pain can be felt on top of the foot, and pain may also radiate into the buttock. S1 nerve impingement (L5-S1) may cause loss of the ankle reflex and/or weakness in ankle push off (patients cannot do toe rises). Numbness and pain in foot noted.
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