KD is a 29 year old male with a several year history of low back pain, sciatica, and weakness in his leg. His MRI showed L4-L5 and L5-S1 disc bulges. Weakness in the leg is a common problem for patients with nerves that are being compressed by lower back disc bulges. The weakness happens because signals from the brain to muscles travel along nerves (called motor nerves) that go through the low back. So when the motor nerve is compressed by the bulge, the leg muscles can become weak. KD was seen through a large health care system and was given oral steroid pills and steroid epidural injections, which didn’t help his low back pain or leg symptoms. He then saw a spine surgeon who felt that low back surgery was unlikely to help him.
By the time he first saw us in May of last year for a consult, he had concerning weakness in his leg/foot. Since he was not interested in low back surgery because of the risks, despite the concerning leg weakness, we recommended he try the Regenexx-PL-Disc procedure. Instead of another epidural with steroids, he had two injections using platelet lysate. The patient was seen in clinic yesterday and reported 70% improvement in his low back pain and elimination of the burning and numbness in the leg. In addition, his examination showed improved strength in his leg/foot.
KD’s response to this procedure is very similar to what we’ve been seeing in patients over the past several years. Many of our patients who have failed traditional steroid epidurals or who have maximized their benefit to steroid epidurals, get additional benefit from the Regenexx-PL Disc procedure. We have slated the patient to have two more procedures to try and regain more of the lost strength in the leg.