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"Herniated disc and lesion on right kidney- what should I do?"

ZocdocAnswersHerniated disc and lesion on right kidney- what should I do?


I have been having pain in my lower left back for 8 months now. They did an MRI and found out I had arthritis in the joints of my spine. I was referred to a physiatrist. He gave me a cortisone shot in the joints to see if that was causing the pain. It did not work. He then looked over the MRI again and found something with my disc. He gave me an injection into the L5-S1 disc and it helped for 3 weeks and the pain returned. He gave me a second injection in the disc and it didn't help at all. He ordered another MRI and the MRI said I have a herniated disc that bulges to the left. The radiologists also found that I have a 3.5cm by 3.6cm lesion on my right kidney. I have been experiencing pain on the right side of my lower back as well, I just thought it was because of my disc. I also have changes in my bowels as well. What direction should I go in? I'm not even sure what to do about any of this. The pain in my back has not improved at all an it's been 8 months. I'm only 25 years old.


This is an excellent question and one that is best answered by your primary care doctor or a spine surgeon who can evaluate your imaging tests and clinical symptoms and decide what the cause of your symptoms are and what is the best course to help treat you. In general, disc herniations usually cause pain that radiates down into the leg rather than back pain. Since this is the case, patients with disc herniations on MRI usually have the most pain relief if they have common presentations for symptoms from the disc herniation such as pain down the leg in the same distribution as the nerve that is being compressed. If the clinical symptoms do not match with the MRI images, it is less likely that you will have a good outcome from a pain standpoint after surgery for a disc herniation. Again, since the MRI images are not available in your history, it is impossible to know the exact cause of your symptoms but it is important that you discuss these concerns you have with your primary care doctor or spine surgeon. Also, a left disc bulge is less likely to cause right back pain, and your kidney cyst is also less likely to cause this pain but see a doctor to know the cause for this.

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