ZocdocAnswersWhat is the prognosis for a herniated disc with ankle pain?

Question

What is the prognosis for a herniated disc with ankle pain?

I am 50 yrs old with herniated disc along with sciatica for one month, now pain is in ankle.

Answer

Intervertebral discs sit between the vertebral bodies in your spine and help the bones move in various directions over one another. The disc itself has a gelatinous inner core which helps with cushioning the bones when there is a force applied (for instance if you help a fall) and this is covered by a firm fibrous outer wall. Sometimes, small openings in the outer wall allow for some of the gelatinous inner part of the disc to herniate out into the spinal canal. This can cause compression of the spinal cord or the nerve roots as they exit the spinal canal (which appears to be what you are describing). This can cause pain which radiated down the entire length that is innervated by the nerve being compressed. The surgical and medical management options for herniated discs is beyond the scope of this discussion. It is recommended that you visit your primary care doctor for further evaluation. They may decide upon further imaging or a referral to a specialist for further work up. They may also decide upon treatment options to help alleviate the symptoms you are having, if deemed medically appropriate. There are certainly nonsurgical options available that can help with some of your symptoms, which your primary care doctor can discuss with you further.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.