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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Central disk herniations

07/13/2007

Question:

What is Central Disk Herniation? Can the spinal cord be compressed in the Sacral Spine (S1-S5 Spinal Cord Area)? Would this cause pain and stiffness across the top of the buttocks and worsening pain and heaviness in the leg muscles when standing or walking? Could x-rays reveal it?

Answer:

What is Central Disk Herniation? An intervertebral disk, which lies between 2 vertebrae, is sticking out into the spinal canal.

Can the spinal cord be compressed in the Sacral Spine (S1-S5 Spinal Cord Area)? No. The spinal cord does not go down that far. There are spinal nerves in that area that can be compressed, though.

Would this cause pain and stiffness across the top of the buttocks and worsening pain and heaviness in the leg muscles when standing or walking? Yes.

Could x-rays reveal it? MRI would reveal the problem.

For more information:

Go to the Arthritis and Rheumatism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Irving  Kushner, MD Irving Kushner, MD
Professor Emeritus of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University