Q. Can a lower back pain lead to paralysis?

Answered by
Dr. Chinezu R. Rares
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 01, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 03, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am a 24 year old student. When I was 17 years old, my lower back was injured while playing cricket. That time I was also a little depressed and was taking some tablets. After 15 days, I got typhoid, so I did not care much about the injury at that time. But since then, I have been feeling stiffness and numbness in my lower back. Now, my problem has worsened. My MRI (that I have attached) shows that there is compression on the right side, in L4-L5 region. And the right exiting S1 nerve is also compressed. My bones have become weaker, and L4-L5 interarticular is fractured. My weight is increasing, and I was always more sensitive to cold. As of now, the right side of my neck and the right-hand feels very weak. I do not have power in my body. I am taking Pregaba-M 75, twice a day and Calcitriol weekly. Earlier I used to take calcium, but I stopped as my problem worsened after taking them. Can I recover from this? Somebody advised for surgery, is it not risky? My pain is relieved from exercise but not cured. What should I do? And where should I consult for this? Due to this, I am not able to concentrate on studies and also very tense. Can this result in paralysis?



Welcome to

  • From the images (attachment removed to protect patient identity) that you have provided, it is possible to see a fracture on the pars (the rod connecting the anterior part of the vertebra and the vertebral body to the posterior elements).
  • The flexion-extension x-ray does not show inability, but still, the MRI report indicates an L5-S1 disk herniation, which at your age could be an indirect sign of spinal instability.
  • The back pain can also be a sign of spinal instability, unfortunately, the MRI is quite old, so you should do another MRI and also a lumbar CT, as this excellently presents bone anatomy.
  • There is extremely low risk to develop paralysis from this disease, but if there is spinal instability, surgery is indicated to relieve the pain. Risks of surgery at your age are quite low. Please consult a local spinal neurosurgeon.

For further queries consult a neuro surgeon online -->

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