What Are Some Symptoms of a Herniated Disc at L5?

Symptoms of a herniated disc at L5 include foot pain and numbness, pain in the buttocks and foot drop, as reported by Spine-health. Other symptoms include loss of ankle reflex and weakness in the ankle push off.

Most disc herniations affect the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels of the spine. L4-L5 herniation causes impingement of the L5 nerve that may lead to weakness in the legs and ankles. It may also cause numbness and pain in the buttocks and foot. An L5-S1 disc herniation leads to impingement of the S1 nerve that may cause loss of ankle reflex and weakness in the ankles, explains Spine-health. General symptoms of lumbar disc herniation include leg pain that may occur with lower back pain and loss of bowel or bladder control.

In some cases, symptoms such as pain abate on their own within six weeks. Treatment options include physical therapy, osteopathic and chiropractic manipulation, heat and ice therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and oral steroids. Another option is administration of an epidural injection. In severe cases, treatment may be through microdiscectomy surgery to release pressure from the nerve root, states Spine-health. The surgery success rate is around 95 percent when an experienced surgeon performs it.