lumbar disc prolapse

Last edited 10/2020 and last reviewed 10/2020

Lumbar disc degenerative lesions most commonly occur at L4/5 and L5/S1. Prolapse of the disc is more likely in a young person secondary to degenerative - spondylotic - disc changes and following an awkward lift or other strain. In middle-aged people, root compression in the lumbar region may be associated with hypertrophic degenerative disease - spondylosis. Lateral disc protrusion typically only affects the nerve roots, whilst a central disc protrusion may compress the cauda equina: this is a neurological emergency.