Lumbar Disc Herniation with Abnormal Unilateral Radiculopathy: A Case Study

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Virginia Tech

Lumbar disc herniations are one of the most common back injuries. Distal radiculopathies are common complications that accompany disc herniations, but in the case of this 19-year-old male collegiate cheerleader, his symptoms did not resolve with normal rehabilitation and healing time. His immediate treatment plan included traditional Mckenzie extension protocol with sciatic nerve glides as well as erector spinae, glute, and quadratus lumborum soft tissue releases for eight weeks, followed by two epidural steroid injections during his third month post-injury. Corrective strengthening exercises that targeted his core, glutes, and back muscles were completed for a total of twelve months, with a short break during the summer between academic years. He is currently seventeen months post-injury and can complete all activities of daily living (ADLs) without issue and only experiences small limitations when asked to hip hinge with a straight leg during activity. This case study aims to educate current and future orthopedic professionals about potential disc herniation complications and the treatment plan that helped this athlete live comfortably again.