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SA Orthopaedic Journal

Print version ISSN 1681-150X

Abstract

LUKHELE, M; MAYET, Z  and  DUBE, B. Lumbar disc herniation in a 9-year-old child. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2011, vol.10, n.3, pp. 93-96. ISSN 1681-150X.

Lumbar disc herniation is very uncommon in children under the age of 10 years. We report on a lumbar disc herniation in a 9 year old. The patient presented with spontaneous onset of back pain and right leg pain which had failed to respond to 6 months of conservative treatment at a primary health care facility. Examination revealed severe lumbar back muscle spasm, listing of the spine to the left and a positive straight leg raising test on the right. The child had weakness of the right big toe extension. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed a disc prolapsed at L4L5 compressing the traversing right nerve root of L5. A standard discectomy followed by rehabilitation was performed after a further 2 weeks of observation. The muscle spasm and listing together with the right big toe motor weakness disappeared post operation. At 3 months follow-up he was back into his school activities.

Keywords : lumbar disc herniation; children; discectomy.

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