SA Orthopaedic Journal
Print version 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.