From the Division of General Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, LY318, Boston, MA 02215.
In March 1998, James N. Weinstein, DO, MS,
discussed a 45-year-old attorney with some low back pain and a numb
left calf and foot.1 The patient was an active and avid
runner. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spine suggested possible
herniation of 2 lumbar disks with questionable nerve root compression.
An orthopedic surgeon recommended lumbar laminectomy with fusion. A
neurosurgeon recommended against surgery but advised the patient to
stop running. Dr Weinstein reviewed the medical and surgical treatment
of low back pain with and without evidence of symptoms and signs of
nerve root compression. He recommended that the patient not have
surgery and continue running as he had been.
Daley J, Hartman EE. A 45-Year-Old Man With Low Back Pain and a Numb Left Foot, 1 Year Later. JAMA. 1999;281(16):1540. doi:10.1001/jama.281.16.1540