Spontaneous regression of a large sequestered lumbar disc herniation: a case report and literature review

J Int Med Res. 2021 Nov;49(11):3000605211058987. doi: 10.1177/03000605211058987.


Lumbar disc herniation is a common disorder in adults that is accompanied by lower back and radicular pain. A 32-year-old man visited our clinic with 1-week history of persistent lower back pain and weakness in his right big toe. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of his lumbar spine revealed herniated discs at L3/L4, L5/S1 and L4/L5, where a right-sided intraspinal mass lesion deep to the L4 vertebral body was causing compression of the nerve root. The patient underwent conservative treatment and reported no symptoms referrable to his back or leg 4 months later. Follow-up MRI showed no herniation of the nucleus pulposus at the L4/L5 level or lesion deep to the vertebral body of L4, whereas no changes had occurred to the status of the herniated L3/L4 and L5/S1 discs. The present case and a literature review show that a sequestered lumbar disc herniation can regress within a relatively short timeframe without surgery. The authors emphasise the utility of conservative therapy for patients who do not have a definitive surgical indication.

Keywords: Disc herniation; conservative therapy; intraspinal mass lesion; lower back pain; lumbar spine; spontaneous regression.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration*
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement* / diagnostic imaging
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement* / surgery
  • Intervertebral Disc*
  • Low Back Pain*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male