Far lateral lumbar disc extrusion: MRI findings and surgical treatment

Fadda A, Lang J, Forterre F.

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2013;26:318-322.

This case report describes the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and the treatment of a far lateral extrusion of disc material at the sixth and seventh lumbar vertebrae (L6-L7) in a five-year-old male Alpine Dachsbracke dog referred to our hospital for investigation of the complaint of a one week progressive lameness in the left pelvic limb and poorly localized back pain. An extra-foraminal left lateral disc herniation impinging on the sixth lumbar nerve root was diagnosed by MRI examinations. Due to the far lateral position of the extruded disc material on MRI, surgical opening of the spinal canal was not necessary. Removal of the herniated soft disc material impinging on the L6 nerve root, and fenestration of the L6-L7 disc was performed laterally. To the author’s knowledge ‘far-lateral’ disc herniation beyond the neuroforamen without any spinal canal contact has not been described in dogs until now. A complete recovery with no evidence of pain was achieved only after a couple of weeks after surgery. We acknowledge that it is possible that other pathological mechanisms may have contributed to clinical signs and to a delayed recovery.