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Study Design. A case report is presented.

Objective. To highlight the potential for spontaneous resolution of large extruded intervertebral lumbar disc herniations in a patient with three independent herniations.

Summary of Background Data. The most effective methods of treatment for lumbar intervertebral disc herniations remain in question. This is partly because the potential for intrinsic spontaneous resolution is not understood, and because many believe that large extruded lumbar intervertebral disc herniations require surgical intervention. This case report addresses both issues.

Methods. A case is reported and the literature is reviewed.

Results. In the patient described, multiple independent lumbar intervertebral disc herniations resolved spontaneously both clinically and radiographically with nonoperative treatment.

Conclusions. Not only is the question concerning the cause of disc herniation unresolved, but the best methods of treatment also are generally unclear. This case report documents a patient with the intrinsic capability not only to herniate multiple lumbar intervertebral discs, but also to resolve them clinically and anatomically. Extruded lumbar intervertebral disc herniations may be treated without surgery, as highlighted by this case report. The immunohistologic pathomechanism for resorption remains unclear.

(C) 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.