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Old 07-20-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
Jason Villaruz
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Can someone please translate this MRI findings into something i can understand?

got an MRI of lower back last week because for the last 4 months i have completely lost flexibility in my right leg and when i stand for more than a couple minutes at a time i get crazy pain down the back n side of my leg. and i experience more n more tingling in the lower leg. i tried to make an appt with phys therapist to discuss results but the soonest i could get one was aug 3 (military hospital) so i just picked up a CD with images n the report but i cant understand the report to save my life. the images definately look jacked up though. can someone knowledgable tell me what this means in words i can understand? cant figure out a way to get the images from the cd to my computer so this is all i can do. thanks much!


FINDINGS: L5-S1 is designated on series 4 image 32. Conus medullaris
terminates at the L1-L2 level. There is straightening of the lumbar spine
possibly related to spasm.
Multilevel disk narrowing is present particularly at the L5-S1 level. Disk
desiccation is primarily present at the L5-S1 level. The imaged
retroperitoneal structures are unremarkable.

Segmental axial analysis shows the following:
L1-L2: Mild loss of disk height spinal canal is open. Neural foramina appear
unremarkable.
L2-L3: Mild disk bulge and mild facet arthropathy but spinal canal is
unremarkable. Neural foramina are patent.
L3-L4: Broad disk bulge, mild facet arthropathy and likely congenital narrow
pedicles. This results in mild foraminal stenosis on the right. There is
also mild spinal canal stenosis. The left neural foramen is patent.
L4-L5: Broad-based disk bulge, moderate facet arthropathy and congenitally
short pedicles results in moderate spinal canal stenosis. Mild bilateral
foraminal stenosis is present.
L5-S1: There is a broad-based disk bulge with a right paracentral disk
protrusion. This finding along with facet arthropathy and congenitally
short pedicles results in moderate spinal canal stenosis, worse on the
right. There is moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis.

IMPRESSION:
1. Congenitally short pedicles, disk bulge and facet arthropathy results
in spinal canal and foraminal narrowing. Notable levels are at L4-L5 and
L5-S1. Right paracentral disk protrusion is present at the L5-S1 level.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:43 PM   #2
Ben Newman
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Re: Can someone please translate this MRI findings into something i can understand?

point 1: you have a congenitally small spinal canal and short pedicles. This means you have slightly less room if something (like a disc herniation) happens before your neural elements (nerve roots, conus medullaris) gets compressed (that will cause pain, numbness, weakness, etc).

point 2: they are describing more-or-less normal degenerative/aging type changes of the spine from L1-L5. Nothing to get too worked up about on those levels.

point 3: dessication of the L5-S1 disc space is another example of wear-and-tear/degenerative changes of the spine, albeit a little more advanced than the other levels. This is a common place to see a lot of wear-and-tear because this is the lowest level (right where your spine connects to your tailbone) and it absorbs most of the impact when you are active.

The degenerative disc they're describing could cause back pain, but not necessarily. They are describing a straight back (also called loss of lumbar lordosis) which can cause pain too, or could be due to muscle spasms as your body braces against pain coming from the joints. It's impossible to tell the difference on a MRI.

The foraminal stenosis on the right L5-S1 neural foramen could cause leg pain, weakness or numbness, but they're not really describing a bad herniation. Only a surgeon can tell you if you need to have that nerve root decompressed.

HTH.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Can someone please translate this MRI findings into something i can understand?

YOu probably don't need surgery... see a good PT or chiro.

Most of your radiculopathy in right leg is likely due to the right disk protrustion at L5-S1.


Probabl don't have to worry about the stenosis for now as long as you keep active, use correct technique and EAT HEALTHY.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:19 PM   #4
Jason Villaruz
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Re: Can someone please translate this MRI findings into something i can understand?

glad to know it's not as bad as it could be. thanks for the help and advice.
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