I had to send a copy of my November 07 MRI (5 months post op laminectomy) to someone today and I was actually reading the entire thing. Previously, I was so focused on the L5-S1 I didn't think much of the rest.
Scattered spondylosis.......this is just normal aging changes, right?
All the discs were decreased in height and signal........is this also changes associated with aging??
L5-S1 mild hypertrophy of the facet joints bilaterally.....mild persistent compromise of the right lateral recess by broad disc protrusion
L3-L4 broad diffuse disc protrusion.....mild narrowing of the foramina bilaterally
Sorry that I cant answer your questions...I sure wish I could. But I do have a question for you..I saw that you state that YOU only focused on the L5-S1...did the drs disclose the info to you about the other discs....or did you learn about them from reading your MRI report?? Im just wondering..because since day 1 of my injury, everyone has focused on L5-S1...never once have I been told about the 2 other discs that are mildly bulging. I only know about them due to my getting the MRI report myself and reading it. I havent seen a dr since, so I have not had anyone to tell it to/talk to them about why I wasnt told about them. So, Im just kinda curious why they dont tell us, is it because it isnt a major problem as much as the L5-S1 areas are???? But to me, it looks like they would tell us of the other situations, so that we are aware of them..and yet, if its no big deal, they should stress that to us...its our bodies...I think we are entitled to know EVERYTHING they find, no matter how little it is to them! I dont like having to get medical reports to learn of things wrong with me...the drs should be straight forward with us.
To me, L3/L4 sort of jumps out, only because it mentions a broad based herniation and narrowing of both foramen at that level. I would wonder if any of this contributes to any pain. Of course i'm not a doc, but i have read that
L5/S1 area is usually very narrow to begin with which is why many people get problems in this area. So if there is less space and you get a herniation, it may be even more likely to cause pain. Plus I guess it depends on where your symptoms/pain are (maybe trying to figure out approx. what dermatomes), etc. My last MRI showed alot but from L3 through S1, 2 bulges, 2 broad herniations, scar tissue, and I also have bilateral foraminal hypertrophy in all lumbar levels now. But the one episode of severe sciatica I had this summer ...probably most of my nerve pain and parasthesias, etc ended up stemming from L5 (and I also had soft tissue stuck in the lateral recess there). I only know that because I had the nerve block in that area and it helped me alot. So at that time, the other issues werent causing me much grief.