Re: MRI Results... NEED HELP INTERPRETING
Hi Donna. When you arent used to seeing those terms they throw in there, etc.. it can look a bit ominous.
Yes, the word "mild" is good and bad. Good in the sense that your issues are mild in nature, bad that the doctors usually give the patient the impression that the images are actually pretty "good" considering.
Your MRI looks pretty good.. sorry about that! That doesnt mean that you dont hurt and it could be hurting very badly. Degenerative changes (aging) of the spine can be very painful for many.
There are 3 parts to our spines. Starting at the neck, which is cervical, then the thoracic (mid spine)T-1 thorugh T-12, then lumbar spine (lower back) L1 through S1 (for sacrum). Your issues are at the end of the thoracic and beginning of the lumbar spine (where they join).
The T12/L1 is actually one disc area between with two bony segments (the T-12 & L1 segments). The degenerative changes means your disc is beginning to show signs of aging and losing it's springy gel and starting to harden. Each bony segment is connected together at facet joints. In your lumbar spine, it notes some of those levels are starting to age, and possibly becomming arthritic there.
Good news, you have normal alignment of your spine. There is no herniated or bulging disc and no nerve impingement. This is a very good thing!
While "MILD" these issues you have can cause great discomfort and pain in some. I would guess that physical therapy, oral medication will be prescribed. PT can help you strengthen your core muscle groups, which can protect your spine further but also reduce your pain. Also steroid injections around your facet joints may be suggested to see if it helps reduce your pain.
Hope this helps and keep us posted.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
Last edited by Justoneofus; 06-30-2008 at 08:59 PM.