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Old 04-14-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
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Question regarding Radiologist Report

Just wondering if anyone could help interpret my husband's findings on X-Ray. He has alot of lower back pain and the nurse at his doctor's office only called and said he needed and MRI to check for "pinched nerves" so I picked up the report at the imaging center today and it states the following:

Five images of the lumbar spine demonstrate four non rib-bearing lumbar type vertebrae. Sacralization of the L5 vertebra is seen. Bilateral spondylolysis of this transitional vertebra with grade 2-3 spondylolisthesis is noted. Lumbar intervertebral disc spaces are maintained. Minimal levoscoliosis is present. Vertebral bodies are normal in height. Pedicles are intact.

Reccomendation: MRI of lumbar spine to evaluate for spinal canal compromise and nerve root impingement.

Last edited by Erica076; 04-14-2011 at 04:25 PM.

 
Old 04-14-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: Question regarding Radiologist Report

Welcome to the board. None of us have professional medical training so please keep that in mind. I can give you a general idea of what is in the report, but of course your doctor will need to be consulted to find out exactly what is going on.

In your husband's case the most important finding is that things were revealed on X-ray that might not have been apparent on MRI, but he will need a MRI to see what else is going on.

Most people have five pairs of lumbar vertebrae which are usually noted as L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5. Separating the vertebrae, like the filling in a sandwich cookie, are the discs. In your husband's case, the discs appear to be in good shape. There is a somewhat unique situation with one vertebra.

The radiology report states that there are four lumbar vertebrae in this part of the spine. The L5 vertebra is "sacralized." This means that when the skeleton was forming, the fifth lumbar vertebra did not separate from the sacrum, and as such, the L5 vertebra and the Sacral 1 vertebra are one. Generally, this does not cause pain and is usually not discovered unless the person has an X-ray. It can result, however, in changed body mechanics.

I imagine the problems are coming from the Grade 2-3 spondylolisthesis which is occurring at this same level. A spondylolisthesis is a condition which can also be a congenital defect, but can also occur as a result of degeneration, where one vertebra slides over the top of the adjacent vertebra. This often results in some instability of this spinal segment and can result in a spinal nerve getting compressed. There is also a mild curve in the spine, to the left, at this segment (levoscoliosis).

Otherwise it states that the discs and vertebrae are of normal height.

Bear in mind that the X-ray will reveal problems with the bones, but will not show soft tissue...thus, the recommendation of the MRI to get "the rest of the picture." Then the spinal specialist will put these two sets of images together with the oral history of your husband's symptoms, a physical exam and basic neurologic test to determine a diagnosis....and hopefully, a plan of treatment.

Last edited by teteri66; 04-14-2011 at 07:56 PM.

 
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:22 AM   #3
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Re: Question regarding Radiologist Report

Thank you for your reply. I had looked each part of his results up online but sometimes it is easier to have someone explain things that already understands what some of these things mean. My husband has apparantly always had back trouble on and off for years. He is turning 37 next month and with his line of work he does alot of heavy lifting and bending all day as well. So recently it's bothering him alot more. I look forward to seeing what the MRI says. Thanks again

 
Old 04-15-2011, 05:41 AM   #4
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Re: Question regarding Radiologist Report

Like I mentioned earlier, I imagine the spondylolisthesis has been causing his pain for years...the grading is done from 1 to 4...with grade 1 being a slippage up at 25%...so they have estimated that in your husband's case, the vertebra has slid between 50 to 75% over the top of the adjacent vertebra. Often a nerve ends up getting "pinched" in the process.

Hopefully the MRI will show if there is something else going on, too.

 
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