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.