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Old 08-09-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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Confused by MRI findings

I recently had an MRI to see what was causing the pain in my lower back. Here are the findings...I am very confused by them, and I cannot seem to get my doctor to call me back to explain how I should proceed.

T11-12Minimal spondylosis
T12-L1 - Normal
L1-2 - Normal
L2-3 - Normal
L3-4 - 1 mm bulge but no disc narrowing or desiccation. Mild facet disease
L4-5 - 3 mm central protrusion with central and right paracentral annular tear. Mild-to-moderate facet disease, mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. There is also evidence suggesting a left posterolateral annular tear.
L5-S1 - Moderate disc spacing narrowing and 3-4 mm central protrusion and central annular tear. There is mild facet disease. the neural foramina are patent.

Impression - 3 mm central protrusion with right paracentral and left posterolateral annular tear. There is bilateral neural foraminal narrowing with disc bulge and facet arthropathy.
Moderate spondylosis with 4 mm central protrusion and annular tear at L5-S1
No evidence of canal stenosis.

Can anyone help me figure out what all of this means? You would think my doctor would be more than happy to speak to me about it, but I cannot get him or his nurse to call me back.

Thanks for all of your help

 
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:27 PM   #2
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Re: Confused by MRI findings

The term "spondylosis" simply means osteoarthritis. In the spinal canal, the largest diameter is in the lumbar area. A 1 mm bulge is simply that the disc is slightly bulging. 1 mm is tiny, so that is nothing to worry about. Disc desication is a normal "drying' of the discs. This happens to everyone after the age of 21 or so. It occurs because there aren't blood supplies directly to the vertebre, so the disc drys out some as we age.
Mild facet disease is usually inflammation of the facets. This can happen due to lifting or twisting and from other damage to the facets. It appears that you have arthritis in the facets at L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1.
:3-4-A central protrusion is the disc bulging . 3mm is tiny,but you also have a tear in the disc apparently. This can heal on it's own after about two years. Neural or foraminal narrowing happens as we age. It is bone overgrowth or the disc bulging and pushing on the nerve roots as they enter the foraminal canals. Paracentral is just off center- to the left or to the right of center.
L5-S1- Moderate facet arthritis, another 3-4 mm central protrusion of the disc and no central canal ( spinal canal) stenosis. Which means that the spinal canal is not compromised.
T11-12Minimal spondylosis
T12-L1 - Normal
L1-2 - Normal
L2-3 - Normal
L3-4 - 1 mm bulge but no disc narrowing or desiccation. Mild facet disease
L4-5 - 3 mm central protrusion with central and right paracentral annular tear. Mild-to-moderate facet disease, mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. There is also evidence suggesting a left posterolateral annular tear.
L5-S1 - Moderate disc spacing narrowing and 3-4 mm central protrusion and central annular tear. There is mild facet disease. the neural foramina are patent.

Impression - 3 mm central protrusion with right paracentral and left posterolateral annular tear. There is bilateral neural foraminal narrowing with disc bulge and facet arthropathy.
Moderate spondylosis with 4 mm central protrusion and annular tear at L5-S1
No evidence of canal stenosis.

 
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