It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2
glphipps HB User
Question Questions about MRI results

I was given this report:
At L4 - L5: there is a posterior osteocartilagenous bar with hypertrophic changes involving the facets. This results in mild compression of the sac and possible compression of the L5 nerve roots as they exit the sac. There is no encroachment on the foramina.

At L3-L4 there is very mild disc space narrowing.

I'm just not completely sure what these words all mean. Can someone help transcribe this to a layman's terms please?

thanks in advance.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 10-17-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,668
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: Questions about MRI results

Hello. Welcome to the board. I'm sure you already know that members do not have formal medical training, so keep that in mind when reading! I can give you a general idea of the language and terms, and your doctor will be the one to "interpret" the MRI. Keep in mind it is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The doctor will correlate the MRI findings with what he finds upon physical exam, basic neurologic exam and after listening to your health history and description of symptoms and how it impacts your daily life.

Probably the majority of people with lower back pain have an issue at the Lumbar 4-Lumbar 5 segment of the spine. This segment carries the brunt of all movement and has a tendency to wear out first.

The report indicates you have some degenerative changes going on in these two areas of your spine. The lumbar spine is made up of five lumbar vertebrae (bone) and five intervertebral discs that are comprised primarily of "water" and act as the shock absorbers of the spine. The vertebrae are connected together by synovial joints called facet joints. They are subject to various arthritic changes just like other synovial joints of the body like the ankle, knee or hip.

[B]At L4 - L5: there is a posterior osteocartilagenous bar with hypertrophic changes involving the facets. This results in mild compression of the sac and possible compression of the L5 nerve roots as they exit the sac. There is no encroachment on the foramina.[/B]

This indicates that there are bone spurs and other changes that are enlarging the facet joints at the L4-L5 level. Because the joint is taking up more room due to the bone spurs and enlargement, it is pushing into the thecal sac (the sac that contains the spinal nerves in the central canal). It looks like the L5 spinal nerves may be compressed as they are coming from the thecal sac...but it is not taking space away from the foramina which is the opening through which the spinal nerves pass as they exit the spine and go out into the body. (It is the nerve irritation or compression that can cause the nerve pain that radiates out to the limbs, etc.)

At L3-L4 there is very mild disc space narrowing. This is an indication that there is a little bit of wear and tear on this disc. It is beginning to flatten out, which means that there is less of a shock absorber between the two bones. (Radiology language has specific adjectives that are used as a "ratings" system. They are minimal, mild, moderate and severe.) You will note the reporter judges the narrowing to be mild...so it is worth mentioning but nothing that requires treatment at this point.

Hope this gives you an idea of what the language is indicating.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 10-18-2012, 01:07 AM   #3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2
glphipps HB User
Re: Questions about MRI results

Thank you very much. This is a good general idea for me and helps me to better understand the area affected and how it is affected. I'm in the middle of a move from province to province so I won't be seeing my family doctor for a few days and I was curious to know a bit more before then.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Can someone help me decipher blood test results? jeffiner71 General Health 3 08-05-2011 07:17 AM
Some lymph node questions. Talon2 General Health 5 02-22-2011 06:37 AM
Blood test...results a bit worrying? r32 General Health 3 11-01-2010 02:47 AM
Lots of questions, no answers tba8822 General Health 5 10-27-2010 10:12 PM
2 tears in labrum have some questions zoranm General Health 2 08-12-2010 09:56 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:50 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!