Re: Please help me read my MRI : L4-L5 issue
Hi...I'm Jenny and one of the people who tries to explain MRI's in plain words. You should know that most of the people with back problems post on the Back Problems board and not here, so that is why I'm delayed in helping you.
In spines, the chief pain makes are 2 things.....pressure on the nerves that peel off the spinal cord and go out to the body and arthritis of the tiny joints that are on the sides and back of the vertebrae that stabilize the spine with twisting and turning motions.
You have moderate nerve compression of the left L4 nerve due to a disk that is bulging as well as arthritic bone spurs from the arthritis of the facet joints. There is mild compression on the right side. Radiologists rate the amount of compression by the words, minimal, mild, moderate and severe so you can see, you are well on your way to having some major trouble. The L4 nerve serves the inside of the calf below the knee to the foot.
They also see a synovial cyst on the L5 nerve and those form and go away and form again but aren't something that needs removing. If it develops further and seems to be a tumor or sleeve cyst, then it might cause more problems. I've got them too and they come and go and don't really do much.
Most spine surgeons won't operate until you reach severe levels of nerve compression but that depends on the symptoms you have and the results of an EMG/NCS tests. This tests how bad the nerve compression really is. I am "moderate" at S1 and L5 in my own back but my EMG(electromyelography) and NCS(nerve conduction studies) show it is worse than the MRI shows....as do my symptoms. So my doc will most likely operate even though I am not "severe". I can no longer feel the gas pedal of my car...bottoms of feet are numb.
Have you seen a spine doc yet?