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Mri interpretation please... lumbar spine

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Old 05-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2012
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Smile Mri interpretation please... lumbar spine

Hi all,

I was hoping that one/some of you could give me some advice on my recent MRI results.

Firstly, I am 34 and had a discetomy of the L4 and L5 approx. 8 years
ago...main symptoms were shooting pain down left leg, numbness in foot and inability to sit.

Last November things started to get bad again this time with greater intensity. I was unable to stand without excruciating pain in my left calf and complete numbness in foot...was bed ridden for a week or so and eventually had to go to A & E to get morphine etc...had a course of physio and the problem eased after approx 6 weeks until recently.

The past 2 weeks, the symptoms have returned...calf pain, calf numbness, shooting pain in left foot and toes, numbness in left foot(numbness been there since last November), pain moving, terrible pain if attempting to bend over etc. dull pain in square of lower back and various other strange feelings in both legs... I cant get any comfort from lying down, meds etc and decided last week to have an MRI with contrast...The reason Iím on here is because I'm rather gp doesnít give a dam, gave me results over the phone..told me to call a consultant and arrange an appointment. He didnít explain the report at all.... I know you are not medical professionals but any advice any of you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Normal vertebral alignment is present.
Upper 3 lumbar discs appear within normal limits.
There is mild degenerative change, with signal loss but no significant loss of disc space height of the lower two lumbar levels.

At L5/S1, this is associated with mild endplate degenerative change.

At L4-5, there is a broad-based disc protusion with an annular fissure. This causes indentation of the thecal sac and moderately severe bilateral lateral recess stenosis, a little more marked on the left than the right, where the disc bulge appears to abut and cause slight posterolateral displacement of the left L5 nerve root.
There is mild bilateral foraminal stenosis without convincing nerve root compression.

At L5/S1, there is evidence of previous surgery with some enhancing scar tissue surrounding the left side of the thecal sac and left S1 nerve root in the lateral recess. The disc bulging is quite prominent laterally into the left exit formamen with near complete effacement of epidural fat around the left L5 nerve root. There is mild right exit foraminal stenosis also.

I started with a new physio today. I hope she can help as want to avoid the surgery root plus need to get back to work asap...btw I sit all day at work.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and hopefully replying!

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Old 05-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Re: Mri interpretation please... lumbar spine

Hello and welcome on board!
I am so sorry for the pain you have to live with, I wish I could give you a good advice, but backs are backs and not much they can do about our issues. All the stenosis and degenerative problems radiologist describes,are age related and unfortunately surgery not recommended for something like this since nature will take over again, so surgery will just be for nothing. I was told this long time ago by my spinal surgeon.
I learned that for age related changes, walking, swimming, stretching, moving as much as we can, PT - the best solution.

At your L-4 L-5 where they protrusion and bulging, words like "severe" I feel may cause you problems. Although some words like "mild" may bring you some pain as well, but usually spinal ortho Drs dont pay much attention in regards of surgery.
All the described,may bring you a great deal of pain; my concern with you is numbing of the foot and calf. I had multi levels spinal fusions with a lot of other work done, and lately i have same symptoms and more as you do. And last month i had CT scan and it showed I got serious problems and need surgeries again (neck and lumbar areas) but my Spinal surgeon always says: more spinal surgeries we have, more problems we face later and weaker spine we get. I love his honesty and not being "knife happy" You know what I mean?

You are the one who suffers, you are the one who has to do what you can to avoid the surgery as much as you can. And of course to see couple opinions, no matter how much you trust your Dr.

Best of luck to you

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