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MRI report on back, What is diagnosis ????

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
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Question MRI report on back, What is diagnosis ????

had an mri and have the report but still havent been told what it is I have only that they cant treat it. L3/L4 and L4/L5 disca are degenerative with established stress endplate changes adjacent to the L3/L4 disc, there are small effusions within the L3/L4 and L5 facet joints bilaterally. Just on the edge of imaged volume at T9.T10 there is a central disc protusion that indents on the anterior theca and may make contact with the anterior of the cord. Thoracic protrusions may be independantly associated with back pain.
CONCLUSION: degenerative disc,endplate and facet joint changes at L3/4 anf L4/5. as described,central non compressive disc protrusion at T9/10 which may independently associated with back pain, noo neural compression... Has any one any idea what this points to.
I have had shuermmans disease of the spine since childhood but these changes are new.
Im in constant agony and Id like to know why.
Thanks for reading,hope someone can help

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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Re: MRI report on back, What is diagnosis ????

From the part of the report that you included, you have degenerative disc disease at L3-L4 and L4-L5. The symptoms that are mentioned are signs of arthritic changes in the bones of the vertebrae (the endplates are the edges of the vertebrae -- when you look at an MRI, the edges that appear to be touching the long sides of the discs will look kind of jagged or rough).

The facet joints are synovial joints that contain fluid which allows them to move freely. The report indicates that there are small effusions located within the facets at these same levels. This is a sign of degenerative changes and can allow some fluid to leak out. Often the facets enlarge which can put pressure on the adjoining spinal nerves.

The report does not indicate the extent of the degeneration, but it does not indicate it causing stenosis or nerve compression.

The report seems to indication that the disc protrusion at T9-T10 may be causing some pain. This would be in addition to whatever else is going on in the lumbar region. I would think that this might tie into your Scheuermann's Disease, depending on where you have issues with that.

Perhaps they mean there is no reason to perform surgery, but I'm sure they can be treated with conservative measures such as epidural spinal injections, etc.

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Old 01-19-2013, 01:49 AM   #3
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Re: MRI report on back, What is diagnosis ????


Welcome to the board. Yes a lot of times we all get MRI reports that tells us what is wrong; i.e. degenerative changes etc, but the question is what is supposed to be done about the findings in regards to the treatment.

First dont forget the MRI is meant to evaluate the problem and tell you what is going on. As to "treatment" I don't think that is the function of the radiologist who reads and interprets the films.

The course of action on the findings needs to be in the hands of your treating physician.

Who are you treating with? What type of doctor? Orthopedist? Neurosurgeon?

We all will experience "degenerative changes" to our spine as we age. This is part of the normal againg process. But when symptoms appear that affect the quality of life thats when some intervention may be needed. And that does not automatically mean do surgery. There may be a need for anti-inflammatories; pain medications or some type of physical therapy.

If there is no "nerve compression" -- stenosis --- that is a good thing in that it is not affecting the nerves or putting pressure on them; thus causing your pain.

I think you need to see a doctor (Orthopedist - Neurosurgeo) that could evaluate then based on the findings as to the source of the pain and give you treatment. But it is important that you choose the right specialist to treat you. It should be someone that is specifically trained in "spine" related issues. I do not feel that treatment should be in the hands of your primary doctor. Keep in mind treatment should be conservative in nature. This meaning surgery be the "last" treatment option offered to you. Again physical therapy; medication to deal with inflammation etc.

Good luck let us know how you make out.

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