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  • Finally got my MRI results...

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    Old 10-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #1
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    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Location: Ohio
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    Finally got my MRI results...

    Doctor still out of town. Was able to get results. The Report was faxed and my hands are shaking typing this, but can someone please help me understand what this is saying?

    Examination: Routine lumbosacral spino protocol without gadolinium

    Counting reference; Lumbosacral junction. For the purposes of this report, L5S1 is considered the last lumbar type disc space and L4-5 is considered the level of the iliac crest.
    Alignment: Grade 1 antral listhesis L5-S1

    Bone marrow signal/fracture: No evidence of pathologic arrow infiltration. No evidence of prior fracture.
    Conus: The conus is within normal limits of signal intensity and morphology. The conus terminates normally at L1.
    Paraspinal soft tissues: Paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.

    Lower thoracic spine: Visualized lower thoracic canal and foramina are patent.
    L1-L2: Canal and foramina are patent
    L2-L3: Canal and foramina are patent
    L3-L4: Canal and foramina are patent
    L4-L5: Severe disk degeneration with mild posterior annular disk bulge

    L5-S1: Grade 1 antral listhesis with severe disk degeneration, mild posterior disk osteophyte hypertrophic change with bilateral moderate foramina compromise, thora is bilateral L5 spondylolyses with retraction without facet joint bone marrow edema but there is T2 hyperintense diffuse signal change along the endplates, this may represent sequela of instability.
    Sacrum and iliac wings: The visualized sacrum and iliac wings are within normal limits. The presacral soft tissues are normal in appearance.
    Grade 1 L5-S1 antrolisthesis

    Bilateral L5 spondylolyses with rotraction without bone marrow edema
    Prominent L5-S1 hyperintense T2 bone marrow change/edema(?)

    L5-L5 disk degeneration

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    Old 10-08-2009, 03:19 PM   #2
    Join Date: Feb 2009
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    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: Finally got my MRI results...

    Hi there Spasmedout in Ohio. Let's back up a little bit on the MRI. Terms! Spondylolyisis is the weakening of a small area of bone that connects the facet joints to the main area of the vertebra. The facet joints link the vertebrae together at the back of the spine. They kind of stand out from the back of the vertebrae to make that joint connection. When the facet connector is weak, the joint is weak and the vertebrae can move out of place. 4-7% of the American population are born with this weak area but sports injuries can also make them weak. There are facet joints on both sides of the back of the vertebra.

    Anterior spondylolisthesis(the full term they shortened) means that one vertebrae has slipped out over another. They can be anterior(moving towards the front of the body) or posterior(moving towards the back). They are graded by the degree of slippage and Grade 1 is the smallest slip.

    So here is the problem in your lower back. Everything is good until the very bottom of the "moveable" spine(there is more spine but it doesn't move). At Lumbar5 and Sacral 1 you have a problem. The spondylolysis that you have on both sides of the L1 vertebra has weakened it and caused it to slip towards the front of the body but only a small amount. Fortunately, there is no swelling in the facet joints or signs of fracture or bone marrow swelling.

    But you have disk problems too. Just above this area(L4-5) you have a bad disk. It has deteriorated("medicaleze" for shrinking down to very thin and dried out) and has ruptured out of it's tough outer ring just a little to form a bulge. Luckily, the bulge is not touching anything.

    At L5-S1, the disk is again severely deteriorated(really thin and dried out) but there isn't any disk bulge or rupture. But you have a lot of arthritis. Osteoarthritis builds bone but it's faulty bone called osteophytes...also called bone spurs. You have some osteophytes along the back of the disk and further inside where they are pressing on the nerves that exit the vertebra. They grade these osteophytes pressing on the nerves as mild, moderate and severe are moderate(but it still hurts!). And just to top it off, because of that slippage, you have some irregularities at the ends of the vertebrae from them rubbing against each other in the wrong way. There may also be swelling within the bone marrow from this rubbing(heck hurts to rub bone to bone).

    So what does all this mean to you? You probably have some pain running down your legs that is getting progressively worse and your lower spine is slightly unstable and arthritic. Your back hurts. I have the exact same same problems and have had for years with an additional 4 herniated disks. It is treatable but not really operable at this time(what my doc told me).

    We deal mainly with the cervical spine here in this board but many have lumbar and thoracic spine issues as well so we understand. But you might want to visit the Back Problems Board and say hello to others with this same problem. No need to's not that bad. It's the terminolgy that scares us! Your spinal cord is not involved(the big kahuna) and the nerves are only at moderate compression. Pain yes, but impending paralysis, no.

    Hope this helps and you are always welcome here.

    gentle hugs................Jenny

    Old 10-09-2009, 05:23 AM   #3
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    Re: Finally got my MRI results...

    Thank you Jenny. I think I will post on the other thread. I found this one a while ago when I was searching on stuff from my neck. Yes, I have pain, numbness and tingling running down my legs, clear into my toes. Sometimes the pain gets so bad I feel like I'm going to passout. (Hope this doesn't make sound like a cry baby). It's a horrible pain and I feel for anyone and everyone that has experienced this!
    I have been going through this a long time and my mind alone feels a lot better. Now, I know there is actually a reason for the pain I have!

    If anyone else has any more or other information/advice, please let me know. I don't have a follow up for another two weeks.

    Thanks again!

    Old 10-09-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Location: USA
    Posts: 1,197
    PNo HB User
    Re: Finally got my MRI results...

    I have bad L5/S1 and get that pain down to my toes. I completely understand how bad the pain is - it can take down the toughest guy. I get epidural injections and they helped so much. The injection was painful because I had pretty bad inflammation in there. It has been since start of summer and just starting to wear off. I am going to get another after I see them next appoiuntment. Many people use injections or nerve abalation for this level.

    There are some really good studies that show a comparison between surgery and conservatie therapies for lumbar at this level and they are fairly equal. In that in a 3 year follow up the people who treated conservatively are approximately about the same condition as people who had surgery. The spinal cord doesn't run at this level so that is good.

    Ice your butt in the center at at the bottom where leg attaches, it really helps calme the entire nerve down! On that "video" site where everyone posts there are some excellent videos on stretches and massage. I think if you search back to around May on the back board you will find some good discussions we all had on sciatica problems.

    Because you have slippage they might recommend a fusion - but before you do that do the researc on outcomes!!! I personally am waiting and not going to fix because the shots have been helping.

    Last edited by PNo; 10-09-2009 at 09:12 PM.

    Old 11-19-2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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    Location: Ohio
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    Re: Finally got my MRI results...

    Hi Everyone!

    It's been a while since I've been here. I want to thank everyone that has replied to my posts. And, well, today I had my third lumbar (block) injection. While my lower back and hips still hurt, I can honestly say I do not have that overwhelming, passing out pain going down my legs. I am so thankful for that!

    Also, I recieved an updated MRI report on my neck that I will post a new thread. IF anyone has any suggestions, ideas, advice, it will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again to everyone and I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

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