Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2010 Part 10

This Q&A section is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Any medical condition should be referred to a qualified medical professional.

Q: Hello; I am a Corrections Officer of 23 years.. I was involved in an incident at work in 2003 that ended with a c4-5 c5-6 fusion...I had severe left arm pain with numbness in my thumb and forefinger along with atrophy in my forearm and tricep. I returned to work after the healing process..Now 7 years later after another inmate related incident I have the same pain not as severe and same numbness along with numbness in my pinky and some pain in my bicep none as severe as before thank GOD...Here is what my mri says c4-5 mild posterior endplate spurring with mild effacement of thecal sac....c5-6 small left paracentral osteophyte and/or herniated disc with mild effacement of ventral theca..c6-7 tiny central discs with mild effacement of ventral thecal..c7-t1-- moderate size central and left paracentral herniated disc and/ or osteophytes, significantly effacing the ventral theca touching spinal cord: no cord deformity or mass effect..mild narrowing of neural foreamen due to osteophyte...Now I was wondering what your thoughts of me returning to work if therapy relieved the pain.. How much of a risk is it to my neck if I have to subdue another inmate which happens everyday with my job..Are the discs prone to herniating once they have been helped throuh therapy, or If I have the surgery with c4-t1 fused how much of a risk is it to do my kind of work... Is the risk more than if I didn't have any fusion at all? thank you for your time....Sincerely Scott

Q: Hi - I have a MRI scan report with a conclusion stating that L5/S1 left central disc protrusion impinges upon nerve roots within the left lateral recess. No significant stenosis of the central canal or exit foramina. The findings - At L5/S1, interverterbral disc is mildly dehydrated. A left central disc protrusion senoses the left lateral recess, indenting the thecal sac and compressing the left S1 nerve root origin. No significant abnormality seen in rest of lumbar. There is preservation of normal spine alignment, vertebral body heights and marrow signal. Facet joints are unremarkable. conus ends at T12 level. Distal Cord and conus medullaris are normal in appearance. What are they saying? And what do i need to do? Idil

Q: What is the cost of a Herniated Disc Steroid Injection? George

Q: I just got my MRI results and I do not know how serious this is or if I will have to have surgery eventually. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon but would like to be able to understand my results. Verbatim this is what it says. L2-L3: mild broad based disc bulge, flattening of the anterior thecal sac, facet hypertrophic changes resulting in mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. L3-L4: Diffuse braod based disc bulge, flattening of the anterior thecal sac, ligamentum flavum and facet hypertrophic changes are resluting in moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. L4-L5: Diffuse broad based disc bulge, this is a suspected annular tear involving the left laterral foraminal zone, tricompartmental stenosis is apparent. L5-S1: Diffuse broad=based disc bulge, flattening of the anterior thecal sac, liganemtum flavum and facet hypertrophic changes are resulting in moderate to severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. FINDINGS: there is normal vertebral body height, alignment and overall marrow signal. Disc desiccation changes are present at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. Patient has a congenitally small appearing central canal. Overall marrow signal appears normal. Ther is no acute compression fracture or findings to suggest discitis or osteomyelitis. Thanks for your help and time. Lynnette

Q: Hi. I greatly appreciate the response you give to those patients who are are need of clarification of their MRI findings. I am a NP graduate and have found difficulty with MRI interpretations myself. My question is about moderate spondylostenosis with endplate reactive edema. Can you clarify this finding? Thanks Kris

Q: I have a herniated disc at the C5/6 due to a trauma. As a result of this trauma, I developed fibromyalgia (chronic pain syndrome). Approximately three months later, x-rays revealed mild scoliosis on the right side lower down. My quesstion: Is it possible that the trauma to the C5/6 could have caused the scoliosis to the right side of my rib cage area within a three month period of time? This at times causes me pain when I walk for an extended period of time. Thank you for your response. Best regards, Shirley

Q: It started about 2 months ago, woke up with a stiff neck and numbness all the way down my arm and couldn't feel my index finger and thumb, First massage therapist, then Chiropractor, then Dr. after 2 weeks. He did some in office test, said needed and EMG have Classic Carpel Tunnel, was tortured with Needles and Shocked from thumb to neck to find out no Carpel Tunnel, inconclusive for C6 & C7 (whatever that meant) sent for MRI, oh yes you have 2 herniated disc in your neck, what to do, PT see Spine Clinic Dr. To no avail I still have managed to straighten my neck to a certain position and hold and can relieve the pain and numbness, All the stuff they are NOT doing doesn't help.... told them Surgery is NOT an option....So are you saying I need to boost my O2 level to heal this thing? That is what I am reading, if so how, get an O2 tank and strap it on.... I just know I am 48 and very active, not overweight, I am a smoker if that is O2 depleting me, then bring on some O2, the whole problem is, NO ONE has said what I can and can't do that might make this worse, I live on a farm have horses, throw hay, saddles, etc. Very active person....What next? Cindy

Q: I got my MRI results the other day and I don't understand all that medical jargon. Could someone please explain to me in layman's terms what my MRI finding mean - L4/5 shows mild broad central disc protrusion with some ligamentum flavum redundancy but there is minimal central stenosis and no foraminal constriction is seen - L5/S1 shows a tear of the annulus and mild central disc protrusion but there is no pressure on S1 nerve roots. No foraminal constriction is evidentFacet degenerative changes. Disc degeneration L4/5 and L5/S1 with minimal disc protrusion but no central stenosis. No foraminal constrictions. Is that a serious condition? I don't feel much pain except occasional burning sensation behind my hips and left knee. I'm 30 year old very fit and athletic lumberjack. Will the "tear of the annulus and mild central disc protrusion" heal by itself or should I seek medical help i.e physio. Thanks in advance for the answers. Cheers, Jack

Q: Hi Sensei, I was t-boned (in my drivers door) in a car wreck and the vehicle I was driving was pushed into a parked car. My car was totaled. This was 1 year and 8 mos ago. I had am MRI and it showed a 6 mm protrusion in my L-3/L-4 and had 2 epidurals to treat. I I recently started having sever back pain again coupled with my arms hands/legs feet burn and go numb in certain positions. I had a lumbar MRI recently and where I had a 6 mm protrusion before it is now 2.5mm protrusion according to my Doctor. He wants me to have a contrast MRI now because he thinks I may have a floating disc. In addition I had a cervical MRI (no contrast) a week ago and these are the results... 1. At C3-4, there is a 1-2 mm diffuse disc bulge abutting the thecal sac, and a 2.5 mm right posterolateral disc bulge resulting in moderate right neural foraminal stenosis. 2. At C4-5, there is a 2.5 mm right posterolateral spur or sclerotic disc bulge resulting in moderate right neural foraminal stenosis. 3. At C5-6, there is a 2.5 mm diffuse and bilateral posterolateral disc bulge indenting the thecal sac and resulting in borderline central canal and mild to moderate neural foraminal stenosis. There is disc space narrowing, disc desiccation and anterior spurring. 4. At C6-7, there is a 2 mm left paracentral disc bulge resulting in mild left lateral recess stenosis. Thank you so much for your time and expertise. I greatly appreciate your help. I am in chronic pain. Best Regards, Diana

Q: I was wondering if you could please explain to me exactly what this means so I can better understand this letter from my doctor...Impression: Far Lateral protrusions L2-3 disc on the left side and L4-5 disc on the right side with associated foraminal encroachment at both levels.. The encroachment is more pronounced at the L4-5 level. Ligamentum flavum/facet hypertrophy at the L4-5 level without evidence of stenosis. This is what my paper work says and I don't understand anything other than i have some slipped disc if you could please help me better understand this I would so very MUCH APPRECIATE IT...THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!! Kelly

Q: I have provided a complete copy of the 3 MRI`s that I had and just want to know what I should most be concerned with and what to do to address the pain throughout my spine. I was attacked (and did not get proper health care at ER.The craniovertebral junction appears normal. The spinal cord appears intrinsically normal. There is reversal of the normal lordotic curvature of the cervical spine. C2-C3: NormalC3-C4: There is a 1mm anterior subluxation of C3 over C4. There is marked degenerative faucet arthropthy on the left with anterior osteophyte formation. There is some left uncovertebral joint spur formation. These findings are causing a high-grade left neural foraminal compromise. The right neural foramina appear normal.C4-C5: Mild left-side degenerative facet arthropathy.C5-C6: Anterior osteophyte formation. There is diffused posterior disc protrusion eccentric to the left with left neural foraminal spur formation, which is mildly indenting the anterior left cord and causeing minimal compromise of the left neural foramina. C6-C7: Normal disc height. Normal posterior bulging. No evidence of indentation of the cord. Neural foramina appear normal. There is mild right-sided facet arthopathy.C7-T1: No evidence of disk herniation. Neural foramina appears normal. Mild bilateral degenerative facet arthropathy.No evidence for diffused bone marrow replacing process. Paraspinal musculature appears normal.The thorac spinal cord appears intrinsically normal. There is no evidence of diffused bone marrow replacing process. The neural foramina appears normal.T6-T7: There is disc degeneration with mild loss of of disc height and signal intensity. There is mild diffuse posterior disc bulging with associated spur formation. This is L4-L5: There is disc desiccation and loss of disc height with approximately 1.5 mm retrolisthesis. and is slightly eccentric to the right and is mildly indenting the anterior right cord. Neural foramina appear normal. T10=T11: Disc space is preserved. No evidence of disc herneation. There is however, degenerative facet arthropathy on the right with either a spur formation or early developing synovial cyst emanating from the medial anterior aspect of the right facet joint measuring approximately 8mm in size. This is indenting the right lateral thecal sac and is mildly indenting the posterolateral cord.The paraspinal soft tissues appear normal. No evidence for compression fracture.L5-S1L1-L2:There is mild disc desiccation and disc bulging and endplate spurring and flattening of the anterior anterior aspect of the thecal sac. Thereis no significant central or neural forminal narrowing.L2-L3: There is disc desiccation, and disc bulging and endplate spurring and flattening of the anterior aspect of the thecal sac. There is no significant central or neural forminal narrowing.L3-L4: There is discdesiccation, mild loss of disc space height with approximately 2 mm retolisthesis. Disc bulging and endplate spurring press on the thecal sac. Mild bilateral facet hypertrophic findings are present. There is no significant central or neural foraminal narrowing. T2 immages demonstrate high signal annulus posteriorly suggestive of tear. L4-L5: There is disc desiccation and loss of disc height with approximately 1.5 mm retrolisthesis. T1 and T2-weighted images demonstrate subcortical high signal adjacent to the endplates suggestive of fatty marrow replacement. Bilateral facet hypertrophic findings are present. There is no significant central canel narrowing. Facet hypertrophic findings, disc bulging and endplate spurring extended into the neural foramina resulting in mild bilateral neural forminal narrowing.L5-S1: Disc appears well hydrated. Bilateral facet hypertrophic findings are present.There is approximayely a 5x4 area of high signal consistant with fluid within a cyst which appears to extend anteriorly and laterally from the left facet joint into the lateral aspect of the left neural fominal and extraforminally. This results in L4-L5: There is disc desiccation and loss of disc height with approximately 1.5 mm retrolisthesis.. There is no significant central canal narrowing. Right neural foramen is patent. - Kelly

Q: My husband is suffering from Mild bulge of L5-S1 in intervertebral disc, so is it a slip disk or many people have this mild bulge and no need to worry for it. Does it considered as a slip disk. Hema

Q: I hurt my back at work shoveling back in June. I have been to PT and didn't help much. They sent my for an mri and it said i have a small herniation to the left at L5-S1 adjacent to, but not clearly displacing the exiting s1 root. It also says the L4-5 disk shows slight loss of signal and stature and a minimal bulge with a small radial tear at the margin of component of the bulge into the right foramen. L5-S1 demonstrates a small subligamentous disc herniation extending from the midline to the left into the medial foramen.This lies adjacent to , but is not clearly displacing the exiting left s1 root. I have back pain and left leg pain and had a normal emg. I also have had steroid shots to my spine and did little for my pain. they say there is no reason for my pain and want to do an FCE on my and send me back to work . I can hardly lift anything. should I get a lawyer?? don't know what to do next. Shawn

Q: Hi there, I would appreciate any advice you may have for me. Thank you so much in advance. I have had chronic pain for most of my life down left side of body. Have never been able to do exercise in the form of yoga, gym, etc. I have had chronic pain in the colon and went misdiagnosed I suspect as I am a coeliac with irritable bowel syndrome apparently, as well. I have been diagnosed recently with a herniated disc. I am finally healing and most importantly, realize I can heal and this has propelled me into thinking I can continue in my life the way I used to, doing the best I can. I was sent to Pilates but just cannot manage these exercises. My question is, will I be able to keep my condition at bay (regular visits to the osteopath included) with just walking and swimming? Do you think I would need an op?Here are the results of my MRI. Features of healed adolescent scheuermann's disease is seen distal thoracic levels down to L3. Conus position and anatomy is normal. The lumbar discs maintain normal hydration. At T11/12 central and parasagittal disc protrusion-extrusion is seen of mild grade indenting the anterolateral wall of the theca. There is slight indentation of the cord also which is slightl rotated. No radiculopathy is seen. No myelopathy. Few other things said, but all normal.Many many thanks indeed, Andi

Q: I have a herniated disc @ L3 and want to know why i have tingle sensation down my left leg to my foot but most pain is lower back right side. Randall

Q: A friend who is a chiropractor recommended your site. I'm familiar with Dr. Sarno and skeptical about his psychosomatic approach to all illness, but i've ordered your pdf, nonetheless. I have 4 herniated disks in the lumbar area, sciatica, the works, and have just had an epi injection, which does not seem to have helped. I'll try anything at this point; there is almost no comfortable position for me anymore, all forms of exercise are painful and have been through 5 mattresses, all different types, in past year. Help! Carolyn

Q: i have been have bad lower back pain for 3 years as of yesterday i had a upright mri done it said i have c5-6 c6-7 small disk bulging could that be why i am have so bad of lower back pain. Robert

Q: Greetings: I hope that this finds you well. I am a 38 year old Canadian who has a quite severe hernia at C6/C7. I have found some literature that says that large hernias can sometimes heal themselves. However these seem more like anecdotal cases. Are you aware of such self-healing cases. Are there any published studies on this? Quite honestly, I'm putting a lot of hope in "self healing and dearly hope to be able to avoid surgery. I thank you very much for your time and am looking forward to hearing from you soon. Simon

Q: Dear Sensei,I am 33 year old lady diagnosed with l4/l5 and l5/s1 herniated nucleus pulposus this April 2010. I already had 2 epidural steroid injections and i'll be doing nucleoplasty on the 16th November 2010. How successful is the procedure? and can i really be cured? Nur

Q: I have a posterior central to left paracentral disk herniation at c3-4 abuts and deforms the anterior midline of the cervical cord contributing to mild to moderate central canal narrowing at c3-4 and there is a rind of herniated disk material extending along the midline of the posterior inferior body of c3. I have burning in my arms shoulder blades numbness and tingling in r hand and fingers, burning wrist pain. numb and tingling lower neck across shoulders and down to both shoulder blades. Resulted from car accident on OCT 12...ANY idea what the treatment will be? Thank you Renee

Q: Hello, my name is Shane and I am a 24yr old male. I live a very active and aggressive lifestyle. I played wide receiver at Division I college and everything I enjoy involves physical activity(lifting, skiing,tennis, etc.) My back pain started about 4 months before I finally got an MRI. I knew that it was bad throughout this time, but I continued to try to live a normal life and lift weights and work everyday. Finally, it all caught up with me when I woke up and literally could not stand straight or walk. The only thing I could do was lay down to alleviate the excruciating pain in my left buttock all the way down to my toes and calf. I endured many injuries in my life and have extremely high tolerance for pain, but this was truly unbearable. The MRI report showed that at L3-4 there is modest desiccation with mild bulge to left but without focal disc herniation. At L4-5 there is moderate disc desiccation with some loss of disc height. There is mild to moderate disc protrusion with small to moderate sized focal midline/right paramedian disc herniation. The right neural foramen is somewhat narrowed when compared to the left. There is some caudal subligamentous disc migration in the midline without evidence of sequestration.At L5-S1 there is disc degeneration with loss of disc signal and disc height. There is a moderate to large diffuse disc herniation eccentric to left impinging upon the left anterolateral aspect of the spinal canal resulting in high grade compromise of the proximal left neural foramen. There is caudal subligamentous migration into left lateral recess and there are findings strongly indicating the presence of a sequestered fragment in this region. Clinical correlation is advised regarding the status of the adjacent left L5 and left S1 nerve roots. It has been 6 weeks since the MRI and I have been treating it aggressively. I have received two epidural injections, received acupuncture about 3-4 times, go to PT where they hook me up to electrical stimulation and spinal decompression machine 3x's a week then ice after. He also adjusts my back and I have decided and don't want that anymore because it hurts more after i'm done. However, overall I have been improving but I am FAR from normal and I am losing my mind over it. I haven't worked in 6 weeks. I literally cannot bend at my waist at all. I was extremely flexible before this now I cant touch my toes. let alone my knees barely because my spine cannot bend forward. I am trying conservative treatment before I rush into surgery. What do you suggest I do next? I need to start exercising to keep me sane but I am worried it could make it worse? Do you think I should continue with spinal decompression or would this require surgery? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!

Q: MRI showed a SEVERE RUPTURED DISC at L3 region. Also shows loose fragments floating around from the L4 and L5 region. RT. leg was severe sciatica for 6 WEEKS!!! Very,very slow progress to get better,but now back to work, but not the same as before at all. Doc says if it goes out again ,then ORTHROSCOPIC Surgery. Oh one other thing that I haven't read on your site> NUMBNESS OF MY TOES (RT.FOOT) Now, can I exercise to lose weight and get back into shape without causing harm to my back? I can handle the regular soreness PAIN, but not the SCIATICA PAIN!!! Right now my mind is out to lunch cause I know how to exercise and how to get the job done, but I waiting for the TIME BOMB to go off and put me out for another 6 -8 wks! plus that NUMBNESS in my toes comes and goes. Everyone I talked to had multiple disc problems etc. but not a one had the NUMBNESS symptom. So why ? DO I go back to the way it was before my sciatica take my VITAMINS + MSM GLUCOSAMINE + VIT D Pills walk/jog,workout, Possibly Swim and wait and see what occurs, or just slowly inch my way along using ICY HOT + SUPPORT BELTS UNTIL 6-8 mths and then test it out? 49yrs old + not looking to get cut open! Hopefully your response can offer some much needed guidance to my back problem. Lou

Q: I have had pain in the neck, upper back, down the left arm with tingling, spells of vertigo, and tingling of the left scalp. The final impression from my MRI is as follows: "Moderate left paracentral disc protrusion at C5-6 impressing on and deforming the cord." My neurosurgeon believes that it is more risky to live with this condition than to have surgery. Is this a reasonable assessment? Kris

Q: Hi,Just had this MRI and was told i need to follow up with a Neurosurgeon.Could you please tell me if i have a serious condition or not? (Findings)The vertebral bodies are well aligned.There is disc space narrowing at L5-S1 with endplate degenerative changes and anterior osteophytes present.The remaining disc spaces are maintained.The vertebral body heights are preserved.The cortical and marrow signal of the vertebral bodies is otherwise normal.The cord termintates at L1.At L1-L2 there is a small focal midline disc herniation mildly effacing the thecal sac anteriorly and slightly extending caudally posterior to the L2 vertebral body.There is no significant spinal canal stenosis.The exiting neural foramina are patent with no evidence for nerve root impingement.At L5-S1,there is a broad-based disc bulge not specifically effacing the thecal sac anteriorly.The exiting neural foramina are mildly narrowed due to the spondylitic disc bulge and disc space narrowing with no evidence for nerve root impingement.The paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.(Impression) Small midline focal disc herniation at L1-L2 with mild effacement of the thecal sac anteriorly.There is significant spinal canal stenosis or evidence for nerve root impingement.Degenerative disc disease and spondylitic changes at L5-S1 with disc space narrowing and broad-based disc bulge without significant spinal canal stenosis or evidence for nerve root impingement. Shannon

Q: Hello! I am experiencing severe back and nerve pain going down my left leg. What does it mean when my MRI results state that there is annular bulging of the L4/5 disc with moderate sized disc protrusion that is paramedian and posterolateral on the right. It does produce ventral effacement on the dural sac and encroaches the lateral recess on the right. It does contact the right L5 nerve root. There is also a disc protrusion on the L4/5 level posterolaterally on the left. It does encroach the lateral recess on the left and contacts and displaces the left L5 nerve root. There is mild neural foramen stenosis bilaterally. Tina

Q: Results from MRI scan. At L5/S1 there is a large left para central sequestrated disc which is touching the exiting left S1 nerve root and posteriorly displacing the traversing nerve roots on the left side of the thecal sac with potential nerve root limitation. Peter

Q: Dear Sensei: Can I find your book and/or Dr Sarno's in the UK?thanks, Felipe

Q: My son Sean who is only 15 years old had sport injury 2 months ago ( we believe due to weight lifting). At first it was simple lower back pain but after a month he fell in the small puddle coming home from school , since then symptoms not only did not disappear but started to be worse each day. Now he is not attending school and resting which seems starting to help him improve but very gradually. Initial X-ray did not present any major issue , once MRI was done (3 weeks ago) , we had summary result as follow; -severe disc extrusion at L2-L3 with marked mass effect on the dural sac,remarked narrowing of the spinal canal . Marked effacement of the CSF surrounding the fibres of the filum terminated and severe mass effect over the fibres of the filum terminale. -Broad disc protrusion at L4-L5 levels with mild narrowing of the spinal canal , narrowing of bilateral neural foramina and possible contact of bilateral neural foramina L4. _ Bone cyst in the endplate of the left side of the L3 vertebral body. _Normal appearance of the left hip. So far we have seen a neurosurgeon & he mentioned that surgery might be one option . FYI, we have started on decompression therapy ( 8 session so far in 3 weeks) and he is starting to respond to it in slow speed. He can not sit , walking is good up to 30 minute & his leg pain has disappeared. I saw your site and you appear to be very experienced at your work. Can you please let me know how we could eliminate his pain. Thanks, Farah

Q: Hi there, I had an MRI done 4/2010 and now I'm at the point that the pain is so bad I can't do everyday normal things that I used to do. I just don't know who to go to? A chiropractor, a spine or back specialist, pain management,etc. My MRI states there is an annual tear with a high intensity zone at L5-S1. There is an associated 2mm disc herniation at this level. Straightening of the lumbar lordosis. There's more, but this seems like the gist of it and it was done 6 months ago and I haven't done anything, but the pain is constant. What's my next step? Thank you! Michelle

Q: This is my most current MRI 05/26/09 I Send you the previous MRI on a previous question the thing is that i'm constantly in pain its a aching pain in my left side lower back i got 8 trigger shot and they dont help at all and know the DR is saying that its my SI joint since my left hip was hurting as well so he gave me a injection to the sacroiliac joint and my hip pain is gone but not my lower back pain??? MRI 2 NO metastic marrow replacement or fracture from T11 through the mid sacrum. Normal conus termination at L1-L-2 L1-L2 Normal appearing. L2-3 normal appearing. L3-4 mild bilateral facet arthropathy. L4-5 Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy.L5-S1 Mild to maderate degenerative narrowing more pronounced dorsally with mild diffuse bulging. moderate bilateral facet arthropathy.IMPRESSION: 1)Moderate discogenic L5-S1. 2)Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy L4-5 and L5-S1. END OF IMPRESSION By the way I got hurt by picking up a 50 pound bag and I'm 145 pounds 5 7 so i dont think is cause my weight doctors have told me this and also that my age is taking its course wich Iam only 30 PLEASE HELP I have seen so many Doctors and they all say different diagnoses. Ilse

Q: mri done. findings: the conus medullaris is normal in size, signal and location. the vertebral bodies are maintained in height, signal and alignment. the L1-2,L2-3 andL3-4 disks are maintained in height and minimally decreased in signal. the L4-5 disk is decreased in height and signal and demonstrates a broad-based disk herniation which indents the ventral thecal sac. There is liegamentum flavum redundancy and moderate to severe tricompartmental and bilateral neural foraminal stenosis, right greater than left. at L5-S1, the disk is decreased in height and signal and demonstrates a braod-based herniation which indents the ventral thecal sac. there is marked enlargement of the descending S1 nerve root on the left. Tricompartmental and bilateral neural foraminal stenosis is demonstrated. Degenerative end plate signal changes at this level are present. The S1 vertebral body appears to be partially lumbarized.the regional osseous structures appear normal. Impression: 1. Disk herniations at L4-5 and L5-S1 which are brad-based and contribute to tricompartmental and neural foraminal stenosis. 2. Suspect left S1 neuritis. personal note: i have severe pain from left of my tailbone to my toes with numbness from back of the thigh to toes--I literally cannot stand the pain. I see the VA hospital for chronic back pain and am on 5mg/500mg hydrocodone/acteominphin 4x day and 500mg Naproxen 2x day. this pain started 2 weeks ago and literally thought about killing myself to just stop the pain. Elbert

Q: Hi, I was hurt 10 years ago and have opted not to have surgery. I've had 1 epidural injection in 2001. They wanted to go in with a heat probe to help the bulging disc to clam down but I declined. Through the years I was able to cope with the back pain until... Recently I hurt my back again while sweeping using a dust pan. The pain goes down my right leg and numbs the bottom of my foot for two days. Since then it has been intermittent numbness of the foot. I had an MRI yesterday which I need your opinion please. My doctor wants to perform an EMG before he starts any treatment. My pain is bearable but annoying. I am on anti inflammatory and muscle relaxer medication. My upper back gets knotted and creeps up to my neck too. Pain pretty much from mid back and shoots to the lower back down the leg to my foot which numbs up. MRI states: IMPRESSION: L3-4 shallow disc bulge with right extraforaminal annular tear. Facet arthosis. Mild biforaminal enroachment with eveidence of mild abutment of exiting right L3 nerve root. Mild multilevel disc space narrowing, desiccation and shallow osteochondrosis.Mild bilateral SI arthrosis. Thank you in advance. Rick

Q: I had a diskectomy and fusion of C5-C6 2 years ago and still continue to have pain. Can you explain what these things mean please? New MRI states... Axial images through the C2-C3 level reveal mild facet arthropathy but no significant compromise of the central canal or foramina. C3-C4 there is mild unconvertebral hypertrophy and facet arthropathy but no significant compomise of central canal or foramina.C5-C6 There is a spur formation to the right of midline with mild approximation of ventral thecal contour at this level.C6-C7 There is disk-ostephyte complex with mild eccentricity to the left of midline. There is moderate reduction of the anterior posterior dimension of spinal canal. There is mild proximal foraminal encroachment on the left.C7-T1 there is mild facet arthropathy. THANKS! Chrissy

Q: I just had an MRI on my shoulder and lower back. I have tried physical therapy to no avail. I am unable to use my left arm for lifting and cannot walk or stand for lengths of time (I now have to lean on a shopping cart just to shop). Can you dissect my MRI results and provide any suggestions for me? These problems have been going on for 2-3 years and I would really like to get back to normal! Shoulder There is a full thickness anterior insertional supraspinatus tear measuring 6 mm in AP diameter with a moderate amount of fluid in the subacromial/subdeltoid bursa. There is tendinosis within the substance of the remainder of the supraspinatus tendon.

Back L3-4, mild broad based disc bulge. L4-5, loss of disc height and irregularity of the end plates with disc degeneration and a broad based disc bulge causing some mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing without nerve root compression or progression of stenosis. L5-S1, Unroofing of the disc material and a broad based disc bulge extending into both neural foraminal canals worse on the right than the left. Probable superimposed right foraminal disc herniation with mild distortion of the exiting right L5 nerve. There is significant progression of the right neural foraminal narrowing compared to the 2009 study. Jan

Q: A person had this diagnosis and had a surgery "what is degenerative spondylosis with posterior lateral protrusion of L5/S1 disc causing thecal indentation" after the surgery suffered a lot and had this diagnosis "Degenerated L5/S1 disc with posterior protrusion mildly indenting the theca" and the doctor who did the surgery want to do another surgery. My question is do you think he need another surgery? If he need what kind of surgery??? Please I really need your answer as soon as possible.. Many thanks. Melkam

Q: hi,i am 39yr old. I had pain in my back and was advised bed rest for 20 days.I am sending the MRI report. I am taking pain killers. There is sciatica pain in my left thigh for the past 4 yrs. In the past 10 days there has been pain in the left thigh and pain in the calf muscles of the left leg. Plz let me know what should i do now? Ritu

Q: in aug 09 i had L5/S1 herniated disc surgery. it went great and in late feb. early march was having lots of discomfort in mid back and left hip pain. went to physician and she ordered a mri which she said came back fine and sent me to get injections and the doc noticed something in upper back so went back for another mri and was sent back to my original surgeon and he told me i have a herniated t/11 t12 and mild t7,t8 herniations and told me to stay away from this surgery like the plague!! and in the next breath almost seemed baffled my hip pain like in the joint was so painful.He said it didn't seem to be the problem and sent me to a hip specialist (almost to pawn me off kinda feeling) who said my hips were both full of arthritis. And sent me to get a 80mg shot of dipomadrol (something like that)and i'll tell you when i was done and not even the local worked and by the time i got home i could barely put any pressure on my leg and it hurt worse for a day or 2. Now my physician is sending me to get another mri this time on my hips i feel like i am doing all this like its a run around and no one wants to give me a number to help me. I have no clue how these herniations happened especially since my original surgery i have been super careful if you know what i mean and my physician was kind of at awe because i am only 40 and popping disc this may be outta her league because she waits to put the puzzle together while i'm suffering, the back pain i've learned to deal but the hip is a killer. Do you have any clues or answers to all of this? or help because i'm lost. Richard

Q: I am 39yr old type 2 diabetic, that had some hip pain, cause hip shifted to left side and could not straighten up for nothing, went to chiro and was on muscle relaxers, Could finally straighten up with all that, and 3 weeks of babying it. But currently having leg and buttock pain, can't hardly stand to have anyone touch my lower right calf. The bone at top seems to be very sensitive and feels very bruised. I had MRI of LS spine. results indicated. Mild multilevel degenerative disc disease with multiple disc protrusions as described, most evident at L4-5 with a right paracentral disc protrusion and a small central disc protrusions at L3-4. Left disc protrusion at L1-2. See above details. This is what it said above.L1-2 there is left paracentral disc herniation which is small but migrated superiorly posterior to the L1 vertebra. There is mass effect on the left thecal sac with mild left foraminal narrowing.L2-3 disc is normal on sagittal data set. Axial images do not incluse this disc level.L3-4 moderate disc bulge with small central disc herniation. Bilateral facet arthritis. Mild spinal canal narrowing. No foraminal stenosis.L4-5 Right paracentral disc herniation superimposed on a moderate disc bulge. there is flattening of the right aspect of the thecal sac with significant right great than left foraminal narrowing.L5-S1 moderate disc bulge with left paracentral disc herniation. Mass effect on the left S1 nerve root. Any advice to what this means or how it is treated would be greatly appreciated. Kelly

Comment: results of mri. no significant nerve compresion to c or t spine. no spinal stenosis. significat broad based disc bulge l4/5 to the right catching exiting nerve roots. i am in severe pain when walking. am numb on right thigh to knee. feet go out from under me. feet go chalk white and very cold. have now got purple toes and heels. i am on tramadol/ co codamol/ lyrica for pain and sleeping tablets. pamela

Q: Hi Sensei Adam Rostocki, Can you offer any insights on the below diagnosis from my MRI. I have been experiencing lower right back, deep right buttocks and right calf pain for about 4 weeks. Especially painful turning in bed and getting up in the morning. My Dr referred me to Ortho DR saying my issues is: L4-L5: There is a small right paracentral/foraminal disc protrusion that is narrowing the right lateral recess. This also extends into the inferior aspect of the right neural foramen. There is diffuse disc bulging and facet degenerative changes with mild hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum.Other findings from the MRI: L1-2 & L2-3: Mild diffuse disc bulging; L3-4: Mild disc bulging w/ mild central stenosis. The neural foramina are not significantly narrowed. L5-S1: There is a small central disc protrusion. No nerve root impingement or significant central canal stenosis is seen. There is facet degenerative changes. There is minimal narrowing of the neural foramina. The conus medullaris is unremarkable. The alignment is unremarkable. The bone marrow signal is benign in appearance.Thank you. Mike

Q: Hi Sensei, I've had neck and back problems for about 20 years prob. beginning from a few car accidents years ago (nothing recent) Right now, I have neck pain, spasms, and pain down through the scapula. I also have fibromyalgia. My most recent MRI read like this: Cranocervial junction is normal. There is straightening of the cervical lordotic curvature. C2-3, C3-4, C4-5 intervertebral discs demonstrate no evidence of protrusion. c5-6 intervertebral disc demonstrates a moderate broad-based right posterior paramedian protrusion producing moderate compression of the ventral aspect of the thecal sac, and resulting in minimal impression upon the ventral aspect of the spinal cord to the right of the midline. There is mild degenerative narrowing of the right c5-6 neural foramen secondary to unciate joint degenerative hypertrophy. c6-7 intervertebral disc has a small broad based posterior and minimally left paramedian protrusion producing mild compression of the ventral aspect of the thecal sac, without cord contact. c7-t1 has no evidence of protrusion. Cervical spinal cord has no intramedullary signal abnormalities. Note was made of mild to moderate motion artifact throughout examiniation despite repeated imaging. Any insight to all of this would be greatly appreciated. I will be seeing a neurosurgeon soon, as my orthopedic doc referred me. Thank you for any light you can shed on this! :)Starla

Comment: Just a thanks for a terrific site and all the work you do to help people. I found lots of good info here. Thanks! Bettie

Q: My MRi says: A 5mm focal left lateral/forminal disk herniation touching the left lateral aspect of the cord and resultant in severe narrowing of the proximal left neural for amen with impingement of the exiting nerve root.I am scheduled to meet with neurosurgeon. My primary states their advice is I need surgery due to the extreme narrowing of the fragment pushing my spinal cord into half the width suppose to be which could lead to paralysis. Help! Robin

Q: hi this is my mri results. can you explain to me what is a a spondylosis, diffuse disc desiccation and posterior disc hernitations compressing the thecal sac at L3 L4 AND L4 L5. AND does THIS REQUIRE SURGERY. I HAVE GONE TO CHIROPRACTOR ,BACK SPECIALIST ,NEURO DOCTORS AND I DON'T HAVE A CLEAR ANSWER.PLEASE HELP. Efrain

Q: Hi my name is andrea, i have had this lower back pain for over a year and i'm only 19 so i know it has nothing to do with my age. I have been in an accident only once and that was two years ago, it was a hit and run but don't really think it had something to do with my back pain. It it basically a pinching pain on my left side and sometimes near my glutes. I am very concerned about it so i looked different possible reasons and believe it is something called Herniated hernia but i'm not sure, please contact me, anything helps. Andrea

Q: I have had a fusion in my cervical area and a laminectomy in my lumbar spine 8 and 10 years age. I began suffering from severe pain in my left hip radiating down my leg and wrapping around my knee sometimes to my ankle back in Jan. of 2010. Then the same pain started in my right leg.I had an MRI a week ago and I was hoping you could help me understand the findings. L5-S1 right and left foraminal disk protrusions encroaching on L5 nerve root. Minimal fluid signal is noted within tghe facet joints bilaterally. L4-L5 Left lateral foraminal disk protrusion associated with annular tear. L3-L4 left lateral disk protrusionL2-L3 Left disk herniation and facet joint arthropathy T12-L1 and T11-T12 posterior disk bulge T10-T11 posterior central disk protrusion indenting the anterior thecal sac resulting in spinal canal narrowing and touching the anterior cord. Thank you so much for any insight into these issues you can provide. Karen



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