Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2010 Part 11

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.

Comment: Best back pain site on the net! Great work and thanks so much. Roberto

Q: About my back pain disease. i'm 25 years old guy. i have a very little mid back pain one year back. that was arrived when i do some work in forward bending sitting position without back support. the pain was in the middle of my back. i was doing sheesh asana exercise (head down legs upward) in morning since last march to avoid fall of my hair. but i was not doing on regular basis. i do not feel any pain while doing this. even i was doing some ground exercise like push up and sit ups to keep my body fit. i was taking protein supplement along with banana and milk regularly at night. i eat non veg almost daily either in lunch or dinner. but one or two piece only. in feb 2010 we went for trekking expedition at hill station for 10 days. we used to walk on hills daily about 10 km with 20 kg luggage on our back. i felt pain in whole body. after completing this course i got injury in my big toe. i normally taking bed rest almost one month. but i continued doing sheesh asana from feb 10 to may 10 without warming up. in june first week i felt continuous middle back pain. it obstructs my daily life a little. till then i was not taking any precaution to prevent back pain. but the pain was increasing continuously. in oct 1st week i consult with doc and i took x-ray of my lumbar. which was showing sacralization of lv5 and lumbar spondylysis s1& l5. but pain was in my mid back. i undergo swd for three days and lumbar traction for 10 days. but not any relief i got from this even i was taking precaution. i also taken x ray of my thoracic spine. but it shows everything normal. in oct last week i find my neck stiffened up in morning. on that day i had x ray of my neck which shows straightening of neck and osteophytosis of c3 to c6. i done some neck traction exercise. some relief i received. since nov 1st week there is regular pain in my whole spine. even i had headache continuous. pain at my mid back, si joint and at my buttock is very chronic. even sometime numbness is there in right leg. pain aggravated for being long in one position like sitting, standing. while laying on firm bed i find some relax. my neck often stiffened up and when i give jerk to neck crunching sound produce. i also had mri of my lumbar. which shows lumbar spondylysis of l4,l5 and s1. disc bulges are mildly compressing the thecal sac and bilateral neural recesses. i also had blood test like esr, crp, ra factor and hla b27. all reported negative. i am loosing weight continuously. now i'm just 58 kg. my height is 175 cm. now i started taking nsaid tablets. i'm in worry if surgery is required for whole spine. Veer

Q: I injured my back at work when i went from a sitting position to standing up quickly (went to sit on chair & realized it wasn't there & jumped back up). Immediate, sharp pain on the left side of my groin. Eventually had MRI & results:"at T11/12 level, there is a sizable left paracentral disc herniation compressing the left side of the cord and nerve roots." i sit all day at my job & still have daily pain almost a year later. the degree of pain varies. I have been told that my back pain cannot be caused by the injury i sustained. most of my pain initially was lower back left side. Can you pls provide me with some information regarding T11/T12 herniation? Nicole

Q: I am told I have a herniated disc at the L5/L6 area. (the Dr. said I have the extra L6)I have excruciating pain thru my groin areas on both sides and it goes down both my legs to where I can't walk sometimes. The Dr and a Chiropractor says this is putting pressure on the nerves. He has prescribed Lyrica for me. It has dulled the pain enough that I don't have to use a walking cane, but I can't stay on my feet but a very short time. Is there any treatment for this. The pain has been with me for 2 years. I am 60 years old. I need some answers. Bernell

Q: I am 25 and I was just diagnosed with a herniated disc, and that was it, he told me that it would "probably suck back in on its own." now i am not a doctor, but mu research tells me that the stuff inside the disc comes out not goes back in. But anyhow, I am way to young to be dealing with this pain, I cant even lift my sons up with out it shooting pain down my legs. I don't know if you have any exercises I can maybe try to help. any advise will be greatly appreciated. thanks.heather

Q: Hello,I have had three laminectomy surgeries over the past 2 years to repair a herniated disc at my L5S1. I'm feeling ok now, but I am afraid to do any sort of strenuous exercise in fear that it will re-injure my back. I would like some advice on what I can do safely to stay in shape as far as cardio and strength training goes. I've never been a big weight lifter, so I am not worried about that. Just want to get an idea of what I can do that will help me in the long run and that is not too much pressure on my back. Thank you. Eric

Q: My MRI Lumbar Spine with Contrast says: Contrast-enhanced scan showed that the left posterolateral lesion at L5-S1 level is a sequestrated disk fragment with central hypointensity and with rim enhancement. It measures about 1.3 cm inheight, 0.6 cm in AP dimension, and 0.8 cm in width. It severely narrows the left lateral recess impinging the traversing left S1 nerve root. It also extends to the left foramen, midly abutting the exiting left L5 nerve root. Facet arthropathy further narrows this foramen and, also, midly abuts the exiting left L5 nerve root. My question is should I have operation based on this MRI, and would it be safe. I am 65 yrs old.Thank you very much. Michael

Q: Can you give me a quick summary of my MRI in laymen's terms? "There is a severe osseous hypertrophic change of the uncovertebral joints. There are traction osteophytes and a traction disc. Mild bilateral foraminal stenosis is seen secondary to osseus hypertrophic change and mild canal stenosis."thanks!! Ryan

Q: Hi, i'm a 29 year old female in pretty good shape. I fell over at work in Feb 2010 and had slight pain in back of left leg down to calf, that was gradually getting worse. Then, 5 weeks ago I woke up one morning & it was suddenly so bad that my little toe & left side of foot were numb and i am unable to walk without terrible pain. I am in pain constantly & taking endone, oxycontin, Valium & tramadol (just finished a 12 day course of oral steroids - predisolone, didn't seem to help that much). My MRI shows the following: L4/5: Intervertebral disc desiccation. A circumferential posterior annular fissure/tear is associated with a small broad-based posterior disc protrusion. This combines with mild facet joint/flaval hypertrophy to narrow the subarticular lateral recesses, with mild impingement of the traversing left L5 nerve root, while the traversing right L5 nerve root is contacted. L5/S1: Intervertebral disc desiccation. A large left posterolateral (right paracentral to left subarticular) disc protrusion projects up to 7 mm into the spinal canal and left lateral subarticular recess, with severe impingement of the traversing left S1 nerve root, while while the traversing right S1 nerve root is effaced. I would really like your advice. Can this be healed without surgery? Is there any chance of long term nerve damage due to this impingement? Any information would be gratefully accepted as I am becoming desperate. Thank you so much, Mallika

Q: I would like to know if you can explain this mri please. The vertebral bodies appear of average height. There is slight narrowing of the C7-T1 Interspace and to a lesser degree the C6-7 interspace. The rest of the interspaces appear preserved. The C2-3 interspace shows no significant disk protrusion or stenosis with neural foramina appearing preserved. The C3-4 and C4-5 interspaces suggest very mild posterior disk bulges with very mild suggestion of effacement of the adjacent anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina at these tow levels are thought to be preserved. The C5-6 interspace shows a mild to moderate central posterior disk bulge with an osteophytic complex to the right with effacement of the adjacent anterior thecal sac. There is also suggestion of narrowing of the right neural foramina at this level. The left neural foramina appear preserved. The C6-7 interspace shows a right paracentral/lateral prominent disk component with effacement of the right neural recess and foramen. This may be consistent with a right disk herniation. The C7-T1 interspace is unremarkable. Maria

Q: Hello. After reading through your website, and quite frankly have no one else to ask [doctors don't count]; I would really like your opinion on my situation; here it goes: I had a nasty slip & fall in 2006; my immediate complain was should/hand/wrist pain, and lower back pain. Long story short, the MRI from 2006 revealed a slight herniation to L5-S1. I decided and agreed to the spinal injection treatment since physical therapy, chiropractor treatments, and medication did not work. The injections (2 procedures)worked wonders, but for only about 3 years. In the beginning of this year (2010) a couple of toes started going numb, and so on until both my feet went numb. Then, I started noticing that I couldn't last very long while I shopped (mind you my extra curricular activity is shopping). I ignored the shooting pain, the radiating spasms, and discomfort for 6 months. Finally, I went through the whole ordeal of going to the doctors and got another MRI on July 24, 2010 (happened to be exactly 4 yrs from the one in 2006). My initial doc (ortho surgeon) was even surprised because the new MRI showed 2 thoracic disc herniations T6 and T7. He then said that the previously slightly herniated l5-S1 lumbar disc was now bulging and pinching my left nerve. He suggested spinal shots for both thoracic and lumbar areas in order to relieve some of the pressure since I couldn't schedule a surgery because my mother had just had surgery Aug 6th, and the day prior (Aug 9th) we got hit from left field and were told my father had a pituitary tumor that needed immediate surgery. The thoracic shots given to me were totally barbaric. In 2006, I was completed out (anesthesia) both times, and had so much relief. In 2010, I was slumped over a chair and was told not to move. I know I didn't swing at the doctor because I couldn't even breathe. The report said "patient tolerated procedure quite well". If they only knew.

My father's surgeon happens to be both a brain and spine surgeon, he saw me limping when I took my father in for a post-op follow-up. He asked why I was limping, and told him the short version of my story. He asked if I had a second opinion, when I said no; he said he would give me a brutally honest one. I took my records for my second opinion with the brain and spine specialist on Nov. 24th. He says: "disc is badly herniated; completely compressed left never that is slightly pinching spinal cord. If you do surgery now- like this month (Dec 2010) you are looking at 18 months to 2 yrs for the nerve to heal. If you wait, like you plan until Feb 2011; then your never healing percentage rate drops because you have already gone this entire year with pain, and as you explain started to get worse early this summer; so give and take 9 months in pain double that for the recuperating nerve it equals 18 months. You shouldn't have had the injections in August they weren't going to do anything for you, or did they? [I shake my head, and just say it intensified the pain in the thoracic area; I didn't do lumbar on Aug 11th.] You're too young to be in this much pain, and loosing strength to your leg. You can't even elevate yourself using your left foot. The thoracic herniations are from trauma; they weren't present in 2006, but you haven't fallen again so the swelling went down, and now we can see the damage. That could also explain all the pain on the right side of your middle back, your neck, and even your shoulder and arm. This is my brutally honest opinion; you do need surgery; trauma has a significant cause of all of this; however, we should fix your lumbar region and then wait to see if your thoracic area starts to heal on its own or to see if it has an improvement. Your other doctor should have told you not to put off the surgery because as you sre aware its only getting worse." After reading your entire web site; I started to wonder if I too have "oxygen deprivation syndrome"; but, then I remember all the images and differences that the MRIs have. There are obvious differences to the 2010 MRI from the 2006 MRI. My best friend had the worst experience with knee surgery (blood clot released to her lung; she almost died), and she keeps insisting to look at other alternatives. At the rate that my pain is intensifying I am going to need a wheel chair surgery or not. Nobody actually knows how it feels each time I take a step. I can hear the cracking internally; I can hear each agonizing stretch I make as I walk. I hate having to sit down 5 minutes after entering a store or mall; the simple task of getting the mail looks like a mile long hike. I opted out of hearing doctors for more than 6 months; nothing at home helped, not even pain killers. What should I do? Proceed with the discectomy or try to ignore the growing chronic pain? Painfully, Esmeralda

Q: I have had back pain for about 2 years now. I have tried different lower back and other muscle strengthening exercises, but my pain does not go away. I mostly have pain in my lower right back. This pain is not consistent. However, I feel some pain in my right leg at times. I recently had an MRI and the findings are as follows: Examination of the lumbar spine reveals a straightened lumbar curve.There is thinning of the discs at T10 thru L2 and desiccation and thinning of the disk at L5-S1. The bone marrow signal is normal. Conus terminated at L1. Five lumbar vertebral segments are presumed for the purposes of discussion. No listhesis is seen. No fracture. L1-L2/ L3-L4 level: There is no evidence of herniated disc or spinal stenosis seen. Neural foramina are patent. Posterior elements are intact. Facet arthrosis is noted bilaterally. L4-L5 level: There is a 0.5mm bulge of annulus present not impinging upon neural structures. Facet arthrosis is noted bilaterally. There is minimal facet effusion noted on the right side. L5-S1 level : There is a 4/5 mm focal central to left paramedian disc protrusion present effacing the ventral epidural fat and contacting to mass influence upon the descending S1 nerve root on the left side. However no significant swelling of the nerve root is seen at the time. Exiting l5 nerve roots are symmtrical. The anterior to posterior spinal canal is narrowed to approx 9 to 10 mm indicating a central spinal stenosis at that level. There is minimal facet effusion noted on the left side. My doctor has advised me that I can get injection to minimize the pain, but i have been tolerating the pain so far. Its just the daily discomfort I am facing on a regular basis concerns me. I am 24 years old and I want to manage the pain with exercises rather than medication. If you could please suggest me what would be the best way to treat the problem. Thanks in advance. Andy

Q: I just had MRI's Cervical & Lumbar but my Dr did not explain the results to me so I was hoping you could help. Lumbar results were Mild degenerative changes of the disc Schmorl's Node deformities in lower thoracic & upper lumbar spine. Boney spinal canal is congenitally small. L3-4 Mild facet & ligamontum flavum hypertrophy. Disc protrusion lateral towards right measuring 3mm-4mm narrowing of right neural foramen. L4-5 Right sided disc protrusion measuring 4mm thecal sac is flattened on anterior right aspect. Thecal sac measures 9.5mm Disc & Or osteophytes result in narrowing of the neural foramen bilaterally. The right neural foramen is narrowed greater than the left. Mild facet & ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. Multi level degenerative changes of the spine. Cervical results was straightening of cervical curvature disc space narrowing & osteophytes at C3-4 C4-5 & C5-6. C3-4 2mm disc protrusion & small osteophytes C4-5 2mm bulge C5-6 3mm disc bulge Minimal degenerative changes of cervical with small disc & osteophytes. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. My Dr is referring me to a back specialist and I am curious as to why & what to expect. What exactly is a back specialist? Thank you for your time. Tena

Comment: I was seeing a chiropractor thru my girlfriend, I payed him cash each visit. Never took any xrays or MRI but knew I fell down flight of stairs 2 times and woke up in hospital with 4 staples in ankle weeks before. I payed 50$ cash, ten visits, my mom tells me she pays her doc 30$ cash visits, so I find out he already is gouging me on price! I went in cause I had pain in right shoulder, he twists my neck few times and then says ok lay face down, "GONNA DO SOMETHING LITTLE MORE EXTREME THEN WE USUALLY DO" he pushed Hard between my shoulder blades and the table dropped half INCH nothing popped.... But numbness went into my right thumb and arm! HE GAVE ME A PUMP UP NECK BRACE AND CHARGED ME 50$!! I went into ER that night, they transferee me to another hospital in morning for MRI, had me in surgery that night! Anterior-cervical-fusion C5-6! Jeremia

Q: Hi, Recently my dad getting slight pain near cervical spine. We had done the MRI scan for cervical Spine. Here are the findings: C2-C4 : Normal hydration and diffuse herniation of the corresponding intervertebral discs with no endplate spondylosis or facet arthrosis. Mild indentation of central canal.Normal lateral recesses and intervertebral eural foramina with no neural impingement. C4-C7: Decreased hydration and diffuse herniation of C4-5,C5-6,C6-7 intervertebral discs with mild indentation of central canal.Normal lateral recesses and intervertebral eural foramina with no neural impingement. Please go through it and let me know if there is any problem in the above report and let me know. Thanks, Vasu

Q: I suffered a job related incident were it has caused me pain from the day it happened 4/27/2010 and it's getting worse, MRI shows that I have a 5mm farleft lateral disc protrusion at L3-4 with some moderate left neural foraminal narrowing, bulging to the far left noted at the L4-5 .I have gone thru therapy for 3weeks and nothing the pain is there all the time.My question is what does all that mean, will the pain go away ,how ,Why is my pain running from lower back to right leg and would any of this things been seen in an x-ray? Olivia

Q: Hi My name is endrias & i have a question about my MRI Impression. What is the meanings of My Result Thank u In advance 1-c3-4,c5-6 & c6-7-mild mild osteophytic anterior thecal indentations & 2-Moderate Lumbar Spinal canal stenosis,congenital,with exaggerated lumbo-sacral curvature and narrowed neural foramens at L5-S1.

Q: I have an 8mm posterior paracentral L5-S1 disc herniation causing- * Severe right L5-S1 lateral recess stenosis * Distortion compression and impingement of the right S1 nerve root in the right L5-S1 lateral recess. I have had sciatic pain off and on for 2 years, AND this last bout that occurred 2 months ago was debilitating enough for me to get the MRI. I have been seeing a chiropractor, doing conservative treatment, using no meds for pain. I am ready to end this pain. The improvement over the last 2 months has been significant, but the lingering sciatic, and the fact that I cannot sit down, tie my own shoes or get dressed without tearing up and nearly passing out- ENOUGH! Surgery stories are scary, so I do not know what to do. I know I am not alone in this, it seems like their are millions in this exact situation. I am 36 and very active, and would like my life back- any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you- Jason

Q: What can happen to a person who have 2 herniated discs in the neck and also arthritis? Also what happen if you do have an inflammation of the spinal cord? What treatment can you follow?Thanks. Ruth

Q: I started with mild back pain about 5 years ago. At that time it was mainly in my neck and thoracic area. After PT it seemed to resolve except when I did a lot of extended standing. In June of this year I had rt TKR. While completing rehab I noticed pain in the lower back, right hip, piriformis, and extending to the right abdominal muscle and down to the groin. The pain didn't extend down to the back of knee or to the calf. These pains concerned me because, I was anxious about needing hip replacement. X-rays of the hip showed no problem, but the orthopedist noticed DDD and referred me for 4 more weeks of PT. Did flexion exercises, electro stimulation and massage for three weeks without improvement. Changed to extension and was referred for an additional 4 weeks of PT. AFter 2 weeks, changed to pool therapy. Still no improvement. Sent for MRI. Impression reads: Stable mild bulging annulus at L4-L5 with flattening of the anterior aspect of thecal sac, At the level of L3-L4 thre is a new mild broad-based 1 mm right paracentral/posterolateral disc herniation with compression on the thecal bulging annulus was present, there is a stable broad-based bulging annulus at L2-L3 with compression on the thecal sac, there is stable partial disc desiccation most prominent at L3-L4, there are mild spondylotic changes throughout the lumbar spine, there is mild intervertebral disc space narrowing at L2-L3, which has slightly progressed since the prior study, and there is a stable hyperintense lesion with L1 vertebral body compatible with a benign vertebral hemangioma or fatty island. I'm being referred to a local spine specialist and would like to have some idea as to what to expect concerning these findings/impressions. Sorry this is so long, but I noticed on your other Q/A sometimes you request more information. Thank you in advance. Janet

Q: Hi, I am a 45 yr old woman who has acute severe pain that just began in lower back, buttocks, pelvis and mostly down front of leg, knee and lower leg that is extremely painful to touch, I fell down a flight of cement steps trying to grab a co-worker as she was falling and injured my hand and twisted my back. I was only having mild back pain for the last 10 months. A few weeks ago the pain became so severe I could barely walk and unable to sleep. I went to an Ortho Doc who thought I herniated a disc and gave me anti-inflammatories and pain medication. Nothing helping so finally got an MRI and here are the results:

There is a benign pattern of marrow signal intensity. There is a bilateral spondylysis at L5 without spondylolisthesis. L5-S1 demonstrates desiccation without disc bulge or herniation. L4-5 there is disc without disc bulge or herniation. The remaining intervertebral discs maintain normal contours and normal signal intensity. The conus medullaris is in the normal position I am still in severe pain and having muscle spasms after several weeks from this diagnosis and I haven't been a able to go back to work yet. What is causing this pain? Can it be from my fall? What should I do? I can't take the pain any longer. Hope you can help. Thanks. Ann

Q: I am 44 year old woman. I have Lower back pain & Pain in buttoks legs more in right leg? My MRI of LS Spine has following findings- There is a disc degeneration at T12-L1 L4-5 level. At the level T12-L1 there is evidence of diffuse posterior disk herniation with extrusion, causing indentation of spinal theca, narrowing of both neyral foramens, compression of exiting nerve roots, secondary canal stenosis %& lateral recess srenosis. At the level L4-5 there is evidence of disc bulge with annular tear, causing indentation of spinal theca. Schmorl's nodes are seen at L2 & L3 vertebral end plates. Lumbar canal measurements (in mm) at various levels: T12-L1 (IV disc): 08 L1-L2 (IV disc): 18 L2-3 (IV disc): 19 L3-4 (IV disc): 19L4-5 (IV disc) : 14 L5-S1 (IV disc) : 16 The cord is normal in morphological & signal characteristics. No ligamentum flavum hypertrophy is present. No facetal arthropathy is present. There is no abnoraml pre or paraspinal soft tissue. My doctor a Neurologist has suggested me surgery after a treatment of 2 months. Please suggest me on the issue.Fauzia

Q: I am finding it hard to except my condition and would MOST GRATEFULLY appreciate it if anybody be able to explain the following MRI results through to the operation explanation in a non-medical way. FINDINGS on the 28-August-2005 -L4/L5 demonstrates disc desiccation, posterior annular disruption and a small central disc extension below the level of the intervertebral disc consistent with a small disc extrusion. There is nominal indentation of anterior midline thecal sac and no neural compression suggested. L5/S1 demonstrates disc desiccation, mild disc height loss and a broad based central and right paracentral disc protrusion with superimposed right paracentral extending into intervertebral foramen and lateral recess disc extrusion. Hence, this disc extrusion is lobulated and extends superiorly from the parent disc. It obliterates the right L5 lateral recess. Compromise of the right L5 nerve root in the lateral recess and extending into the medial aspect of the intervertebral foramen with disc inferior to the nerve root at this location is suggested CONCLUSIONS Degenerative intervertebral disc disease L4/5 and L5/S1. In particular, there is broad based shallow L5/S1 disc protrusion with superimposed lobulated extrusion in the paracentral region involving the lateral recess and right intervertebral foramen adjacent aspect due to extension of disc material superiorly from the parent disc. Associated neural compromise right L5 nerve root.

OPERATION PERFORMED on the 30-August-2005 (P1)RIGHT L5/S1 MICRODISCECTOMY Findings, Large paracentral and foraminal and cephlad disc fragment retrieved. QUITE STUCK UNDER THE PLL Tech,3cm incision at L5/S1 which was later confirmed with XR. Right hemilaminectomy of S1 and L5 flavectomy. Thecal sac and descending S1 nerve root visualized. Discectomy performed by incising the space retrieving disc with ronguers and currettes. Right angle passed cephlad and lateral to the foramen freely, although the exiting L5 nerve root was not visualised.My Questions - : 1. does this description give notion to me having 'cauda equina'??? I couldn't pee, had total loss of feeling in right leg which started in the top of my foot and by the day before the op, TOTAL feeling lost all over from buttoch to big toe on right side. 2. What does Quite stuck under the PLL mean??? 3. Are there any points here that would lead me to today, over 5 years on, to still be experiencing numbness and horrid pain in my outer right ankle, outer calf, numb and sometimes feeling of disconnected big toe and of course, pain in my buttock, leg, ankle, big toe and lower back??? It has been revealed from an MRI performed in September 2008 that I have a large amount of scar tissue under the nerve and this is said as the reason for my pain. Although in saying that, Since before and straight after the op and now I haven't since regained full feeling in my toe and outer ankle area. - Kimberly

Q: What does this mean..is on my MRI. Right paracentral extruded disc L5-S1 with impression on thecal sac and posteriorly displaced right SI nerve with caudal migration of disc material. Degenerative disc disease L4-L5 with bulging annulus with mild impression on thecal sac and lateral foraminal encroachment. Thanks so much! Carol

Q: Hello, I had a lumbar microdiscetomy in 2001 and a ACLF in 2003 bilevel. I had a recent MRI after 10 weeks of hip/back physical therapy with relief of the hip, but continuing deterioration, radicuopathy and pain in the back, down the leg and through the foot and toes. The MRI revealed this impression: Postsurgical changes noted on the right L%-S1, however, although there does appear to be displacement of the right S1 nerve root posteriorly, uncertain if this is related to postsurgical changes or a recurrent/residual disc protrusion.There are notations at each level from L1-2 (mild facet arthropathy) to L5-S1 with much more detail including disc osteophyte complex and moderate foraminal narrowing. There is mild effacement of the L5 nerve roots bilaterally as well. Can you suggest options for treatment? Thanks, Barbara

Q: Disc Levels: there is almost grade 2 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1 with posterior element hypertrophic changes and diffuse spondylosis/disk bulge with decreased width of the spinal canal. Bilateral posterior lateral disk buldge may contact the exiting L5 and there is bilateral neural foramina narrowing. Conclusion: almost grade 2 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1 with degenerative disk and joint disease as noted bilateral neural foramina narrowing at this level and posterolateral disk bulge at L5-S1 possibly contacting the exiting L5 nerves. what does all that mean? what should I consider doing? Kay

Q: I have narrow of the foraminal...some facet issues and degenerative disc issues as well as disc dessication in L2-L3 and L3-L4.....at L4-L5 I have "somewhat difused bulged disc as well as facet issues and foraminal issues All of this has been causing me ALOT of pain bilaterally for the last 2 years....8 years ago I herniated L4-L5 and L5-S1 and was in a TON of pain for a little over a year and was told soon after the pain subsided that the discs and receded.....I'm now 44 years old and really can take the pain like I used to HOWEVER I refuse to end up like the people I see on Intervention taking OC and other real hardcore pain meds.....I just want my life back. as it is my testosterone level in under 200 and my wife divorced me and has ran off with my 5 year old daughter....I really feel like life is over for me and have contemplated my demise many times.....Please respond and give me some info that I can use to find my legs again so I can stand up and live....Thanks, Dave

Q: My husband has been suffering from pain for almost 3 years now. It started in his right buttock and the back of his right thigh. It has now progressed to his lower back and at times, his calf and foot. We have been to his PCP, a Physiatrist, a couple neurologists and neurosurgeons, a rheumatologist, and a pain management specialist, as well as a chiropractor and physical therapist, all to no avail. He has had x-rays, MRIs, an EMG, several epidural shots, etc. This is what his latest MRI has shown: -Mild to moderate disc protrusion eccentric to left at L2-3 with peripheral annular tear at 6 o'clock. At L2-3 there is disc degeneration with loss of disc signal and disc height. -Mild disc bulging at L5-S1. -Mild to moderate dessication without focal disc herniation at L1-2. He is 36 yrs. old 5'5" 150 lbs. Does this sound like normal disc degeneration, and can you recommend anything? Thanks! Kati