Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2010 Part 12

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: so a few months ago i was diagnosed with scoliosis, after this many years how in the world did i just now find out about it? Along with that i have had degenerative disc and O.A. for about 4 years. Well on top of that I fell at work 3 weeks ago and now have a slipped disc, also know as herniated in my lower lumbar. Workmans comp is in the middle of approving or disapproving and I am just sick of living with the pain. No matter what you do, stand, sit, lie, lean, its all the same and painful to the point I wake up in middle of the night in tears. The doctor gave me pain med for the scoliosis but now i have to go back and talk about the slipped disc/herniated disc. I know many of you feel my pain but I'm so young and it really scares me for what is to come in the future. Although I'm hanging in there I still just don't know how long i can take the chronic pain. Please respond if any readers have any advice. JT

Q: i have disc pain from last 5-6 months.my MRI report is:Diffuse disc bulge and posterior right para-central disc protrusion at l5-s1 indenting the the-cal sac and compressing the traversing right nerve root s1.please suggest me its best treatment.do i need surgery? kiran

Q: IS THE THECAL SAC ALSO KNOWN AS THE "SOFT TISSUE" OF THE SPINE? BARBARA

Q: I have had neck, upper back, arm pain for several months and the chiropractor i have been seeing suggested an MRI as treatment was not helping. The MRI concluded the following:Technique: Multiplanar and multisequence images of cervical spine are performed without IV gadoliniumFindings: no radiographs for correlation. There is a diffuse straightening of the cervical spine. There is moderate discongenic marrow endplate change C6-7. There is mild loss of intervertebral disc height at C6-7. There is no cord spinal abnormality. There is no ligamentous disruption and no paraspinous muscle edema. Visualized portions of the cerebellum and brainstem are within normal limits. There is some flattening of the pituitary, but the stella turcica does not appear frankly enlarged. At C3-4 there is a minimal disc/osteophyte complex without central stenosis nor neural foraminal narrowing. At C6-7 there is a large disc extrusion with slight superior migration centrally. AP canal diameters decrease to 5mm. There is moderate deformation of the cord. There is mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. Can you tell me what this means and if there is anything i should worry about? Thanks, Donna

Q: Hi. I am a 41 yr. old female with lower and mid back pain. I work a full time desk job for a very understanding company (they try to keep me as comfortable as possible, and allow me to get up often to move around some to keep from staying in one position to long). The pain is located in the lower back and radiates out from the left side of my spine to travel down the back and side of my left leg all the way to my ankle and radiates out from the right side of my spine to travel down the side of my right leg down to the knee (sometimes the pain will go down into my foot). Mid back is a pin point pain (like a wasp sting)just off center to the right of my spine. I have been in pain management since 06' and recently seen a neurosurgeon that said he does not believe that surgery will help enough to justify going through it (he has ordered a new MRI to be done in January to make sure).The pain is constant and even with the medications, it never goes completely away. Sitting or driving for more that a few minutes at a time gets unbearable, walking is also painful and cannot walk more that about 30' at a time without resting. I have a hard plastic back brace that covers my entire back with straps over the shoulders that attach to a T bar the goes down to the front hard plastic portion that covers my abdomen and then it has corset laces on both sides that tighten up with hard plastic sides that slide in the back portion and I have walked with a cane for over 2 yrs. now (started using the cane after my 6th fall). Not one day goe by without me crying in pain at some point. I try my best to do this in private as I do not want my co-workers or family to see me break down. Usually the longer I am up, the worse the pain gets. I fight this with all I have and will continue to do so. I have a report from an MRI done previously but do not understand the language. Can you please explain in plain terms what it means. MR findings: Bone Marrow: Vertebral hemangiomas are noted within the L1 and L3 vertebral bodies. Other more ominous significance is not attested therto. Subtle degenerative type marrow signal intensity changes are noted throughout the remainder of the lumbar spine. An ominous significance is not attested therto. L2-3 Intervertebral Disc: There is an element of desiccation of the intervertebral disc with diminished disc space height and posterior prominence of the intervertebral disc eccentric toward the right side with annulus fibrosus tear effacing the right L3 nerve root.Findings are consistent with focal subligamentous herniation of the intervertebral disc. The posterior herniation measures approx. 9.3 mm in sagittal dimension. Effacement of the right L2 nerve root at the level of the neural foramina accompanies this. L3-4 Intervertebral disc: There is an element of disiccation of the intervertebral disc with diminished disc space height and posterior central protrusion of the intervertebral disc with annulus fibrosus tear and what appears to be an element of subtle subligamentous extrusion of the disc material. The extradural defect measures approx. 3.0mm in sagittal dimension. Subligamentous extrusion of disc material extends approx. 6.7 mm caudal to the superior end plate of the L4 vertebral element. This is posterior central located. The extradural defect appears to measure approx. 13.0 mm in width. There is an element of effacement of the ventral aspect of the right L4 nerve root. L4-5 Intervertebral Disc: There is an element of disiccation of the intervertebral disc with diminished disc space height and posterior protrusion of the intervertebral disc eccentric toward the right side with mineralized component at and distal to the level of the right L4-5 neural foramina. The posterior protrusion of the intervertebral disc measures approx. 5.0 mm in sagittal dimension. L5-S1 Intervertebral Disc: There is an element of disiccation of the intervertebral disc with maintenance of disc space height and the posterior margins of the intervertebral disc parallel the vertebral end plates with patient in the supine posture. The posterior longitudinal ligament of the lumbar spine appears to be intact. Paraspinous mass lessions are not appreciated. Any information you can offer will be greatly appreciated. I would just like to understand exactly what is wrong with my back so I can try to determine if pushing myself the way I do to keep working is causing more damage or not. Thanks, Val

Q: I was wondering if you can help with the interpretation of my MRI results? The results of my last MRI were: Findings: Developmentaly small lumbar canal secondary to short pedicals, particularly apparent at the L2-L3 and L3-L4 levels. Tiny Schmorl's nodes at L2-L3 through L4-L-5. Mild loss of intervertebral disk height at the L3-L4 level. At L2-L3 there is mild facet hypertrophy with ligamentum flavum thickening and a minor broad based posterior protrusion that extends into the inferior formina. There is mild central canal stenosis and mild inferior foraminal narrowing, bilaterally. At L3-L4 there is mild hypertrophy bilaterally with a mild broad based posterior disk protrusion that extends into the inferior foramina. There is mild bilateral inferior foraminal narrowing and mild central canal stenosis. At L4-L5 there is mild bilateral facet degenerative change. Minimal broad based posterior protrusion with mild effacement of the anterior thecal sac and mild bilateral inferior foraminal narrowing, left greater than right. At L5-S1 there is mild right sided facet degeneration and mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. SI Joint dysfunction. Chris

Q: I am a 34 year old male with severe diabetic neuropathy. This was being managed with pain medications. However, I had a work accident in which I received a peripheral annular tear at my L3/L4 and my neuropathy got 10 times worse. I can not function now. Can you tell me why and if this tear could be the major cause of the pain to get so bad. Thanks, Rick

Q: Hi - My recent MRI report says: Schmorl's node is seen at L5Multilevel disc dessication is noted.At the level of L4/L5 there is circumferential broad based disc bulge posteriorly causing mild to modest pressure on thecal sac and exiting nerve in both neural foramen.My Feelings:I am feeling my back is week and pain is travelling to my left leg till my foot.I am taking pregablin50mg 1+0+1 and diclofanic Potassium 1+1+1If i miss any dosage pain gets worst.pls advise. my doctor advise me to do swimming regularly. Syed

Q: Hi. I was in a rear end collision.The Mri said prolapsed discs. Then a lump formed which I had a ultra sound for.This is what it said. "History is that of a palpable lump along the midposterior neck that occurs with hyperextension. Ultrasound examination of the area of concern demonstrates an 8 x 4 x 4 mm indeterminate hypoechoic nodule with a possible small calcification along its superior aspect. A CT scan may aid in further evaluation. In particular, if a clinically palpable mass of more significant size is present." Would this be related to the trauma to my neck? Keith

Q: i have extensive ddd, past cervical surgery, a broken r ankle for years has bothered me for 40 years, but usually pain disappears with chiropractic. now severe r ankle arthritis 2 1/2 cm larger now, as a past practitioner, i have been able to move l3,l4 lumbar and usually can get the pain to subside in ankle joint in right ankle. now pain has totally resolved. temporarily it returns until i can manipulate lumbar vertebrae. when r ankle is very throbbing painful, when manipulated left hip with muscle pain and the muscles fatigue quickly down diagonally thru quadracepts from left anterior hip to left foot bottom and big toe. i believe i have got the lumbar joint articulating as pain switches side to side right ankle throbs sitting standing laying left muscle pain and foot pain disappears and visa versa. my thought is osteophytes but possibly herniation. my question is "what is your impression"? and what treatments> are most effective i am a male 66 years old. Jerome

Q: MRI report: Moderate sized posteriorly located central, but predominantly left sided L5-S1 disc herniation with significant extrinsic indentation upon the adjoining spinal canal and upon the left S1 nerve root. A small portion of the disc appears to be extruded. No right sided disc herniation. Some disc bulging at other levels. There is narrowing of the left lateral aspect of the spinal canal at the L5-S1 level. This is my 2nd Mri and it was done earlier this month. It has been 7 mos. now and I still have low back pain & left leg pain mainly burning & pinching in left butt, hip area, along outside of leg , behind knee to foot. Pain level differs depending on what I do. It is worse at work (housekeeper) dan be a 5 out of 10 and better at home when I'm not doing much- a 3. I feel best first thing in the morning, almost normal. Do you think I should have surgery for this? I am scheduled for surgery next week. Thanks Mary

Q: I had a ruptured disc in lower back, severe pain in left side of back in left leg. Had surgery, they put in something called a cage. I have nerve damage and now have to have a pain pump. FOr the past month I have been having pain on my right side. Lower back and leg. The pain is severe, 24/7. Is it possible to have another ruptured disc. This is an unforgettable pain like I had before. I had an MRI 5 months ago and I have a ruptured disc in my mid back that causes pain, nothing I can't tolerate for now. They said that they will have to remove a portion of my chest bone to fix it. I can't live with the pain in my lower back. I am thinking of going to the ER! If I have a plate already at L5-S1 can I have another disc to blow? Scared. Sandra

Q: Hi, I just had a C-Spine MRI and I am severely freaking out. The findings were as follows: The signal in the cervical bone marrow is normal. The craniovertebral junction is normal. Minimal disc bulges are present at C5-C6 and C6-C7 without focal disc protrusion. There are areas of abnormal signals present within the cervical cord. These are at C3 and C6-C7. Given the young age of the patient, there are concerns for a demyelinating process such as MS. Additional imaging with a contrast study as well as imaging of the brain is warranted. There is a slight cord expansion associated with the abnormal signal at the C3-C4 level. There is no paravertebral mass. Please let me know how serious this really is. My mother died of MS. I am shell-shocked ! Casey

Q: Hi, i am a 24 year old female who has sever neck and shoulder pain for about 6 months now-i got an MRI scan done and this is the report. i would really appreciate your view on the findings. my arms ache constantly for about a month now. the findings are as follows:Desiccation of cervical discs with loss of disc height of C5-6 where there is a tiny posterior protrusion that is clear of the cord. No bulging or protrusion at other levels. Axial images demonstrate just minimal bony narrowing of the right C3-4 and C4-5 nerve root canals. No signs of significant narrowing at other levels. In the thoracic region, there is a degenerative change of the T6/7 and T7/8 discs with tiny posterior protrusion at the upper, extending behind the lower T6 vertebral body, clear of nerve roots. There is no appreciable narrowing of thoracic nerve root canals in this region.The cervical and thoracic cord appear normal.No abnormality of the vertebral bodies demonstrated. Chrissie

Q: Hi. I have been suffering from degenerative disc disease, a slight degenerative scoliotic lumbar curvature toward the left & disc bulging L5-S1 for over 8 years and it has been getting progressively worse affecting mostly the lumbar region. My pain started across my lower back and radiated down my right leg with numbness and a little pain in the left. The pain has gotten so severe my pain specialist recommended trying a Spinal Cord Stimulator. The 1st implant was fantastic but I developed an infection & it had to be removed. After trying re-implantation the surgeon was unable to find a spot that gave me the correct impulse signal after 41/2 hrs. of surgery and he finally stopping when he saw some spinal fluid leakage. After that surgery the pain progressively spread to both legs to the point that I was using a walker for a period of time until my pain doctor was able to find a pain medication that would work enough so I could at least walk without the walker. Believe me the pain is far from gone, but she finally was able to get me to the right specialist. My MRI report, which I have had so many I should glow, came up with some new terms and I am hoping you can tell me what the terms in quotation marks mean? In the L2-3 area it says: Moderate central canal stenosis at the disc level is present due to a diffuse broad-based disc bulge, "Ligamentum flavum hypertrophy" and facet arthrosis and hypertrophy. Moderate bilateral "neuroforaminal narrowing" is present. Is this finally the answer to why I am in so much pain? What can be done to treat this? I know I just threw alot at you, but I would appreciate any information you can give me. Thank you for your time & have a great holiday. Laurie

Q: i am a year old woman who woke up to the most excruciating pain ever. went to a doctor of bones thought i had broken a hip. showed that i had a herniated disc w/ ddd and osteoarthritis (l4&l5) also bone spurs. my primary doc sent me to a neurosurgeon and which another mri in just a matter of a few weeks the neuro doc said the no reflex and numbness in legs could not be from the herniated disc and is sending me to a neurologist i don't understand why i am being passed around . i can't hardly get about. as i can not lift either leg. and i am sick of testing but the pain and no shots to my back for pain and not one thing for pain. this is so bad and i am having very bad panic attacks from this pain. my primary doc of 20+ years offered me pain meds. i don't want that i want my medical condition fixed. don't take me wrong i want the pain stopped, but fixed, not covered up. i don't want to sleep my life away i want to live my life. is there hope for me? to fix this and do you think i am being passed off or are the doctors doing right by me? i am thinking of going out of town to another doctor. can you give me sound advice, i can't even step up on a curb let alone walk up stairs. i am not a young chicken anymore and have been told to keep working. my legs go out and i don't know when it will happen it just does. my work is can very hard work. i cut myself shaving as i don't feel in my legs and just drag my feel and trip alot. is this common? the doctor said no... i just don't want to end up in a wheelchair. it is very scary as i thought i was always healthy... overnight change. who would ever think it could happen... dianna

Q: Hello, this is my MRI report i got yesterday, I have a mild degenerative signal change and loss of height of the disc L5-S1. This is associated with a small central focal protrusion which extends to the anterior surface to the thecal sac. There is no compression of the cauda equina or adjacent nerve roots. Also mild annular bulging at L4-L5 with no further significant findings at this level. Everything else is ok. I have pain down my legs and pins & needles at times too, also lower back pain, but it is acute pain and tolerable but still annoying. i can walk no problem. So, It this serious and how long will it take to heal? i swim, and do my physio exercises every day and also add ice constantly but still in pain.Reply with advise much appreciated,thanks, James ps. im 24, i young so a little worried!!

Q: I have just received the results of my MRI. My question is is it as bad as it sounds? The results say that L3-4 have disc bulge with mild lateral recess narrowing and foramina are patent. L4-5 There is a central disc herniation with mild facet arthritis with mild to moderate lateral recess narrowing. Left greater than right with mild central stenosis. there is minor foraminal disease. L5-S1 There is a central/left paracentral disc herniation with severe left lateral recess narrowing with impingement on the left S1 nerve root. There is mild forminal narrowing. Impression: At L5-S1 there is a left paracentral disc herniation with impingement on the left S1 nerve root within the left lateral recess. Now my question is what does that mean and how is it treated? Bethsheba

Q: i am 32 yrs old and have been diagnosed with DDD. one of my main problems stems from the thoracic area of my back. i have had numerous MRI's over the the last 5 years and each time they show my discs to be getting worse. i also have several bulging discs in the thoracic spine. most doctors agree that this is rare but none offer to do much about it. i have had nerve block injections done in the area with no results. where do you suggest i go from here? Chris

Q: MRI Cervical Spine.Indication: Radicular pain right worse than left arm. I also have a constant headache. Pain/numbness in both wrists and hands and pain/numbness in both legs and feet when i sit or lay down.S tanding is somewhat better. Sleeping is very difficult to do unless i take a sleeping or a pain pill. Technique:Sagittal T1 and T2,axial T2 and T2 Star weighted images. Findings: Cerebellar tonsils, craniovertebral junction are normal. There is a mild generalized developmental central can stenois. At C3-4 there is a small midline disk herniation effacing the anterior CSF space and causing minimal midline cord indentation. At C4-5 there is a smalldisk /osteophyte complex which indents the cord in the midline and encroaches slightly on the right more than left nerve exit foramen. At C5-6 there is also moderate loss of disk height, associated with loss of anterior CSF space. There is no indentation on the cord itself at this level however. Mild bi-foraminal encroachment by uncovertebral spurs is demonstrated. Could you explain what this means. My family doctor says i need surgery and has made an appointment for me to see a Neurosurgeon next May/011. Is surgery warranted in this case. Thanks Remi

Q: Hi, I have been diagnosed for a herniated disc at L4 L5. I have been taking physical therapy. All I want to know..is this disease curable? Can I get back to normal? Please help. I am very much worried. I am 28 years old. Rajesh

Q: I received the results of a recent MRI & X-Ray on my low back. My Dr. seemed concerned but no matter how many times I ask for the "results" we somehow get distracted. If you could help me understand, in lay terms, what it all means I would be forever grateful! At any rate, here is what I've been going thru for the last 11 years: Ok, to begin with, I am a 43yo woman, and I am currently obese - I am at least 80 to 90lbs overweight :-( I've only had a weight problem since my back problems kicked in full time at the end of '01, beginning of '02. Otherwise I'd always been very active, fit, & trim, with my weight always bobbing between 130 & 140. I "was" 5'9" tall at that time. I did not know until later in life that I had been born with a hereditary condition of the bones in my feet. As far back as my memory goes I recall my right foot ALWAYS hurting while, and especially after, walking on it. The pain worsened considerably as I aged, and I've walked with a pronounced limp since I first learned to talk (according to my parents & other family members). I had always been told that I inherited "flat feet" from my Mom, & I never doubted it! In fact I never EVER even brought the issue up with a Dr. until I was 34 and the pain became unbearable & begun waking me up out of a sound sleep. It was at that time - the end of Oct/beg of Nov '01 that I found out I had an unusual triple coalition in my right ankle that the Doctors called a "Tarsal Calcaneal Coalition", however it also included the Talus. This information will be significant further on my story. Now back to the beginning :-) Christmas '99 I asked for, and received, roller blades. Of course on Christmas morning I HAD to try out my new "toys"! And of course I promptly fell - very hard - on my backside. At the time I thought I only bruised my ego (as my entire family laughed at me LOL). However the next morning I awoke with a fair amount of pain in my LB that radiated into my bottom, but it was tolerable, and not only was my husband and kids laughing at my "funny walk", but I was laughing at myself too! I'd say the pain was maybe a 4 on the pain scale. After about 1 1/2 days of some TLC it went away! I assumed all was back to normal & went back to normal daily life! I was soon, however, to be reminded that one should not "ASSuME" ... A couple months later I was delivering a large box of kids items (clothes/shoes/toys etc...) to my boss/friend and when I reached into the trunk of my car to pull the box closer to me for lifting, I felt & heard a VERY loud, body jerking, "POP". The pain was immediate and severe - easily a 7 1/2 to an 8 on the pain scale. Once I managed to hobble my way back home, I did the standard "ice for 20min/no ice for 20min/repeat" till the next day. When I awoke the following morning the pain was literally OFF THE SCALE! I couldn't move a single muscle - literally not even a TOE - without massive lightening bolts shooting from my LB into my buttocks on both sides! The pain wasn't only "hot/burning", but it felt like it was literally "cutting/tearing/or ripping" it's way thru my body! It was so bad I couldn't even call for help! Even the act of breathing deeper than VERY shallow, short breaths, or trying to eek out a sound louder than a mouse squeak sent the pain barreling down it's path! I was certain something horrific happened to my back somehow! In fact, I can honestly say I'd rathered give birth 5 times in in a row, than go thru that pain for even a millisecond! (I had 48 stitches after a 100% natural [not a C-Section] birth with my 1st daughter)!!! Eventually my husband managed to help me sit up, I nearly fainted from the massive pain! He called my Dr. and by the Grace of God I managed to get to her office - still whimpering. She gently laid her hand just below the hollow of my back & said she could "feel the muscles quivering". I received a shot of Toradol in my hip - which, by the way, did temporarily take my mind off my back pain!!!! She also sent me home with Scripts for Soma & Ativan. The combination of medication worked wonders on my back & within a few weeks I felt "almost" good as new. I say almost because from that moment forward I always felt a certain degree of pain in my back, & at least 4 to 5 times a month I would awake with that horrendous pain. The waking with the pain stopped after about a year, but the constant, nagging pain in my lower back has been there to 1 degree or another - 100% of the time - to this very day. Fast forward to November 2001. I finally had to accept the pain in my right ankle was so severe I HAD to ask my Dr. about it. Long story short the Coalition had grown out of control and I now had a huge, ball shaped, mass of bone for an ankle. I was told that every time I walked on my right foot, I was breaking the core of the mass. So essentially I'd been walking on a broken ankle all my life. The amount of arthritis this all caused was tremendous according to the Surgeon who fused my ankle. The significance of all this is that after the surgery I had to be non-weight bearing on my right foot for 8 weeks - but due to a poorly applied walking cast at my 3 month visit, my incision tore open and got severely infected, causing me to have to be non-weight bearing for an additional 6 weeks, which turned into 10 weeks. So for 18 weeks (4 1/2 months) I had to hop around on my left leg which seemed to cause the problems I had in my back and left hip (I didn't mention my hip problem as I didn't think it related to this - if you need that information please let me know) to progress to the point that I was in literal CONSTANT, SEVERE pain that has never gone away. Almost exactly 1 year after my fusion surgery, I had to have another surgery to remove the hardware because I had a bone infection where the screws in my heel & ankle were. I was off my right leg again for a few weeks. I saw a NS for the 1st time in the summer of '02, at that time he told me that my MRI and exam were "significant" but not anything he felt he could fix - at that time - with surgery (I was greatly relieved! I do NOT want back surgery if I can avoid it!). However he said it was very important that I avoid bending or twisting backwards as much as I possibly could, preferably not doing it at all as it could cause further, irreversible damage. He didn't explain beyond that. Leaning forward brings me GREAT relief and feels very good on my back! Heat also seems to help sometimes, but only with certain types of back pain that I get. The pains now extend all the way into my foot on the left side, and approx to my knee on the right. However not always does the pain go all the way to my knee on the right, sometimes it only goes just beyond my bottom - I haven't yet figured out what causes it to go further. The pain itself has changed over the years also. In the beginning it was a definite searing/burning sensation I likened to a lightening bolt. But it also often felt like it was literally CUTTING it's way thru my body. Now, although I do still get those same pains sometimes, I also have a CONSTANT soreness/tenderness type feeling that is in the exact line of where the pains travel making me think it's my actual nerve maybe? But the strange part it I can FEEL the soreness (especially if I touch that area), but the skin itself is numb & tingly. It's as though I can't feel my fingers touching my skin, but I can feel the pain inside my leg when I touch anywhere on that path. Does that make ANY sense at all?? Seems to me either it should be numb or not numb! I also, especially on the left, have lost some sensation in my foot. The most bothersome, and by far the most embarrassing thing, and I'm not sure if it's related or not - is that a few times in the last 5 years I'll just all of a sudden begin wetting myself. I didn't even know I needed to use the restroom, and there is nothing I can do to stop it once it starts - and I have NO warning it's going to happen! It's happened in public places 4 times - I cannot even being to describe to you the incredible amount of embarrassment I felt! I was HORRIFIED with myself!! :-( :-( :-( It happened twice in my car while I was driving - thankfully ALONE! And the rest of the times I was at home. I can liken it to when a pregnant woman's water breaks - absolutely NO warning, NO control over it, & NO ability to stop the flow. I would give my right arm to keep this from happening to me ever EVER again! I've never mentioned this to anyone besides my husband (we are now divorced but remain best friends). Because of all the problems my poor gait, limp, pregnancies, & non-weight bearing periods I've been thru - my back, hip, & foot/ankle problems have made me a "Chronic Pain Patient" for the last 7 1/2 years or so. I HATE having to be on narcotics 24/7 and would really like to SOLVE my problems, not mask them with drugs. If you have any advice, or can help me decipher my MRI & X-Ray at all I would be forever grateful! Thank you SO very much for taking the time to read both this message; AND the one with my test results! And thank you for offering such a wonderful service!!!

Ok here's what they says: -----FINDINGS----- -1- No abnormality in Conus Medullaris Region. -2- Partial Desiccation of L2-L3 // L3-L4 // L4-L5 // L5-S1 Disks. -3- Loss of Disk Height appears Mild @ L4-L5 & Moderate @ L5-S1. -4- Degenerative Arthritic Signal is seen in Vertebral End Plates @ L5-S1, & to a lesser degree @ L4-L5. -5- No Disk Space Pathology is seen @ L1-L2 or L2-L3 Levels. -6- 2mm Disk Bulging is noted at L3-L4. -7- 2 to 3mm Disk Bulging & Mild Spinal Canal Narrowing is noted @ L4-L5. -8- There is 3 to 4mm Central & Left Para-Central Disk Protrusion @ L5-S1. -9- L5-S1 Disk Protrudes several millimeters into the Inferior Aspect of the Left Neural Foramen producing Moderate Narrowing of that Neural Foramen. 10- There is only Mild Narrowing of the Left Neural Foramen @ L5-S1. -11- No significant Spinal Stenosis noted @ that Level. -12- No definite Facet Degenerative Changes Identified. -13- Small Cyst incidentally seen Left Kidney. -----IMPRESSION----- -1- 2mm of Disk Bulging & Mild Spinal Stenosis @ L4-L5. -2- Moderate Loss of Disk Height, 4mm of Central & Left Intraforaminal Disk Protrusion, Endplate Degenerative Changes, & Moderate Left Neural Foraminal Stenosis @ L5-S1. -3- Otherwise, Essentially Negative Lumbar Spine MRI Exam. -----FINDINGS----- -1- 5 Non-Rib-Bearing Lumbar-Type Vertebrae are noted. -2- Moderate Degree of Narrowing is seen @ L5-S1 with a Vacuum Phenomenon seen in the Anterior Aspect of the Disk Space. -3- Minimal Narrowing of L4-L5 is seen. -4- S1 Joints are Normal. -5- Mild Narrowing is seen @ L4-L5 & L5-S1 Facet Joints. -----IMPRESSION----- -1- Mild Osteoarthritis of the Lumbar Spine is noted with most Pronounced Changes seen @ L5-S1 With Deepest Respect, F

Comment: My Story: i am 25, i do sports all the time, i was trying to left a car like a month ago, i did have some pain at my lower back, in both sides specially the left side, i went for a CT scan and i got that report: 1-No signs of static instability noted. 2- "LV5-SV1 mild posterior diffuse disc bulge slighlty indenting the ventral thecal aspect and slightly encroaching upon the inferior aspect of the corresponding L5 neural foramina on both sides" 3-Incidentally focal calcification is seen in the anterior aspect of the thecal sac opposite SV2 level, otherwise no Ct identifiable lesions within the thecal sac or the epidural and peri-neural fat planes. 4- small air focus is seen in the left iliac bone possibly air within a small bone cyst. 5- no pre or para-vertebral lesions or collections identified. 6- Normal CT appearance of the apophyseal articulation. 7- No other significant disc bulges or herniations identified. Tarek

Q: Tiny posterior annular tear with small broad based central protrusion type disc herniation slightly asymmetric to the left at L5-S1 touching the traversing left S1 nerve root which along with mild bilateral facet osteoarthritis causes mild left neural foraminal narrowing. #2 Tiny posterior annular tear with a small diffuse disc bulge causing mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing at L4-5 what does all this mean? am I in bad shape? Brittney

Q: i have a serious problem of my lower disks level L1 and L5 for the last two years. I don't want to adopt surgery. pls tell me some remedy to cure it. Nasir

Q: Hi, and thank you for taking the time to hear me out. I'm a 27 year old male who feels that life is at a stand still because of my back pain. Back in 2003 i started having interscapular back pains along my trapezius muscles. The pain presents itself as either tight knots or an extremely sore back. The pain occurs sometimes on one side and other times it's bilateral. The pain tends to intensify over the course of the day. I'm constantly rubbing my back on the corner of anything i can get a hold of just so i don't feel that annoying pain. At times i feel pain right off the T5 vertebrate. when that pain is felt the trapezius pain tends to go away (or masked), rarely do i pass a day with either of the pain gone. Some of the physicians I've visited claimed that the pain source was musculoskeletal pain. Hearing that i went for a massage which did relieve the pain for a few days and then went again with the same outcome. The pain usually starts about two hours after i awake and continues throughout the day. Over the course of the past few years I've gone through numerous physical therapists, numerous chiropractors, 6 sessions of acupuncture, prolotherapy that has helped, however, it relieved the pain for about a week, I've had trigger point injections and recently saw a physiatrist who suggested i do one of two options. one, take an oral steroid for a week or go for 10 sessions of prolotherapy. Back in July 2009 i had an MRI done on my cervical spine that showed "C4-C5 right paracentral posterior protrusion disc material, consistent with that of a disc herniation, impressing on the anterior thecal sack... There is mild osteoarthritis with anterior and posterior osteophytes noted" I've had two MRI's of the back done, however, both came back normal. Recently, my neck at about c4-c5 started bothering me. I'm starting another course of physical therapy next week and hope and pray that the pain will just go away. If you know of something that may relive the pain. please advise, I feel like I'm losing it as the days go by please... Be well, Barry

Q: at age 17 i had multiple pelvic fractures and have a internal fixator in me. i am 33 now and my mri read as follows, at L4-5, there is a broad based disc bulge. there is bilateral facet joint hypertrophy with moderate ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. there is evidence of mild bilateral forminal narrowing greater to the left than the right. at L5-S1 there is a small central disc protrusion but the neural foramen are open bilaterally. the hardware in me is connected to my sacrum. my pain is chronic and severe and never takes a break, i am having a hearing for my disability can you tell me what all this means? please? Kevin

Q: my mri shows c3-c4, c4-c5,c5-c6 disc demonstrates an anterior and posterior disc herniation with 2mm posterior disc herniation with cord impingement and flattening. c2-c3 disc demonstrates a 2mm disc herniation with cord impingement and spinal stenosis. there is no substantial facet arthrosis. could this cause substantial amount of pain upper back, neck shoulders? explain in layman terms what this all means. Lillian

Q: Can you explain what this X-ray result means? Interval progression of disk space narrowing at L3-4 and L4-5. There is hypertrophic change of lower lumbar facets. Some dorsal spondylophyte formation is noted at L3-4 and L4-5. Mild compression of the superior endplate of L2 and L1 are unchanged.Cervical spondylosisand facet arthropathy with mild progression since the prior examination. 48 year old male diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis about 5 years ago. Currently with moderate to severe lower back pain while walking. Thanks for your help. Tony

Q: Love all the great advice and information you provide. I am (was?) a very athletically active person and voila, I got a typical posterior L5-S1 disc herniation. I had a very successful nucleoplasty which removed the pressure on the nerve, but, of course the hernia is still there - if I overdo it (which I always do, I feel it along the nerve all the way down to my foot - not pain, just feel it. Question: 1) will the pulp ever go back in and the annulus heal, or is it forever "leaky". What prevent the whole gel to leak out? 2) if I operate it and cut off the excess leaking out, will the annulus fibrosus heal or stay "ripped". Do these things ever heal? 3) I still mountain bike downhill hard, but I am not sure if biking is the best for the herniated disk. I can do it without pain, but is it "good"? I am 45. cheers, Alex

Comment: Been suffering with unrelenting pain for 5 years. Had discetomy and fusion on three levels on my neck. Still in pain. New mri of back shows two annular tears. Neurologist said no surgery, pain mgmt. Pain mgt wants to burn the nerves with radio frequency. I am out of work and desperate for relief.Thanks,Maureen

Q: I had an mri done on my neck, the mri states at the c4-c5 disc level, there is central protrusion, posteriorly, that effaces CSF ventral to the cord. No Foraminal narrowing is identified. C4-C5 central posterior disc protrusion abuts the cord.Could you explain to me what exactly that means and if this is what is causing me pain in my right arm and shoulder and headaches. Kristian

Q: For 2 months now I've been having pain in my lower back. Tingling going down both legs to toes (on and off). It's worse on the right side. Dr's say I need an epidural shot to relieve the nerve on l5. I've already had neck fusion due to severe atrophy and weakness and don't want to do another surgery. Right now my legs are not weak and no atrophy. But the pain and tingling is bad. It hurts to stand, sit, lie down. I'm only 34 was fully active and now it's all catching up to me. Any advice, need help thx? L3-4: Mild broad-based disk bulge causing mild central canal and mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis at this level. L4-5: Central disk herniation causing mild central and bilateral moderate-to-severe neural foraminal stenosis. There is compression on the descending L5 nerve roots bilaterally. L5-S1: Spondylolisthesis without significant central stenosis. There is bilateral severe neural foraminal stenosis, left greater than right.IMPRESSION: 1. Multiple disk herniations as described above with the largest at L4-5, causing moderate-to-severe neural foraminal stenosis and compressing the descending L5 nerve roots bilaterally. 2. L5-S1 spondylolisthesis with severe bilateral neural foraminal stenosis, left worse than right. Arden

Q: hey. I am 25 years old, i am a very sportive, i usually work out like 6 days a week, between gym or football, now i have pain in the lower back, because i was trying to lift really heavy things. i went for a CT scan, and i got the report, it says "LV5-SV1 mild posterior diffuse disc bulge slightly indenting the ventral thecal aspect and slightly encroaching upon the inferior aspect of the corresponding L5 neural foramina on both sides." So i would like to know what should i do, and if i will be able to do sports anymore, and if it is a long lasting pain? Tarek

Q: What a wonderful page you have here. You know, I actually started crying the more I read. My husband has been suffering with back pain since he was 18 years old (he is now 37) All everyone kept saying was it was muscle strain so he would just grin and bear it... the "type" of guy he is. Finally, i just couldn't take it anymore and I insisted that he request from his doctor to have a MRI. The results came back today. A herniated disc between L7 and L8. I am hoping he will be able to find some help and relief through these pages....thank you, thank you oh, thank you!!!!! Barbara

Q: I seem to have done some injury while playing badminton 3 months ago. Ever since I have a terrible pain in my left leg radiating upwards to my back. A few visits to orthopedic and MRI taken later, I was diagnosed to have mild thickening of Ligamentum Flavum with facet joint spurring upon lateral recess. Also report says mild posterior offset of L5 over S1. Is there a non surgical treatment? Pankaj

Q: Hi, I am a 37 year old, was energetic, fit, exercise 4-5x weekly. Never had any back issues before. I was in a MVA 6 weeks ago, Hit head on swerved so front end & front side of car totalled. The other car was going 30-40mph or so, I was stopping @ red light, maybe going 5-10mph. I have constant pain in neck & lower back, weakness in knees. Mri done results as follows: Straightening of cervical curvature, C2-3 posterior disc bulge, causing mass affect on thecal sac. C3-4 Left paracentral disc bulge causing mass affect on thecal sac. C4-5 Posterior disc bulge causing mass affect on thecal sac, C5-6Left paracentral disc bulge causing mass affect on thecal sac. C6-7 Left paracentral disc bulge mass affect on thecal sac with partial effacement of anterior subarachnoid space. no mass affect on cord. Multilevel hypertrophic changes. Left side C5-6 & C6-7 neural foramina stenosis. That's cervical, here's Lumbar....L4-5 Posterior disk bulge, flattening anterior thecal sac contour. High T2 signal posterior tear on right side. L5-S1 Posterior disk bulge, left side L4-5 neural foramina stenosis from foraminal disc bulge. Could you please explain what this means. Have appt. with neurosurgeon in a few weeks, any questions should I ask..Will I ever be the young lady I once was, That was always doing something, rather than just laying around..How long will it take to heal? Sorry so many questions, just anxious...Thanks, Jenny

Q: Mri says, the intervertabral disc are normal from L1-2 thru L4-5 levels. At L5-S1 there is moderate disc degeneration and mild to moderate disc space narrowing. Slight annular bulge of the L5-S1 disc is seen without significant neural impingement or stenosis. There is probably a poorly defined posterior annular tear or fissure at L5-S1. The conus medullaris is somewhat distinct but appears to terminate at about the L2 level. No paravertabral abnormalities observed. IMPRESSION: moderate internal disc degeneration at L5-S1 with mild posterior annular bulge and minimal annular tear or fissure. No significant focal disc herniation. Otherwise normal. What does this say actually, I was in a car accident, could this be the cause or is it normal aging.Its confusing to read. Michael

Q: hi, I am 23 and have had 3 surgeries to "treat" my herniated discs. In 2002 I had a microdiscectomy at L4-L5 but still had alot of pain after the surgery, they ran some more tests to find that my L5-S1 had ruptured so in 2006 I was back on the operating table for a laminectomy. All was fine and I returned back to work and normal activities, but After 3 years the agonizing back and leg pain returned. More MRIs revealed both discs have re-ruptured and would need to be operated on again. so in august 2010 i had both laminectomy and discectomy performed on both discs. Now 3 months later the pain has returned. I am getting a new MRI done next week and have been researching disc replacements or nucleus replacement surgery mostly performed overseas. I am absolutely fed up with the lack of procedures and information available. please help! Sarah

Q: I need to know what is wrong with me. mri test showed at c3-c4 there is a diffuse broad-based disc bulge with right paracentral annular tear. There is mild concentric narrowing of the thecal sac with mild flattening of central cord. No neuroforaminal narrowing. At the c4-c5 level there is diffuse broad-based disc bulge with focal central annular tear. There is mild concentric narrowing of thecal sac of mild flattening of central cord. There is no neuroforaminal narrowing.At the c5-c6 and c6-c7 levels, is diffuse broad-based disc bulge with focal central annular tear. There is a mild effacement of the ventral thecal sac with mild flattening of the central cord. No neuroforaminal narrowing. Mild to moderate multilevel degenerative changes. The lumbar spine Mild loss of normal t2 signal hyperintensity seen throughout the discs fo the lumbar spine most predominant at the l3-l4 and l4-l5 levels. the disc space heights are well maintained l1-l2,l2-l3,l3-l4,l4-l5, there is mild to moderate diffuse broad-based disc bulge iwth mild facet joint hypertrophic changes in ligamentum flava hypertrophy. Mild central spinal canal stenosis. No neuroforaminal narrowing or disc herniation. It is possible that I can become paralyzed. I have severe pain in neck,back,shoulders, hip and leg. Is this just Arthritis or something else? Sophia

Q: Hello wanted to know what I should do next because after having 3 MRI and several xrays all coming back normal is what I was told yet i'm experiencing pain in both legs started with left side first and then right after 2 months. I cant walk up steps and weak and tingling and toes are sensitive and buttocks are burning as well as my thighs and lost of balance and the Dr says that my MRI are normal yet another Dr said that I have mild Lumbar levels 2/3 and 4/5 foraminal narrowing caused by mild both side disk protrusion and facet hypertrophy. I'm totally lost and getting frustrated with the military Dr telling me they cant find anything yet they see i'm in pain and all meds failed, please help, Thanks. Rueben

Q: Hi. I just had MRI done for pain that started in scapular area. The pain radiated to the front chest area and then down my right arm to palm and fingertips. the pain is now excruciating only in my right arm with feelings of tingling, numbness, electric shock feeling. the MRI report says...C4-5 has osteophytic disk ridging with mild central canal stenosis and bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, moderate on left and severe on right. C5-6 has osteophytic disc ridging with milod central canal stenosis and mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. ... C6-7 has disc bulging with tearing of posterior annulus and osteophytic ridging also with mild central stenosis and moderate right-sided neural foraminal narrowing.... Finally, ther is reversal of cervical lordosis. the doctor wants me now to have an EMG next week also. i would appreciate if you could explain some of this..the pain is intense and not sure of what the treatment could be. Thank you. Andrea

Q: going back to neuro dec. 21st, because now having pain in both arms. know he will likely do another MRI as it has been over 3 yrs since this one.(husband losr job ans couldn't take time off to do this or had any real insurance to cover it..now things are back to normal with $) This problem is from an accident I had back in the 70's. Been living with pain for years, but now it has gotten very bad. My question is he suggested 2 surgeries: I could have one to fuse disks or 2nd to just make the opening wider to stop pain. I thinking the 2nd if nothing has really changed since the last MRI. T1, T2 and STIR sequences were obtained of the cervical spine with multiplanar imaging.FINDINGS: The cervical vertebral body signal appears normal at all levels. No finding for cord edema or syrinx is identified. C7-T1 LEVEL: No finding for a disc bulge, disc protrusion, spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis is identified at the C7-T1 level. C6-C7 LEVEL: There is a small asymmetric disc bulge to the left at the C6-C7 level. No finding for spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis is identified at the C6-C7 level. C5-C6 LEVEL: There is a large asymmetric disc extrusion to the right at the C5-C6 level with impression upon the right anterior border of the cervical cord, right lateral recess, and right C5-C6 neural foramen. No finding for spinal stenosis is identified. The left C5-C6 neural foramen is widely patent.C4-C5 LEVEL: There is a small asymmetric disc protrusion to the left at the C4-C5 level with minimal impression upon the left anterior border of the cervical cord and left lateral recess. No finding for spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis is identified. C3-C4 LEVEL: No finding for a disc bulge, disc protrusion, spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis is identified at the C3-C4 level. C2-C3 LEVEL: No finding for a disc bulge, disc protrusion, spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis is identified at the C2-C3 level. IMPRESSION: Large disc extrusion at the C5-C6 level asymmetric to the right with impression upon the right anterior border of the cervical cord, right lateral recess and right C5-C6 neural foramen. Small asymmetric disc protrusion to the left at the C4-C5 level with minimal impression upon the left anterior border of the cervical cord and left lateral recess.Small asymmetric disc bulge to the left at the C6-C7 level. What do you think? Nancy