Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2010 Part 4

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: My MRI states the following about my C3-4 and C5-6:C3-4 has mild disc bulging seen on the right side with mild endplate spur minimally indenting the thecal sac. There is mild narrowing of the right C4 neural foramen. No significant central spinal stenosis. C5-6 has aright-sided extruded soft disc herniation indenting the thecal sac and touching the right hemicord. There is a severe narrowing of the right neural foramen by the combination of disc herniation, uncovertebral spur as well as the enlargement of the right facet joint. There is no cord edema to suggest myelomalacia. I have seen 2 neurosurgeons. One said surgery the other says no surgery as my symptoms have nothing to do with my symptoms! Here is what I experience: Loss of balance,(kind of like I am swimming when I walk. Stiffness in my knees (not all the time. Mild constant ringing in my ears. A feeling of numbness on the back and sides of my head, but it is not really numb. Shortness of breath on occasion. Stiffness of neck on occasion. Dizziness in a way that I feel like my head is being pushed from side to side, and could just fall off at times. Sometimes I feel like I could pass-out. Anxiety and trembling when these things occur. Some weakness in my arms. NO pain at all in any part of my body. I have had a brain MRI,and there is no indication of tumors, cancer, or MS. My heart has also been checked, and there are no problems there. Lymes is not an issue either, even though I have many of the symptoms (it has been checked several times. My doctor is baffled as to what is the cause. Would like to get your thoughts on whether or not my disc issues above are causing of the problems I mention. Thank you for your help, and for providing such an informative website. Paul

Q: Hi i am a 34 year old bahamian lady and i was recently diagnosed with sciatica. I was on medication for 2 weeks and when i saw no improvement i decided to go to a neurologist. He told me that i needed an mri so i got that done the results were as follows... L5-S1, a moderate herniation of nucleus pulposus eccentric to the right results in mild to moderate stenosis of the spinal canal to the right of midline. My question is do i need surgery? Debbie

Q: two weeks ago i sat down and pain shot through my back. after a couple of days of hot showers and advil i went to the doctor who prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers, telling me the problem was that i was almost "half a century old" and i was bound to have back problems. he told me that if it persists i should see an orthopedist. thinking it was something muscular at the worst i went to get a massage, which actually made me feel better for a few hours, but, in retrospect, i'm afraid may have messed things up even worse. a few days later i went back to the doctor who then thought it might be something with my kidneys. he told me to get an xray and get a urine test. the urine test revealed some calcium and i had had to get it done again through a urologist. after a cat scan, he ruled out a kidney problem and then i finally, after two weeks went to the orthopaedist. he diagnosed at once that it was a herniated disc of the 5th lumbar and sent me for an mri. this revealed that there was also a fragment, and he ordered another mri with contrast. this showed that the fragment is quite large. he put me on prenderzone, and i am slated to get a cortisone shot on monday. i have so many questions, however, that maybe you can answer.

1) it is always uncomfortable, but most of the day i can walk and, if if don't think about it or do anything too strenuous, i am fine. however, the worst pain seems to have traveled down my leg and now, particularly later in the day the pain in my foot is unbearable. is this common? 2. what is the purpose of the prenderzone and the cortisone shot? 3. what should i be doing or not doing? i am getting conflicting advise from the doctor to lying down, not lying down, walking, not walking, etc. 4. what is the significance of the fragment? will this make surgery more likely? does it make it a worse case? 5. what do you advice to do or not to do> thank you, paul

Q: Just a simple question in november I had a cat scan witch showed a herniated disc L4/L5 then in January I had am MIR done it showed a herniated disc L2/L3 with a disc fragment(5.7mm AP by 10.5mm) L4/L5 everything looks ok L5-S1 herniated disc. Have 6 lumbar vertebrae. Can the both be right would have wrote more details but reports are in french Thank you in advance, Randy

Q: Can you please tell me in plain english what these MRI results mean and if taking off work & resting as much as possible will help at all or should I keep working and wait to have surgery? I am a 41 yo female house cleaner, I work 5 days a week for 6 hrs. a day & involves heavy house cleaning. MRI findings: extruded disc in the left L5-S1 level. Based on the images submitted, this is suspicious for a sequestered disc fragment, which appears to be embedded in the left lateral recess and extending into the left neural foramen. This is contributing to severe nerve root encroachment. On the sagittal T2 images, the disc fragment measures at least 1.2 cm. There is mild central canal stenosis which is associated with the disc pathology at this level. There is desiccation of the disc space. The right neural foramen is maintained. I can't get in to see neurosurgeon for 5 weeks yet & my dr. can't give me the answers I need. Can I walk/run on my treadmill or lift weights as usual or stop all of this. I am constantly in pain even with the medicine my dr gave me but it's not intolerable, maybe a 6/7. Thank you very much. Mary

Q: I had a MRI done today and I have had sever lower back pain for a long time this is what he results said could you explain it to me in laymen s terms or English I haven't talked with my Dr. yet will be tomorrow probably. There is a mild broad-based bulging disc at T12-L1. No marrow edema present.L1-2: No significant abnormality of the disc, central canal or neural foramina is apparent at this level. L2-3: No significant abnormality of the disc, central canal or neural foramina is apparent at this level. L3-4: No significant abnormality of the disc, central canal or neural foramina is apparent at this level. L4-5: No significant abnormality of the disc, central canal or neural foramina is apparent at this level. L5-S1: Small broad-based right paracentral disc protrusion causing slight posterior displacement of the right S1 nerve root. Central canal and neural foramina appear adequate in size. Impression: 1. Disc degenerative change at L5-S1 with a small right broad-based disc protrusion. This does appear to be creating some posterior displacement of the right S1 nerve root. Recommend clinical correlation for right S1 nerve root symptoms.2. Broad-based bulging disc at the T12-L1 level without focal herniation.3. MRI scan of the lumbar spine is otherwise negative. Christopher

Q: Please explain to me what this mri result means? I cant get into my doc for a week. I did have the epidural done 3 weeks ago, no more severe pain, still numbness and tingling in my left leg and foot. pain when i do too much, but like a normal back ache. Impression: 1.Left Paramedian intervertebral disc extrusion at l5-s1, which effaces the thecal sac and the left s1 nerve root. 2. mild facet arthrosis at l5 s1. 3. disc bulge at L4-L5, which abuts the anterior aspect of the thecal sac. do i need surgery? and if so, can it wait 5 months or so? i am a military wife and we are preparing to move to Germany. does surgery work? Thank you so much for your help! Kristina

Q: 20 years ago I had a laminectomy and discectomy at L4/5 and L5/S1. Last year I had ACDF at C4/5 and C5/6. My recent x-ray shows that in the last six months C6/7 has degenerated and a large osteophyte has formed. So far I am without symptoms and am keeping my fingers crossed as I do not fancy further surgery and plating! I am now experiencing pain in the thoracic region and intermittent numbness across my back at the level of my bra. My neurosurgeon said it looks as if I have a degenerative disc in the thoracic region and would consider surgery if needed. Is there anything else I could try before even thinking of that as an option? I am a 60 year old pretty active female and I am taking Tamixifen following breast cancer 2 years ago. Jenny

Q: I need an explanation of my X-Rays in English please. LOL The spine is remarkable for a slight ventral listhesis of L4 and L5. Subchondral sclerosis of the endplates of L4 and L5 are evident. Anterior and marginal osteophyte formation is seen at L2,L3, and L4. Mineralization of the spine is adequate. Moderate lumbar spondylosis. Relative ventral listhesis of L4 and L5. That was the report for my Lumbar Spine. My hip report says abnormal. Abduction and adduction views of the right hip demonstrate superior joint space loss. There is subchondral sclerosis of the acetabular rim with subchondral cyst formation. The femoral head is intact. Moderate degenerative joint disease of the right hip articulation. Brenda

Q: please tell me in english what my mri results meanL3-L4 Right foraminal protrusion measuring 3mm. L4-L5 Significant loss of disc height. Right foraminal protrusion measuring 2mm. L5-S1 Moderate degenerative disc disease with disc uncovering and broad based disc bulge asymmetric left measuring 3 mm. Conclusion: Retrolisthesis L5 on S1 with lower lumbar spondylosis.PARASPINAL AREA: Normal with no visible mass.BONES: Status post right L5 hemilaminectomy. Retrolisthesis L5 on S1.No evidence of abnormal enhancement.CORD/CAUDA EQUINA: Normal caliber, contour, and signal intensity.

LUMBARE DISC LEVELSL1-L2: No significant disc/facet abnormality, spinal stenosis, or foraminal narrowing.L2-L3: No significant disc/facet abnormality, spinal stenosis, or foraminal narrowing.L3-L4: No significant loss of disc height. Right foraminal protrusion measuring 3mm. No central spinal or neural foraminal stenosis.L4-L5: Significant loss of disc height. Right foraminal protrusion measuring 2mm. No central spinal or neural foraminal stenosis.L5-S1: Moderate degenerative disc disease with disc uncovering and broad based disc bulge asymmetric left measuring 3 mm. No central spinal or neural foraminal stenosis.

CONCLUSION: Status post right L5 hemilaminectomy. Retrolisthesis L5 on S1 with lower lumbar spondylosis as described No central spinal stenosis or evidence of nerve impingement. Sandy

Q: I have herniated discs in c4,c5, result of car wreck in 1982. Diagnosed with OA in 2001, c3,c6,c7 are affected,degenerative over years. Chiro since accident, relief lasting shorter and shorter. Sent to pain management Dr. wants to do epidural injections. I have not had any other therapy and from what i'm reading, the injections are just for pain relief. Mine is not going to heal while getting epidurals. I don't want to do cortisone or steroids. I think this is to invasive to soon. Others say relief is great for first few times, but does not correct condition, just covers up pain. What to do? Thank you for any advice you can provide. Lynn

Q: Hi, I am ravinder age 27, suffering from neck pain and in last August 2009, i did MRI and following is the impression: Early degenerative changes in C2-C3,C5-C6 discs.Posterior disco osteophyte complex seen impinging adjacent anterior thecal sac and cervical cord at C5-C6 level.Decrease in the mid sagittal cervical canal diameters at C5-C6 level Incidentally noted -Degenerative changes in L4-L5 disc.Schmorls nodules herniating in the upper end plate of LV1, LV2 bodies. My question is on the first place, is these reports are alarming and why do i have same pain consistently and sometimes i get tingling in my legs and hands with some back pain. What do you recommend me that i am gone case or can i rebound and work at least till age 58 years.

Q: Hi....I am a 50 year old female...My MRIA shows a right posterolateral disc extrusion extending craniad from the disc level. It is 5MM in maximal thickness It extends into the right neural foramen and produces severe right neural forminal stenosis and obscuration of the transitioning nerve root. I really don't have any back pain, but intermittant rib pain that radiates around the rib cage. What treatment options are available for this condition? Thank you, Mari

Q: my husband was in car accident, the information below is the result of the MRI: THERE IS A STRAIGHTENING OF THE CERVICAL LORDOSIS. THE DISC SPACES ARE NOT IN HEIGHT AND SIGNAL. THE MARROW SIGNAL IS NORMAL WITHOUT COLLAPSE OR SUBLUXATION. THE CRANIOVERTEVRAL JUNCTION IN NORMAL.. C2-3 ARE NORMAL. AT C4-5 THERE IS A MILD BULGING WITHOUT CENTRAL OR FORAMINAL COMPROMISEAT C5-6 THERE IS A DIFFUSE BULGING WITH SUPERIMPOSED SMALL CENTRAL HERNIATION. THERE IS FLATTENING OF THE VENTRAL THECAL SAC. THERE IS NOR FORAMINAL COMPROMISE. C6-7 THERE IS A PROMINENT, EXTRUDED LEFT LATERAL RECESS/FORAMINAL SOFT DISC HERNIATION RESULTING IN MARKED LEFT LATERAL RECESS/FORAMINAL COMPROMISE. THERE IS SLIGHT FLATTENING OF THE LEFT LATERAL ASPECT OF THE CORD AT THIS LEVEL. THERE IS NO RIGHT FORAMINAL STENOSIS. C7-TI IS UNREMARKABLETHE SPINAL CORD IS NORMAL IN SIGNAL AND CALIBER THROUGHTOUT. THERE IS NO INTRADURAL OR PARASPINAL MASS. LIMITED EVALUATION OF THE POSTERIOR FOSSA IS NORMAL. IMPRESSION: 1) LARGE, EXTRUDED LEFT LATERAL RECESS/FORAMINAL SOFT DISC HERIATION AT C6-7 RESULTING IN MARKED LEFT LATERAL RECESS/FORMINAL COMPROMISE. THERE IS A SLIGHT FLATTENING OF THE LEFT LATERAL ASPECT OF THE CORD AT THIS LEVEL.2) SMALL CENTRAL HERNIATION SUPERIMPOSED ON BULGING AT C5-6 RESULTING IN EFFACEMENT OF THE VENTRAL THECAL SAC.

HIS NECK AND TOP ARM ARE HURTING VERY MUCH, HE IS EXPERIENCING WEAKNESS NOW IN HIS ARM AND IT GOES ALL THE WAY DOWN TO HIS HANDS AND PINKIE. PLUS HE GET NUMBNESS IN HIS ARM (LEFT) ARM.WE ARE GOING TO CHIROPRACTOR TO START. THEN THE DR. MENTION THAT THE NEXT STEP WOULD BE AN EPIDURAL AND LASTLY IF NECESSARY SURGERY. YOUR OPINION WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANKS NANCY

Q: C5-6 and C6-7 : mild posterior bulge and contained annular tear. No central canal, lateral recess or foraminal encroachmentI have Bilateral arm numbness and pain. Sara

Q: hi. i am sending you the MRI report of my sister , she is unmarried and 30yrs old and she having pain in her back and legs as well . she also have some cyst in her ovary but the doctor in our area do not tells and treat properly they just prescribe some medicine and she is taking medicine since a long time but in vain... here is her report plz read and tell me what is the problem exactly and what should she do to get rid of this pain.Relative straightening of lumbar curvature is seen possibly due to mild muscular spasm. Mild bilateral para -median posterior disc bulges are present at the level of L4-L5 with associated minimal hypertrophy of ligamentum flavum. This is causing mild indentation over ventral surface of thecal sac and moderate narrowing of both lateral neural recesses more on the right left side. Mild left para-central posterior disc bulge is also present at the level of L5 -S1 causing mild narrowing of left lateral neural recesses. regards... NK

Q: I love your site -- it is very informative. Now for my question: I am a 48 yo weightlifter and two weeks ago, I 'hurt' my back while doing leg presses at the gym. Nothing serious -- I thought. As the day went on, the pain became more acute. The pain is in the upper right buttock with piercing pain radiating down my leg thru the right hip. I just had an MRI completed:L1-L2: Mild disk desiccation is present with a left paracentral amular tear with minimal disk bulge. No significant central canal or foraminal stenosis results.L2-L3 -- There is no disk desiccation, bulge or herniation.L3-L4 -- Minimal disk desiccation is present with a minimal disk bulge. Moderate facet arthropathy is noted. No foraminal stenosis.L4-L5 -- Mild disk desiccation is present with a small broad-based disk bulge and right superolateral disk extrusion causing a severe right foraminal stenosis.L5-S1: Severe disk desiccation is present along with a small posterior amular tear and minimal disk protrusion.IMPRESSION: Righ tsuperolateral disk extrusion causing at the L4-L5 level causing a severe right foraminal stenosis. I go to an ortho later this week -- does this injury seem like it will respond to therapy? I really want to avoid surgery ... Dan

Q: Hi, I'm 30yrs old,(mother of 3yr old) diagnosed with disc protrusion or slipped disc. I'm advised to take 3 months rest. According to the report, I have crossed the mild stage and I'm at the moderate stage of slipped disk (told by the doctor). I am sending the details of the MRI Scan done. Please advice me the proper resting pattern to follow and also how serious is my condition right now. The doctor told me if my condition does not improve then surgery is the only option. I really want to avoid a surgery. So please help me.

Investigation: M.R.I Of the Lumbosacral Spine. Technique: T1 weighted and T2 weighted axials/sagittals. Coronal STIR sequence through the bilateral sacro-iliac joint. IMPRESSION:Large sized, broad based postero-central and bilateral paracentral disc protrusion at L4-5 level compressing the thecal sac. bilateral neural foramina and nerve roots are normal at this level. Moderate sized, broad based postero central and left paracentral disc extrusion (mild suprior migration) at L5-S1 level. Bilaterl neural foramina and nerve roots are normal at this level.Moderate sized left far lateral disc protrusion at L3-4 level without neural foraminal or nerve root compromise. AP diameters of the central spinal canal in cms are as follows: Coronal STIR sequence through the bilateral sacro-iliac joint is within normal limits. These are the report details. please help me. I'm eagerly waiting for your reply. Thank you. Preeta

Q: Hello : I was in an auto accident 02/21/07. I was already a patient at a pain clinic for conditions unrelated to injuries sustained in the accident. the doctor I had at the time was dealing with cancer and when I told her I had new back pain my complaints went unheard. She passed away and I was given a new dr. I told him about my accident, my back pain, neck pain, head aches and other new problems. He went on to treat me for those injuries but by the time he was my dr. months had passed since my accident.Recently this dr. fired me as a patient refusing to continue treating my pain. So, my lawyer asked for my records, read them and has said they are of no use. My dr never wrote down what he told me during our office visits. He told me my herniated disc was a result of the impact and so forth. I have since called and asked for a letter stating his findings. I have yet to hear from him. Okay, my question is, if he refuses to document my injuries from the accident, how can i prove to the lawyers that i was injured from the accident?I had an MRI in 2004 which showed no herniation. I do have some degenerative disease. However, I am certain the impact was just what the disc needed to become herniated much sooner than it would have without the accident. Thank you for your time! Sincerely, Kara

Q: 14 years of on and off back pain. MRI 14 years ago with L5/S1 herniation. Now I am 41, married, 3 kids -- pain bad again. I read MindBody by Dr. Sarno. Called him, he said get an MRI first. Clear herniation in L5/S1 and disc pushing on spinal cord / nerve and symptoms are consistent with that. I see Orthopedic Surgeon next week. Waiting to get to see Dr. Sarno, but I am not certain given the clear diagnosis by the Drs. Anyone else have similar issues but success with Dr. Sarno approach? Brad

Q: hi, love your website! have slipped four discs in the past year, two happened at the same time. have been to physios and am currently seeing a chiropractor every week. i recently got an mri done and my chiropractor is recommending that i see a consultant.have constant pain in both my legs. my mri reads: chronic l4 disc herniation causing L5 nerve root irritation, with upper facet irritation and muscle spasm (possible central disc protrusion). my chiropractor thinks i may need surgery, what do you think? Daniela

Q: Hi I'm a 22 year old male. Im about 6 foot tall and weigh approx. 255 pounds. I recently had Axial images done at L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5 and at L5-S1. At L4-L5 disc herniation is seen and eccentric to the left, producing mild central and moderate left greater than right lateral recess stenosis. Foramina are patent bilaterally. At L5-S1 Left paramedian disc herniation produces significant left and mild right lateral recess stenosis. Foramina are patent bilaterally. At L3-L$ there is broad central disc herniation with some bilateral facet joint hypertrophy. This produces mild to moderate central stenosis. Foramina are patent bilaterally. L2-L3 only showed mild bilateral facet joint hypertrophy. If possible would you please be able to make some sense of this to me and possible have ideas for the best forms of treatment for this issue. Thank you Matthew

Q: I just had a herniated disc surgery in Germany, to be precise on the 15th of April,2010, though i still have minor pain on my calf, and limping a bit when working, please I am asking how soon or long it will take me to be back to normal. Sanusi

Q: I am seeking any info you may be able to give me in relation to the following mri report my 18 year old son just received. he has never been involved in an accident. There is normal alignment of the lumbar vertebrae. The vertebral heights and disc spaces are well maintained. The distal cord appears with normal signal intensity. The marrow signal intensity is normal. Axial views were performed from L2/3 to L5/S1. The L2/3, L3/4 and L4/5 discs are normal. There is posterior central disc herniation at L5/S1. The exit neural foramina are not compromised. The disc is abutting the left exiting nerve root - Can you advise on best solutions/treatments considering his age as he is an active person with a great interest in playing soccer. Since this report he has been depressed and wondering what the future holds for him. Patrick

Q: L3L4 disc bulge which impinges upon thecal sac. superimposed L3L4 right posterolateral disc herination which compromises the right l3l4 neural foramen. l4l5 disc herniation causing small ventral impression upon thecal sac. extruded l5s1 left paracentral disc herniation causing moderate impression upon the left ventral aspect of the thecal sac and impressing upon the left s1 nerve root. I was told by 2 orto's that I was not surgical- 1 ortho I need microdiscetomy, 1 Neuro i needed microdiscetomy. My pain has always been in my left buttock- the piriformis muscle. i am in pain there. My left foot has pins and needles and tingles - I don't know what to do. I don't want to do the epidural injections because they say they don't work. I was told by the neuro surgeon that it wouldn't help anyway. please tell me what you think. Josephine

Q: I have read so many things about all this and feel a complete overload!! Basics - I am 33 year old male living in Scotland. I have a large lateral prolapse to the L4/5 which is impinging on the lateral recess! Think that is right. This was the results from a recent MRI. Neuro guy says surgery is ONLY option as non evasive treatment will not work. I really don't want an op but this has been going on since I was 16 (now 33). Been very bad since last year, been in pretty much constant pain for 15 months. I have also had extensive physiotherapy which has concentrated on stretching and strengthening. (core etc) I have come off all of the mind bending pain killers and nerve dampeners that they have given me as would prefer to feel pain than watch the world go by (tramadol, diazepan, pregablin). I still go to gym, I can swim, cycle and stretch, just cant stand up for any longer than 5 mins.Really just wanted some advice, my father is ill wants me to take on his business for him (restaurant), not much chance if I cant stand up. I am willing to try pretty much anything, including surgery if that is my only option. I have also explored some of the more holistic approach to pain and use deep breathing etc to control it but am no expert. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Tristan

Q: I have been in pain since January 2007. It has taken me until January of this year to finally get a doctor to believe that I am actually in pain. Now that I finally have the MRI I have little understanding of it and am told I should not be in any pain. I am having trouble getting someone to explain my mri to me or even give me a second look. I have an orthopedic appointment soon and I would like to understand some options before going in. Technical factors: Sagittal T1,T2, and fat-suppressed T2 images Axial T2 images. T12-L1,L1-L2,L2-L3,L3-L4, No abnormality identified. L4-L5 The disk displays approximately 2mm nonlateralizing posterior protrusion without identifiable mass effect. Central canal and neural foramen dimensions appear unremarkable. Conus meduallaris appears unremarkable. No paravertebral abnormality. Impressions: No significant abnormalities identified.I am only 27 years old and my pain has stopped me from enjoying raising my 2 children. Please help. Sabrina

Q: I herniated a disk (L-3) three weeks ago and am currently waiting for an appointment to see a neurosurgeon. I am scheduled to fly to the Midwest seven days from now from the west coast. The flight is approximately 4.5hrs in duration. I plan to take support for my lower back and stand up to move around as much as possible during the flight. I understand the aircraft cabin is pressurized to between 5000 and 7000 feet and I live in an area that is only 300 feet above sea level. I'm concerned that the change in cabin pressure will make my condition worse. Jim

Q: my mom is suffering from leg cramp pain for last one month... i have consulted with doctors and also have done X-ray and MRI. The MRI report depicts the impression: MRI of lumber spine shows,1. lumber spondolysis with disc dessication between L3-L4 and L5-S1 level/ 2. Posterior and postero-lateral disc protrusion between L5-S1 level causing compression over anterior thecal space and bilateral S1 Neural Foramina. now my question is whether surgery is required and only way to cure the suffering or any other solution is available? Santanu

Q: I have had back pain on and off for 20 years. recently doctor said that i was having problems with sacroiliac joint. pain got worse in lower back, down leg into foot. i have numbness tingling pins and needles, cannot move a great deal. some days are better than others. someone drove into back of my car earlier this year and the pain has intensified greatly. doctor said he thinks that has caused herniated disc. had MRI scan done and this is what it says moderate disc dehydration at L3/4 and L4/5. L3/4 small central disc protrusion is seen indenting the theca but no compromise of the exiting or traversing nerve roots. L4/5 moderate sized left paracentra ldisc extrusion impinging the traversing L5 nerve root as it takes off from the thecal sac. exiting L4 roots are not compromised. I am seeing a neurosurgeon next week, but could you tell me what this means? what is the treatment options for this? Jayne

Q: a few years ago i had spinal fusion of c5-7 on a recent mri the report read bulging disc causing impingement on the thecal sac how could a i have a herniated disc after spinal fusion with hardware? paula

Q: I hear a lot of talk about alternative treatment for herniated disc. I have what I believe is an abnormally large herniated disc (details to follow) and was wondering if you have had success with this big a problem or if surgery will be required. I am a 47 year old male: MRI about a year ago showed posterior central disc herniation at the L5-S1 level measuring 2.0 cm at the base and extending posteriorly approximately 8 mm. I am not in pain but cannot walk more than 2 blocks before my foot goes numb. I have had approximately 30 decompression treatments. I use an inversion table along with some exercises. I was told by my chiropractor to keep up my regular exercise routine (including playing golf twice a week) which in hind sight after learning more I probably should have taken things a little easier. What do you believe would be the best treatment for me? Rick

Q: My husband is having the upper back pain and tiredness. We checked the Neurologist and he did taken the MRI.Spinal,Brain is normal.C2-3-4-5-6 are Normal,but C6-7 has a large herniated disc in the right lateral recess impinging on the right C7 nerve root. Is this curable? Do he really need the surgery? He is so worried. Please suggest. Reeta

Q: Had spinal surgery for L5 S1 sequestered disc still have many of the problems I had before surgery. Can you tell me what is available for pain relief! Have terrible pains right across the right ankle suffer terrible spasms. stretching, lifting and standing are so painful. lower back pain and fluttering pains down my right leg make it difficult to sleep and I walk with a limp. My doctor keeps feeding me different pain killer which is not what I want although any relief is better than none.Please advice any treatment to get me off the medication. Samantha

Q: Hi,I'm experiencing agonizing sciatica whenever I move: I thought I had pulled a muscle in my leg (last month, while climbing). But I just remembered that I thought I might have pulled a muscle in my back a few months ago (doing martial arts), but rested it and assumed it was 'nothing'. Now it's just my leg that hurts, no real LBP, I know medical procedures take a long time before diagnosis, what would you recommend I do in the meantime, It's been really painful for over two weeks and I'm very very scared I'll never do martial arts/ climbing/ long-distance cycling again(I'm 21), Thanks, Jack

Q: I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING FROM LOWER BACK PAIN FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND IT HAS GOTTEN WORSE, SO I HAD AN MRI TAKEN WITH THE FOLLOWING RESULTS: 1ST MY QUESTION:WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT TO GET BACK A HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE (less pain/ pain free?) AND MOBILITY FROM HAVING "MULTILEVEL SPONDYLOSIS WITH SIGNIFICANT NEURAL FORAMINAL NARROWING SEEN ON THE LEFT AT L5-S1 AND ON THE RIGHT AT L4-5 AND L5-S1. CORRELATION CLINICALLY." ALSO:BROAD BASED DISK BULGES T11-12,T12-L1,L1-2 L2-3,L3-4 WITH MILD TO MOD FACET ARTHROSIS AT LEFT AND RIGHT, L4-5 SAME + GRADE 1 ANTEROLISTHESIS + MOD-SEVERE RIGHT NEURAL FORAMINAL NARROWING AND MOD CENTRAL CANAL STENOSIS.,L5-S1 LEFT-GREATER-THAN RIGHT FACET ARTHROSIS WITH SMALL DISK BULGE AND MOD RIGHT AND SEVERE LEFT NEURAL FORAMINAL NARROWING.

ADDITIONALLY:MULTILEVEL ENDPLATE CHANGES,GRADE 1 LISTHESIS OF L4 ON L5 WITH SCOLIOSIS WHICH IS DEXTROCONVEX IN THE LOWER THORACIC SPINE W/ COMPENSATORY LEVOCONVEXITY IN THE LUMBAR SPINE.

THATS MOST OF WHATS ON MY IMAGING REPORT. I'LL BE VISITING MY FAMILY DOCTOR TODAY AT 3 P.M. PACIFIC TIME TO LISTEN TO WHAT HE WILL SAY ABOUT THIS. HE IS AGAINST SURGERY BECAUSE I'VE HAD A QUAD BY-PASS AND PRESENTLY HAVE CONSTANT AFIBRILLATION CONTROLLED WITH "100mg LOPRESSOR 2X".

I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE ANY COMMENTS YOU CAN PROVIDE. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP, dimitri

Q: Hi... I'm having LBP. Last month I had experienced tingling & weakness in my left leg. Upon my spine surgeon advise I got MRI of Lumbo-Sacral done. There is large posterocentral & left paracentral extrusion of the L4-L5 disc material which is seen migrating superiorly almost upto upper L4 level. The extruded material is seen compressing the left sided budding L5 nerve root & contacts the left sided traversing L4 nerve root. It also indents the right sided budding L5 nerve root. The L4-L5 disc is desiccated & reduced in height. Degenerative endplate marrow changes & early marginal osteophytes are seen at L4/L5. Now I'm getting physio therapy & found improvement in my left leg. Although all leg pain has gone away except very minute tingling on occasional basis but still suffering from LBP . Can I resume to my job (8.5 hrs)? Does sciatic pain starts again? Do I really need spine surgery to fix this problem permanently? Pls help. Thanks in advance for your advice. Minal

Q: W/C injury, L4 diskectomy 9/03, small cash settlement and (stupidly) signed release of liability. Hurt at work again in 05 and 07 but W/C said same injury, wouldn't do anything. My private insurance paid for chiropractor and other tx including another L4-5 diskectomy 04/09 followed by 11/09 spinal fusion of L4-5 and L5-S1, surgery to remove hematoma 3 days later then 12/09 surgery to remove hardware on left side. I healed well enough to return to my job as a dump truck driver full time with no restrictions 02/05/10. The only discomfort I had was pain in my big left toe but it was just a nuisance. 03/24/10 I was running a chainsaw at work when I stepped in a hole and twisted my upper torso as I fell, immediately feeling pain on my right side, leg and foot. Witnesses to this were my immediate supervisor, the county road supervisor and a county commissioner. I was sent to the ER and the W/C dr had an MRI performed. Today I was sent to see the surgeon who performed previous surgeries and he said L3-4 is narrowed which W/C will say is part of the previous injury. My surgeon asked me to bring the MRI I had done in December to compare to the one in March. I am reading the report with the dec mri and it says "Early loss of disc signal is seen at L1-2, L2-3 and L3-4. Early facet joint hypertrophy is seen at L3-4. There is no evidence of significant foraminal or canal stenosis. Prevertabral soft tissues are within normal limits. The conus medullaris is intact". What does this mean? Is what is mentioned about L3 in this report responsible for my condition now instead of the fall? Larry

Q: Hi!I have disc dessication in L5-S1 with annular bulging in the same area causing thecal sac effacement. This was found via mri after a week of right butt bone pain and sciatica symptoms. No nerve compression shown. I have minor scoliosis and have injured my back in the past with nerve compression leading to sciatica also on the right side. While still in pain, i dont want to ask about that since i know doing my stretches will make it go away eventually, but rather about my age. I am 33-am i old enough for these types of changes? And does dessication occur in the lumbar spine more often than other areas? And what exactly does thecal sac effacement mean? Thank you! Ingrid

Q: 7 months I have had pain and after MRI which I'll quote = The most significant findings are at the L5-S1 level. There is large inferiorly extruded right posterolateral dic herniation occupying the region of the lateral recess below the level of the disc space. There is disc herniation results in severe right latera recess stenosis with mass effect upon the exiting right S1 nerve root. This inferiorly extruded disc herniation is associated with edematous changes as identified on the T2 and sir weighted sequences. We have done PT which didn't help made worse, also one steroid injection that had no affect. My neurologist thinks decompression will not help. There is a piece of disc that has broken off. He thinks surgery to "pop" it out is next step. What do you think? Carol