Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2011 Part 3

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: Hi Adam, I had an epidural steroid injection for a herniated disc L5? last 20th June 2010. All has been well until now as I feel my sciatica nerve is beginning to trouble me again. I am 65 yrs old and wish to ask is there a limit to the number of times I could have steroid injections and if so how many realistically. If/when this procedure has to cease is surgery likely then to be the only alternative and what are chances of its success? Thank you for the kind help you give. Your Q&A letters are brilliant. Regards, Graham

Comment: I have had severe lower back pain on and off for about 15 years due to an old sports injury. I had an MRI done and the impressions is as follows: Degenerative disc changes consisting of disc space narrowing and invertabral disc desiccation most pronounced at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels with a small disc protrusion identified at the L4-L5 level indenting the ventral aspect of the thecal sac. In addition a bulging annulus is present at L5-S1 level not causing significant canal... Sandra

Q: Hi i have just got my mri report back yesterday for my back, this is what it says... MRI pelvis SIJ there are degenerative changes in the lumbar spine with mild disc dehydration at L2-3, L3-4 and L5 S1. At L5 S1 there is a small disc bulge but no evidence of neural compression. Normal appearances of the sacral iliac joints with no evidence of sacral ileitis. No bone or ligamentous oedematous change in the spine with no features to suggest spondylo-arthropathy. can you explain in English what the heck this means the DR yesterday didn't have a clue and i mentioned this to a different DR today and she said osteoarthritis, i am baffled, Andy

Q: i have a question i had a bad injury to my lower back in 1978 and had trouble with my lower back since then till now i was taking over the counter meds for pains until 2005 i went to get up to go to work i could not move i set an appointment to see a local doctor hedid an regular x-ray and it came back negative so he had me to do an mri which showed bulging disc on the right atl5-s1 level is seen narrowing the right exiting foramen and acute annular tear of the disc of l4-5 level my job was an over the road truck driver my question is why did this take so long to manifest itself? Luther

Q: i am a man of 37years old and i have been having a problem of my spine and neck doctors told me that my nerves are also blocking and i need a surgery. i have a MRI of my spine and my neck too. i need to know what is the best treatment for this kind of problems. mohamed

Q: I just got a MRI report back from a work injury had a question to ask but Mr Dr was in rush to get me out. The MRI said that at the l4-5 levels there is degenerative disc disease with a 6 mm central broad based disc protusion with focal high intensity zone, resulting in moderate stenosis of the central spinal canal and mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. At the l5-s1 level there is degenerative disc disease with a 9mm central disc extrusion with mild inferior migration resulting in severe stenosis of the central spinal canal and mass effects on the adjacent nerve roots as well as moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. The impression is degenerative disc disease with herniations at the l4-l5 and l5-s1 levels associated with spinal canal and neural foraminal stenosis as detailed above. Will you be able to explain all this and tell me if a degenerative disc disease will fatal to my claim. Matt

Q: please explain this in plain english. car crash 12/5/10. muscle relaxers & PT (for whiplash until MRI on 2/17. Now my dr calls me last night and tells me to stay in bed til I see him on monday 2/21. What is polypoid diease? (i'm scared I have 3 kids and can't stay in bed) MRI -Cervical Spine Findings: a third part of the cervical spine. the craniocervical junction and included posterior fossa structures appear unremarkable. there is underlying decrease in the AP diameter of the cervical spinal canal. At C5-C6 this is augmented by broad-based posterior disc protrusion with with potential small superior and inferior extrusion component. this compresses the cervical spinal cord without resulting in signal abnormality. There is also mild superior subendplate edema and small adjacent Schmorl's node of the C5 vertebral body. At C6-C7 there is disc bulging/end plate spurring noted eccentric to the left. Neural foramen appear patent.No marrow signal abnormalities or gross facet or uncovertebral arthropathy. There is polypoid mucosal disease incidentally noted in the right maxillary antrum. Impression: Broad-based posterior disc protrusion at C5-C6 and resulting cord deformity/compression. No signal changes in the cord identified. Disc osteophyte complex slightly eccentric to the left at C6-C7. P

Q: Hello, I need some advice. I have a injury to my T8-T9. There is disc space narrowing, disc desiccation and a 3mm midline disc herniation exerting mass effect on the ventral thecal sac as well as the exiting bilateral nerve roots. This is a workers comp case so naturally my comp doctor has played down my injury. He claims this is mild and will go away over time. However I am in constant pain that radiates throughout my mid back. I have gone through physical therapy for over a year now with slight improvement while I am on it. As soon as I stop the pain comes back full force. Even with the therapy my pain level is on average a 6 or 7. I have also got three epidural injections which do nothing. I do not want to take any pain medication because I am scared to get addicted. I have taken non-narcotic Tramdol but I am allergic to it. Is surgery an option? I was told at first that I needed it but then when my injury was played down I was told I do not need it. Any suggestions would be helpful. Amy

Q: I am a 43 year old active female. I have had aching, burning pain in my right shoulder blade area for five months. Sometimes it radiates up my neck and down my arm. At times I am quite dizzy. The pain ranges in severity from annoying to very uncomfortable. I have tried PT, cortisone injection, posture realignment, and steroids but nothing has helped. My MRI says C4-C5 severe disc degeneration, dorsal osteophyte and chronic bulging disc cause mild stenosis and mild cord flattening. There is moderate left and mild right foraminal stenosis. At C5 C6 severe disc degeneration with bulging disc and osteophyte causing mild central stenosis and flattening of the cord. In addition a 2.5mm broad based right posterolateral extends to the nerve root canal entrance zone contributing to moderate foraminal encroachment with right C6 impingement. Conclusion: mild central stenosis and mild cord flattening and deformity at C5/6 due to osteophyte and disc bulge and assymetric 2.5mm right postlateral herniation. The herniation extends to the nerve root canal entrance zone with marginal osteophytes causing moderate encroachment on the right C6 root. Advanced C4/5 spondylosis with mild central stenosis due to osteophyte and bulging disc with cord contact and bilateral chronic formaminal stenosis which is moderate on the left. PT seems to aggravate the area and increase the pain considerably. I have a followup with a orthopedist in a Spine Clinic. Do you have any recommendations for what other treatments to try. If it was going to get better on it's own should it be better after five months of pain? My only comfort comes from moist heat but the relief is very temporary. Any advice and an explanation of the MRI results would be much appreciated. Amy

Q: Can you please tell me more about knowledge therapy. My husband (43yrs) is laid up with severe herniated disc pain. Much appreciated. God Bless. Annie

Q: Hello i have questions about my MRI. The General report of my back: There is straightening and mild reversal of normal cervical lordoss which may be positional or secondary muscle spasm. No evidence for subacute or chronic fracture deformity is apparent. Mild disc desiccation is seen from C2-T1. No significant dysphagia narrowing. No prominent facet arthropathy. prevertebral soft tissues are unremarkable. C1/C2 and craniocervical junction: No significant predental degenerative change. No siginificant narrowing of the craniocervical junction. C2/C3: There is a focal central disc herniation measuring approx. 5 x 3 mm in transverse and AP dimension. this abuts the ventral cord with minimal central cord flattening. C3/C4: Posterior disc bulging abuts the ventral cord. No significant cord flattening. No significant central canal stenosis or foraminal narrowing. C4/C5: Mild posterior disc bulging abuts the ventral cord. No significant cord flattening, central canal stenosis, or foraminal narrowing. C5/C6: Shallow posterior bulging without cord encroachment. No foraminal narrowing. C6/C7: Minimal posterior disc bulging. No significant central canal or foraminal stenosis. C7/T1: Minimal posterior disc bulging. Rainell

Q: herniated disk of the thoracic spine at level T8-T9 i don't know what to do i am in a lot of pain all the time. the doctor keep giving me pain killers but nothing works, can anyone tell me what to do therapy is not working neither. Frank

Q: Hello, I been having pain in both arms down to the thumbs almost as it my thumbs want to explode it wakes me up from my sleep. I had an MRI with the results that state. DESCRIPTION: The C2-3, C3-4,C4-5 discs are intact. Central C5-6 disc protrusion is seen. Disc material appears to at least abut the anterior cord. Subtle C6-7 bisc bulge. The C7-TI through T4-5 discs are intact. Increased T1, T2 signal T3, T3, T5 vertebral body hemangiomas. Vertebral Height, alignment and marrow signal are maintained. No intradural or paraspinal abnormalities. The posterior elements are intact. the cervical upper thoracic cord and craniocervical junction are normal. IMPRESSION: no significant cervical spinal canal or foraminal stenosis. Please could you explain Thank you! Ellen

Q: one week before left arm was very severe pain start after 4 days my left hand first finger feels dead. i did MRIRESULT SHOWS C6-C7 SEVERE FORAMINAL DISC HERNIATION.DOCTOR SAYS IT NEED EMERGENCY OPERATION. IS ANY SOLUTION WITHOUT OPERATION . I HAVE PAIN ONLY SHOULDER. sajidlatif

Q: Dear Sir, I have had persistent back pain for over a year after a bent over stretch caused a back injury. A fairly recent MRI showed a L5/S1 broad shallow disc protrusion with moderate bilateral recess narrowing, with no frank neural compression. Also mild degenerative changes in L1/L2 (dehydration). I am still having pain on twisting and bending but have no further advice from the physio I saw. Any advice would be appreciated as I want to return to training asap! Kind Regards, Helen

Q: I'm 29 yr old and since three weeks I'm suffering from severe low back ache which is not bearable. Now i'm taking complete rest.Have taken MRI and the report says as below: 1)L5/S1 disc-broad based posterior central protrusion with annular tear noted just touching the traversing roots at lateral recess. 2)L4/5 disc -minimal diffuse bulge with foraminal bulges touching the exiting roots. L2/3 and L3/4 discs-minimal disc bulges seen. 3)Whole spine survey show posterior disc bulges from c3/4 to c6/7 levels in dealing the thecal sac. No cord compression. X-ray also taken at the sacrum-coccyx part. Report says 1)No compression fractures seen 2)Sacrumm is normal 3)Coccygeal vertebral bodies appear normal Which of the above mentioned points causing this severe pain? Please advise how to overcome this problem. Praku

Q: MRI report reads c4-5 level right lateral disc bulge and bony endplate changes. Mild to moderate narrowing of the c4-5 neural foramen. At c5-6 level mild disc bulge. My question: I feel pain, numbness and tingling on my right just under the shoulder blade area sometimes speeding to the left and in the right chest area. Would this be correct. How can I make it stop - just feeling horrible. Jennifer

Q: Hi,i am 56 years old man. i got my MRI scan results it shows;1. Annular disc bulge at L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 level indenting the thecal sac with facetal hypertrophy causing bilateral foraminal narrowing. 2. Bilateral foraminal narrowing L2-L3 level. 3. lumbar canal stenosis. what is the best treatment for this problem? PLZ TELL BRIEFLY is it any serious condition? or any other serious problem are there? Chandarsekaran

Q: I have been working out for 1 and half years and love it. I do machines, free weights and cardio-tradmill, elliptical, stairmaster and bike. I also take pilates and spin classes. I have just been diagnosed with 4 cervical disc herniations. I have pain and tingling in my right arm. Do you think I can continue to workout and take classes while I am going to chiropractor. In your experience is there anything I should absolutely not do. Lisa

Q: This is actually for my husband who is frustrated and at a wits end possibly thinks maybe surgery may help? 42 year old male who has had back pain since age 20.It may be good for a bit then a certain move, temperature, stress? we don't know for sure and he is in severe pain for days to weeks where he ceases up and it hurts to cough, sneeze, breathe lay down stand up etc and then all of a SUDDEN ONE DAY HE IS OKAY FOR A BIT AGAIN. this is his last findings on mri. On the scout there are osteochondral bars/disc bulges evident at T2/3, T3/4 and T6/7 levels. The scout is not diagnostic and while these do not appear large, a followup mri recommended of thoracic spine. The cord conus lies at the T12/L1 level and is unremarkable. Upper lumbar discs levels appear within normal limits. At the L3/4 disc level there is a mild posterior disc bulge/osteochondral bar which minimally indents the anterior thecal sac but no significant spinal nor foramina stenosis with no definitive nerve root compression demonstrated.At the L4/5 and L5/S 1 disc levels there are mild broad posterior osteochondral bars!disc bulges which cause no significant central canal stenonsis though at the L5/S 1 level indents the central anterior thecal sac. There is no foraminal stenosis at theL4/5 level. At L5/S 1 level there is moderate mid left neural foraminal stenosis likely impinging the existing L5 nerve root predominantly secondary to facet marginal osteophyte related to moderate to marked facet osteoarthrosis. The L6/S 1 level shows no significant abnormality with rudimentary facet joints at this level and with the L6 vertebra transitional in type. Opinion: six lumbar type vertebra Lower lumbar degenerative disc/osteochondral bulges but with no significant spinal stenosis.. There is however moderate left L5/S 1 neuralforaniinal stenosis predominantl secondaryto facet marginal osteophyte likely impinging the exiting left L5 nerve root. The L6 vertebra is transitional in type. We are not sure as this was from a 2008 MRI but he is considering surgery or looking to see if this would help?? I just can't stand to see him in so much pain and we don't know what his next step should be, any advice or opinion would be appreciated. Michelle

Q: I have Central Focal Disc Herniation as well as Diffuse disc bulge and was told I have Arthritic Spina Bifida, what are my treatment options? The pain is so unbearable and it effects my life on a daily basis. I can't walk, sit, lay down, without being in extreme pain and every doctor I go to recommends physical therapy but that doesn't help. I need something for long term pain. Glen

Q: Trying to make sense of MRI findings: L3-4 posterior annulus tear, left foraminal disc bulge, degenerative spurring, mild left foraminal narrowing. L4-5 central disc herniation indenting thecal sac, disc desiccation and narrowing and spurring. Foraminal herniation on right with left facet arthropathy and moderate narrowing. L5-S1 broad shallow posterior and posterlateral disc bulge and spurring, bilateral facet arthropathy, moderate to severe foraminal narrowing both left and right. Slight degree of compression on exiting roots. MRI taken 6 months ago, still waiting to see neurologist. Severe lower back pains still present and had constant cramping in lower left leg which have reduced but now swelling to ankle area and complete numbness in big toe, two toes beside and top of foot area! Mike

Q: Hello. I am a physician, 39 years old and 26 weeks pregnant. At about 6 weeks into my pregnancy (first pregnancy), I started having left hip and back pain. MRI showed herniated disc at L5-S1. Steroid injection into L3-4 didn't work. So, the pain has progressed and has become pretty disabling. I am quite anxious about the pregnancy. Any advice? Mary

Q: Please help just don't understand any of this.L 3/4facet arthropathy identified with no evidence of disc bulge or canal stenosis. L4/5 decreased disc space height at this level with decreased signal representing disc. A broad-based left far lateral, extrafominal protrusion is identified, with no significant root displacement. l5/s1 there is facet arthropathy with fluid joints bilaterally, no disc or canal compression is identified at this level. Degenerative changes are seen throughout the lumbar especially involving the facets. I got smashed by 2 18 wheelers in may. Thanks, Gideon

Q: Thanks so much for taking your time to help people! My Husband has been having lots of neck and arm pain after a fall two months ago. The doctor is telling my husband he has to have surgery. He's already done two months of physical therapy (no help) Can you please "translate" the MRI for me? We want to make an informed decision, but we don't speak the language...Thanks again for your website!! Results of MRI: Vertebral body height and alignment are normal. There is minimal reversal of the normal cervical lordosis from C5 and C6. The cervical spinal cord is normal in size and signal intensity. The parasternal and soft tissues appear normal. There are mild-to-moderate degenerative disk changes at C5-C6 and C6-C7. At C5-C6 there is a small posterior disc osteophyte complex which partially effaces the anterior subarachnoid space. There is a mild remodeling of the adjacent cervical spinal cord. There is no significant canal stenosis. The AP dimension of the calal this level is 10 mm. At C6-C7 there is a posterior disk osteophyte complex which is asymmetric to the left and results in remodeling of the left aspect of the cervical spinal cord with partial effacement of the anterior subarchoid space. There is no significant canal stenosis with the AP dimension of the canal measuring 11 mm. There is minimal left neural foraminal narrowing at C6-C7 due to an uncovertebral osteophyte. There is mild left neural foraminal narrowing at C2 to C3 due to facet joint hypertrophy. There is a minal narrowing of the left neural foramen at C3-C4 due to facet joint hypertrophy and a small uncovertebral osteophyte. The remainder of the the neural foramina throughout the cervical spine appear normal. Mary

Q: hi. i am 27 y old.i have back pain for more than 3 months. i do mri and i just get the result. can you plz help me with what i shall do. mri findings: .straightend lumbar curve .no marrow infiltrative lesions or vertebral structural collapse .reduced height and normal bright t2 signal of l3/4 disc material denoting its degeneration .l3/4 broad based posterior disc herniation is seen indenting the theca and encroaching upon the preforaminal segment of the lateral neural outlet in both sides.l4/5 posterior disc protrusion with right sided inclination is seen indenting the theca with encroachment upon the lateral neural outlet in preforaminal location more in the right side.l2.3 mild posterior annulus bulge is seen abutting the theca.normal mr appearence of conus medullaris .no gross facet arthopathy .no paraspinal masses or collections, Hany

Q: My wife and I were involved in a head-on collision (not fault). About a week later, I started having lower lumbar back pain. My doctor recently did x-rays of the lumbar with the following results: 1. Partial right hemilumbarization of S1. We continue to call this vertebra S1. 2. Probable limbus vertebra at L4. Is there anything here that I should be concerned about? What type of treatment is needed? Thanks. David

Q: I had a surgical fusion C6-C7 done 12 years ago. Now I am having the same pain & numbness down the opposite side of my body. This week I had an MRI done and it reads C5-C6, right central protrusion with bilateral uncovertebral proliferative change causing inner margin compromise of the foramen.Central protrusion, C7-T1. C4-C5, bilateral uncovertebral proliferative change causing minimal osseous foraminal compromise within the foramen. Laurie

Q: I just found your website while I was searching the web for information about herniated disks and possible treatments, and so far it has been pretty informative. I was hoping you would help shed some light on the MRI results I received today. I have a great doctor but he was definitely on the conservative side when explaining my prognosis. I am a 25 year old male and in general I have pretty good health. I have been an olympic freestyle wrestler for about 11 years now, which is the source of my problem. I started getting 'stingers' about a year ago, more and more consistently. I would jam my neck and I would get a shooting pain down into my thumb and first two fingers, followed by numbness for about 10 seconds. This was always on my right side and it began to happen more often until it got to the point where I couldn't train anymore because it would happen so much, and even after practices just sitting would cause the tingling and numbness to creep down my arm sometimes. Thats when I first went to see a doctor about it. X-rays showed I had a narrowing at C5-6 and I was sent for an MRI. In the meantime I took some time off to rest and began seeing a chiropractor. After the first 2 weeks at the chiropractor I began to feel almost brand new and began training again and occasionally got a 'stinger' it was not as bad. However within a month of returning to training I injured my neck on the left side. I had gone to the chiropractor for an adjustment that morning and went to practice about an hour later, and sometime during the practice it felt like I had strained a muscle on the left side of my neck, there was no stinger or numbness in my hand just some pain in the neck. I continued to train until one day my head was forced to the opposite side of where I was trying to put it and I got a bad stinger down my left side, and the burning and numbness lasted almost a full minute. I eased back on my training after that and didn't wrestle hard until after I got my MRI. I stopped wrestling all together after I going in for my MRI while I waited for results because I noticed that my bicep and thumb on my left side would occasionally go numb just from sitting and watching tv. I haven't wrestled for about a week now, and I got my MRI results today. Broad-based left paracentral disk herniation/osteophyte complex at C5-6 is what the paper says. Underlined in the paperwork it also says 'Mild right and moderate left neuroforaminal stenosis secondary to uncoveretbral and facet osteoarthritis.' Can you explain to me what that all means? Is there a nonsurgical treatment that could help me? My doctor basically explained to me that its time to quit wrestling, that I have a herniated disk in my neck, that it is pretty bad and based on the results of an upcoming EMP test he suggests that I will probably need to get a decompression surgery. I really don't want to give up wrestling after putting so many years into it and being so close to finally reaching some of the goals I had set. He didn't really offer much in the way of treatment options aside from the surgery and just waiting to see what happens. Is this a condition that could heal, or at least heal enough that I could resume training and competing? Thanks, Josh

Q: MRI report on thoracic spine: Schmol's nodes on endplates t5-6 t6-7 t7-8 and t8-9. T9-10 left lateral disc protrusion projects into left neural foramen. Associated with left t9 nerve root impingement. T10-11 small central disc protrusion. My question: would this cause weird chest breathing sensations in diaphragm area and tingling upper right back pain. I feel really tight in the chest and back right side when taking deep breath. Also I have leg weakness and generally feel unwell. Would this be the cause? Jennifer

Q: MRI of cervical spine with and without contrast Impression: Right paracentral disc protrusion at C5-6 and C6-7 resulting in effacement of the anterior thecal sac and mild flattening of the anterior cervical cord, with associated neural foraminal narrowing What does this mean? Thank you, Monique

Q: At the level of L2-3 and L3-4 there is a mild right lateral disc bulge. There is mild bilateral facet joint hypertrophy noted. At L4-5 there is minimal generalized disc bulge with mild bilateral facet joint hypertrophy. At L5-S1 there is minimal generalized disc bulge. There is mild compression on the thecal sac. There is bilateral facet joint hypertropy. I have alot of pain in my back and was wondering if this is why. E

Q: Hi, what a wonderful site, my name is Briany i was involved in a car accident 1/12/10 and after the accident i had radial pain in my left shoulder, pain traveling down my left arm and a partially numb left thumb, an MRI showed a C5 C6 disc prolapse, my doctor has had me in an aspen neck collar since and now wants me to wait for another MRI as my symptoms are still the same after all this time. is it normal for these symptoms to last as long? i am quite worried that this is going to last forever. what do you think? Regards, Briany

Q: I have had severe back pain for the last 2 years which has now gotten worse. I also have pain in my buttocks and legs. I have been through physical therapy, pain management, and numerous doctors with no relief. This is my Mri from 2 years ago can you explain it and maybe give me some options. At L4-L5 there is a slight loss of disc height,mild hypertrophic facet disease and asymmetric to the left disc protrusion combining to create lateral recess narrowing on the left. At L5-S1 there is also loss of disc height and paracentral to right focal disc herniation. There is also edema of the opposing vertebral endplates anteriorly at L5-S1. IMPRESSION: 1. Paracentral to right focal disc herniation L5-S1 2. Asymmetric to left disc protrusion L4-L5. 3. No other significant bony or soft tissue impingement upon canal or foramina demonstrated. So far there has been nothing to ease the pain and I can't have a normal life.. Every doctor I see just gives me meds I've already had. Any help would be greatly appreciated Christine

Q: Hi, I developed lower back pain Sept 09. had an xray degenerative disc disease, sent to physio had heat treatment and then was put in traction for 10 mins. couldn't move the next day pain in lower back left side and severe pain in lower left leg. after 3 visits to A&E and various injections different meds opiods then prescribed which only dulled pain. Had a private mri advised on epidural. had same severe pain gone mild pain and constant discomfort. seen by physio acupuncture given with no effect. Eventually seen via health service mri redone to compare with my previous mri. slight improvement in same although no change in constant discomfort and mild pain. Had a root nerve injection dec 10 no improvement. 2 weeks ago pain in lower back returned couldn't straighten, nipped on movement pain and numbness in left lower leg. cant sleep, have to keep turning. Reviewed today report from mri states the L3-L4 and L4-L5 discs are degenerative with loss of disc hydration and evidence of posterior disc prolapse.At the L4 and L5 disc level there is also evidence of loss of disc space height and reactive changes in the adjacent vertebral endplates. At the L3-L4 disc level there is a mild broad based disc bulge associated with a small annular fissure which midly indents the thecal sac without evidence of nerve root compromise. At the L4-L5 disc level ther is a mild broad based disc bulge with a superimposed moderate sized left posterolateral disc extrusion which results in moderate to severe left sided exit foraminal narrowing and likely compromise of the exiting left L4 nerve root. can you explain i have been advised on surgery discectomy shaving of the disc, to return in 6 weeks to discuss same. do i leave well alone and live with the discomfort and mild pain nothing has worked so far will surgery but my quality of life has been greatly affected. i'm 45 married 2 kids 12 an 10 work fulltime office and community based. what should i do? Angela

Q: Good morning, I am a 32 year old male suffering from low back pain with shooting pain primarily down my left leg. At times the pain is constant and other times its only there with certain movement. I have had a recent MRI and am having trouble understanding exactly what is going on. L3-4: Mild impingement upon the right ventral aspect of the thecal sac by what appears to be a small right paracentral disc herniation. L4-5: There is evidence of a mild diffuse annular disc bulge and mild disc desiccation. The disc height is still well preserved. However, just inferior to the disc space posterior to the superior portion of the L5 vertebral body itself and just to the right of midline, note is made of what appears to be a small fragment that has migrated inferiorly from the L4-5 disc. This is associated with only mild impingement upon the ventral aspect of the thecal sac. L5-S1: There is evidence of a broad diffuse annular disc bulge. However, in addition, along the aspect of the left L5-S1 facet joint, there is soft tissue structure that appears to impinge upon the left lateral aspect of the thecal sac. This is favored to represent a degenerative synovial cyst extending off the the left L5-S1 facet joint rather than a disc fragment from the L5-S1 disc, although the latter remains a possibility. The conus medullaris appears normal.Impression: There appears to be a small right paracentral disc herniation at the L1-2 level. A small right paracentral disc herniation is noted at the L3-4 level. There is a disc fragment identified posterior to the superior portion of the L5 vertebral body, just to the right of midline. This is suspected to represent a small disc fragment that has migrated inferiorly from the L4-5 disc. There is impingement upon the left lateral aspect of the thecal sac at the L5-S1 level but what is favored to represent a degenerative synovial cyst off the left L5-S1 facet joint, although it is possible that this impingement is secondary to a disc fragment from the L5-S1 disc itself. Jonathan

Q: Hello, I could not able to understand MRI scan reports of mine, LS spine. i.e Interpretation1. Degenerative Lumber Spondylosis with low grade marginal anterior vertebral body osteophyte at L3, L4, L5 and S1.2. Degenerative disc changes seen at L4-L5 with loss of disc signal intensity and PIVD changes seen at L4-L5 and L5-S1.3. There is diffuse disc bulge at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with anterior thecal sac compression (L4-L5 > L5-S1), grade IV annular tear at L4-L5, lateral bulge (L>R) compression over exiting nerve roots (L>R) at L4-L5. 4. Canal stenosis measures 9mm at L4-L5 level. thanks, Ramesh

Q: I have a ruptured disc at C6-C7 (per my MRI). I injured my neck approx. 7 months ago. I have been through physical therapy and 2 rounds of Steroid injections and have tried home traction. I continue to have moderate to severe pain constantly. My hand and fingers are numb about 50% of the times, i dropped things and writing is becoming more and more difficult. I am really at a loss of what to do. I keep thinking it's going to get better and so far nothing. I am afraid I am going to end up with perm. nerve damage and continue to lose feeling and function in my hand. HELP!!! Sally

Q: I have recently had an MRI that revealed the following: 1. C6-7: 5-6mm right paracentral and slightly posterolateral subligamentous disc herniation, filling the right lateral recess and resulting in severe right lateral recess stenosis and right intervertabral foraminal stenosis. This appears to be affecting the right C7 nerve root. 2. C5-6: 3-4 mm left paracentral and posterolateral disc protrusion with associated ridge of psteophytes, resulting in a moderate-severe left lateral recess and left intervertebral foraminal stenosis, affecting the C6 nerve root. C3-4 and C4-5: small disc bulges. 4. Straightening of the normal lordotic curve to the cervical spine. Is this condition needing surgery to eliminate the associated pain, or is it possible to correct the injury with physical therapy only? Michael

Q: Recently my back was hurt at work. The mri shows a previous condition being the cyst as you see in my results, but i now have the disk protrusions and am in bad pain in my mid to lower back and am noticing weakness in my lower body and uncoordination doing simple tasks like making coffee at work. Is it possible that the protrusions are exacerbating my spinal disorder? I'm beginning to think i need a workmans comp attorney in case they try to fight my claim. Can you please help me to understand these results and any advice you have on my condition and what to do would be very helpful. These are the result: There is approximately a 10*1.8*1.2 cm well defined cystic lesion in the posterior subdural space,compressing andanteriorly displacing the spinal cord at the 'T1-T6 levels, most likely representing an arachnoid cyst.Otherwise, the thoracic spinal cord is normal in caliber and signal intensity. The vertebral body heights and alignment are unremarkable. Bone marrow signal intensity is within normal limits except for a subcentimeter henagioma in the T10 vertebral body.There is posterocentral small disk protrusion at the T4-T5 level,centrally indenting on the anteriorly displaced spinal cord.There is also left paramedian disk protrusion at the T5-T6 level,again indenting on the anteriorly displaced spinal cord. Bilateral neural foramina are patent at all levels. IMPRESSION:1. an approximately 10*1.8*1.2cm arachnoid cyst in the posterior subdural space,compressing and anteriorly displacing the spinal cord at the T1-T6 levels.IMPRESSION:2. T4-T5 and T5-T6 small disk protrusions,indenting on the anteriorly displaced spinal cord. I thank you in advance for any response you have. God Bless. Troy

Q: my brother is aged 52years and weighs around 110kg. his mri scan of cervical spine is as follows, cervical spondylosis at c4,c5,c6,c7 vertebra. posterocentral + rt paracentral subligamentus herniation of c5-c6 disc with compression of rt lateral n.root,B/L herniation ofc3/c4,c4/c5 disc,posterior bulging c6-c7. please suggest the remedies. is surgery must in this case or can it be avoided. sanjeev

Q: Hello Sensei Adam. My name is carol i am 49 years old. I am a 2nd Dan and an instructor.I have been doing karate for 14 years. This back pain came on so quick for no reason 3 week ago. The scan showed that my lower disk is half out and a fragment is on my nerve.I am seeing a doctor on Tuesday. By what i am reading there is not going to be much help for me. I am getting so depressed because my Karate means so much to me it has ever come easy but i have worked so hard to get where i am and help the children and adults i teach. This is the worst thing that has happened to me and believe me there has been many things in my life, but Karate has always got me through.I need to know will i be able to train and teach again? The pain has been so bad and reading your story has helped and knowing that you have done Karate you might have some answers for me. People don't seem to understand that Karate is my life and well being. Kind Regards, Sensei Carol

Q: Hi , This is satya from india , First of all i congratulate you for providing good suggestions for the people. I really appreciate you. Coming to my question, My wife is suffering with back pain since from 5 months, Doctors are advised us to go MRI. Already she gone for MRI. The MRI impression is given below , 1) saralization of L5,2) diffuse annualr disc bulge l3-l4 , l4-l5 causing moderate compresssion on bilaterial nerve roots 3) bilaterial paracentral disc bulge at L1- -L2 , L2- L3 causing minmal compression on bilatereal exiting nerve roots . and also Mild c4- c5 , c5-c6 and c6-c7 disc bulges noted. please let me know, the above conditions are so serious, it can be cured by medication or by physiotherapy etc. i am awaiting for your reply. with regards, satya.

Q: Hi, My MRI says the following: Vertebral body alignment and marrow signal are normal. The tip of the conus is a T12 with normal signal and configuration. There is a moderate degree of disc desiccation L3-4 and L4-5. L3-4: Moderate loss of disc height with minor endplate degenerative changes and slight endplate osteophytes. There is a central to right paradentral moderately sized idsc herniation that extends posteriorly approximately 5mm. Mild to moderate compression of the right anterior margin of the thecal sac. The L4 nerve root as it begins the exit the thecal sac appears to be compressed. There is minor neural foramen narrowing bilaterally. L4-5: Moderate to severe loss of disc height with mild endplate degenerative changes and small to moderate endplate osteophytes. A small. A small diffuse disc protrusion is seen extending posteriorly 2mm. The anterior margin of the thecal sac is contacted and perhaps barely compressed. There is minor neural foramen narrowing bilaterally. My pain has gone away, but I don't have good flexibility. Should I have done surgery? thank you. Paymon

Q: I have a right central lateral 8.9 mm herniated disc at L3-L4 with compression of the exiting root sleeve. I also have a 5 mm herniation at L4-L5 also effecting the nerve root sleeve. The Spine Specialist says I have to have surgery, no other choice. I have limited my movement since I found out. I only have some discomfort and I have some numbness and tingling in my leg. The Doctor says I should be in a lot of pain but I'm not. He says it could be because of the pressure on the nerve. If I don't have surgery will I end up with permanent nerve damage? Is surgery the only choice I have? I do take pain medication and walk with a limp. Misty

Q: Had a car accident almost 12yrs ago. Lot of problems with my whole body. My whole body was trembling when I stood on my feet. Dizzy and had nausea 6 hours after trauma, a yellowish watery fluid came out of my nose after a few weeks, lost of feeling in my whole body and a fell where ever I was. Headaches with fever and partially couldn't lift up (upper body). My doctor said I had whiplash and the neurologist said it was between my ears. I took a lot of medicines and still taking some. Since all those happenings I still get lot of pain in neck, shoulders and both arms, can't walk long, can't sit for long, can't sleep because of the burning in shoulders, back, hips. I lost feeling over my whole body twice, years ago that started feeling very weak and nauseous. This year I wanted to clean the house and I had both elbows with needles and pain in them. I took Diclofenac 100mg and Sirdalud. My right elbow is still stiff but the left one is still hurting a lot. Got it a lot before but lasted for 2 weeks maybe, this time I have almost 6 weeks and it still hurts. 2yrs ago I went to another neurologist and he let them take an MRI. Several areas with bulging disks and at level c5-c6 it became an hernia. He said I had to have surgery and gave me 3 months to decide. When I went back he said I had nothing and that everything was fine. Everything is not fine now I'm walking with 2 arms which I can hardly use. I'm right handed and the pain is still in my left elbow. I wake up every morning with stiffness all over my body now that I'm not taking Lyrica and Celebrex combined with Diclofenac.I am tired and want to know if this is my life and if it is going to become worst. Sometimes from my knee down gets so heavy that I have to drag the to go forward. I'm not scared anymore because all these and more I had before but they're lasting a long time to go. What do I have to do? I can't go against specialist? They are our gods and if they say you don't have anything, you don't have anything. I was 36 back then and now 48. Will I get help? what can I do? I'm helpless with a 2 children who needs me. But I am exhausted right now. can you please help me with something to hold on to? And by the way second opinion said it is not so bad. I can accept not bad or bad. I have all the MRI from neck,spine,back. Betty

Q: Hi I'm pregnant and I have crucial pain in my butt that runs down my leg an it stops me in my tracks most of the time and i'll try to keep walking an tip toe where i need to go and it still doesn't help. Ashley



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