Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2010 Part 5

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: Thanks for a very informative website. Very easy to use, which I appreciate. Thanks! Ronald.

Q: hi, i hope you can help. back in january i started getting pins and needles in my hand - by february this was permanent. by march i started getting pain in my right shoulder running down the back of my arm and across my forearm - so i went to the doctor. he sent me for physio - this didn't work - so i went back a month later and he sent me for a MRI scan - i have received my results, but the doctor wouldn't answer any of my questions, stating that he was unable to comment on that! - he has referred me to a spinal clinic to see a consultant but that 2 months away and i have been left hanging with all sorts of going round in my head... please can you tell me what all this means? MRI results findings: the cervical vertebral alignment has been maintained. loss of central hyperintensity within nearly all cervical intervertebral discs suggestive of disc dehydration. osteophytic bulging disc at C3-C4. dorsolateral osteophytic disc herniation at C5-6 with encroachment to the left laterial recess/neuroforamen. there is additional dorsolateral right disc at C6-7 with encroachment to the right lateral recess/neuroforamen with indentation to the thecal sac and lateral spinal cord. the cervical posterior elements (facet joints) show severe degeneration with chronic spondyloarthropathy at C5-6 C6-7 and C3-4. there is a spinal cord compression at C6-7 and C5-6. chronic inflamitory changes according to modic's type 1at the level of C6-7 and fat replacement changes type 2 at C5-6

my own knowledge of what is written above extends only to understanding that when they have spoken about C5-6, C6-7 etc - that that is referring to the bones in my neck i can tell you i am now, i have good days with pain i would put at a level 7 and bad days at level 9 - only once have i been reduced to tears and i put that day at level 10, and i'm a 40yr old man! the questions i asked my doctor were: 1) do i need an operation2) am i going to lose the use of my arm - is the pins and needles going to turn into numbness and loss of feeling in my hand 3)if operated on will i be able to move my neck after, able to turn left to right and move up and down. his response to all those were "i'm not able to comment on that" today's date is the 15th july 2010 and my appointment with the consultant is 23 sept 2010, so you can appreciate that i have been left in limbo - and all the things i am seeing on the internet are probably making my plight worse, so i have started seeking advice rather than look it up myself. please can you tell me what the results from the MRI mean in layman's terms and what is probably going to happen to me so i can at least prepare in advance if my life is going to seriously change. yours sincerely, gary

Q: Please help, can't get in with the neurologist for 4 weeks. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis first off diagnosed in 2005 along with sjorgens, and fibromyalgia. I had a car accident in 2001 and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis of L3 4 5 and had a laminectomy with spinal fusion. I have had no problems except for the few times that I would overdo it and be down a day of two. In March I started to have numbness in the left foot that evidently moved up my left leg to my right leg and down to the foot. MY PCP ordered x-rays of entire spine. Lumbar x-ray showed I had post op changes to L3 4 5 with and slippage of the L5 to S1. Also showed moderate DDD of the cervical spine in C3-7. Neurologist ordered MRI and CT of lumbar spine. CT showed that my spine had never fused. MRI showed varied changes. Neurologist will do surgery in the future. As you know the risk goes up for the second surgery, and he wants me to wait until I can no longer stand the pain. I am sorry this is taking so long but I am giving you my history. My question has to do with the C-Spine MRI that the Rheumatologist has ordered due to tingling and numbness of the bilateral arms and hands along with dropping small objects. It shows as follows:

Findings: the vertebral bodies are maintained in height. There is straightening of the normal cervical lordosis. The C2-3 level is normal. The C3-4 level demonstrates a small disk osteophyte complex eccentric to the left with indentation of the ventral thecal sac. At C4-5 small disk osteophyte complex is demonstrated. At C5-6, a broad-based disk osteophyte complex indents the thecal sac and abuts the spinal cord. There is root entry zone and central spinal stenosis. At C6-7, a disk osteophyte complex indents the thecal sac and abuts the ventral spinal cord resulting in central and lateral recess stenosis. The C7-T1 level is normal. Impression: 1. Tricompartment stenosis at C5-6 and C6-7 resulting from disk osteophyte complexes. 2. Small disk osteophyte complex eccentric to the right at C3-4. 3. Cervical straightening. Does this mean surgery and if so want procedure? Thank you for your help. Uthana

Q: Hello...not sure what is really going on...I had surgery about 10yrs ago...I now just started having numbness in my hands and my hands feel very cold...I had an emg/eeg done and was told I have a pinched nerve at my elbow...why i it both hands that's numb, very...very cold and tingling...I am so scared it might be a disc...can you help me please...any advise would be better than none, thank you very much, Pat

Q: Hi and thank you for your help! I had c5-6-7 fused in 2006, after falling off a wall, I got sum minimum relief from the surgery but symptoms got worse and worse pain in both shoulders numb hands pain Severe pain in my neck headaches then my skin went numb in my thighs ? my left shoulder in 08 had surgery in 09 I herniated T-4-5 T6-7 7-9,, the did a follow up MRI 6 months after the neck surgery in 06 and it revealed c-3 was herniated!I finally had a MRI of my neck today it stated nothing about c-3? It says at C4-5 there is a central protrusion which contacts the ventral spinal cord with moderate effacement, cerebrospinal spinal fluid and minimal ventral cord flattening, there is no significant neural foraminal narrowing. I been in severe pain that worsened after I hurt my T spine in oct, of 09 this is a insurance doctor who said my pain can be coming from muscles, trust me after I got hurt in 06 I know the difference, between muscles and nerve pain. thank you for any insight you can give me on today's MRI and all the info I listed.Thank You, Charles

Q: I have a history of low back pain. My MRI of the lumbar spine is as follows... Findings: the conus lies at the level of L1/2. Lumbar lordosis is preserved without spondylolisthesis. There is no fracture or other bone marrow signal abnormality.L3/4 There is mild circumference disk bulge and mild facet joint hypertrophy w/o foraminal or central canal stenosis.L4/5 There is mild circumferential disk bulge w/superimposed rt forminal protrusion causing moderate stenosis of the rt lateral recess and rt neural foramen w/o nerve impingement. There is no central canal stenosis. There is also or mild facet joint hypertrophy. L5/S1 There is a small central protrusion w/o foraminal or central canal stenosis. Impression: Mild L4/5 circumferential disk bulge w/superimposed rt foraminal protrusion causing moderate stenosis of the rt lateral recess and rt neural foramen w/o nerve root impingement. Ok...long story short what's wrong with my back and if i should run to have surgery based on these findings. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Lisa

Q: Hi Sensei Adam, Can you please explain my CT results and tell me the best treatment options? I had a CT last week, the CT report says: complete loss of the normal cervical curve. Bone density is decreased and loss of height of c5 and c6 with degenerative change & osteophyte formation of the inter space. degenerative change at C4/5 and at C6/7. Osteophytic narrowing at the C5/6 neural exit foramina. artefact at C2 and C3, little disc visible centrally but detail is poor. minor prominence of the disc at c3/4 level producing impression on the thecal sac centrally. Bony irregularity at c4/c5 level, more pronounced on the left than the right and producing an impression on the thecal sac and the lateral recess. Bony changes and disc prominence are significant at the c5/6 level. Focal disc protrusion contacting the thecal sac. Bony narrowing of the left sided exit foramen. bony irredularity at c6/7 level with small focal area of ossification in the left lateral recess. The disc appears quite prominent at this level and there is significant impression on the thecal sac. Minor narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally. No abnormality is noted at the C7/T1 levelConclusion: significant disc pathology at the c5 and c6 levels, however ther is some artefact present. mri is recommended depending on severity of patient symptoms. My symptoms are:2 weeks of mid scapular pain then, 6 weeks of extreme pain mid scapular,radiating to left side inc.neck, shoulder, underarm and forearm. sharp shooting pain. the pain is always there, extreme in the morning. The pain is severe and affecting my work/play/sleep and painkillers aren't working. I have tried physio/chiro/massage with no relief. I am due to go to my doctor and discuss the ct results with him in 2 days. I would really appreciate an explanation of my ct results and how i can get pain free. please help. Alicia

Q: Hi my question here is primarily about weightlifting and a bulging disc. I will copy and paste the MRI report that I received at the bottom. I was diagnosed with a medium bulge in my L5-S1 and i had some sciatic-like pain at the time. I've gone through roughly 2 months of PT and a month or so of chiro treatment. As it is now, my pain is significantly less and usually only flares up if my back goes into flexion. I have been off weights completely for a month and i was curious as to if it was acceptable for me to start back up again, starting very light of course. Specifically Front Squat, Standing Overhead Press. (deadlifts i am leaving out completely since i have to bend over to set up). Attempts at front squat with an empty barbell brought on no pain, my concern is with the compression force my spine will be under during these. I was hoping to start the OHP tomorrow with an empty bar, and on both exercises i would add at most 5lbs per workout.Also i do daily spinal decompression on a inversion table, as well as core stability etc

Here's the MRI report from early June, any thoughts or advice is appreciated. Findings: The lumbosacral alignment is within normal limits. The vertebral body heights are maintained. There is no bone marrow edema. The conus medullaris is normal.Evaluation of the individual disk levels demonstrates: L5-S1: Mild disk bulge present, with a superimposed small broad-based right paracentral disk herniation. The disk effaces the anterior epidural fat, approaching the right S1 nerve root ocmplex without evidence of nerve root displacement or compression. There is no foraminal stenosis. L4-L5: Trivial disk bulge. No spinal canal or foraminal stenosis. Impression: Mild degenerative disk disease changes at L5-S1 and to a lesser extent at L5-5 with a small right paracentral disk herniation present at L5-S1. No evidence of nerve root displacement or compression. Jay

Q: Hello my name is Brenda. I was injured at work and had back surgery at L4, L5 with a 1-2mm bulge. 2 months after my surgery my back popped and now I have a 5mm bulge. I have a lot of pain, numbness and burning in my low back and right leg. They are now telling my I have the 5mm ruptured disc and tethering of the cord, however the neurosurgeon I saw told me this tethering is not new and I've had it all my life. So I'm wondering shouldn't the first surgeon have known I had tethering of the cord prior to doing the surgery? I did have an mri and it was read as normal spine, but the neurosurgeon is telling me the mri was read incorrectly. Did the surgery he did cause me more problems by doing the back surgery with the tethering if the mri was misread and shouldn't he have known prior to doing surgery? Brenda

Q: Hello, A recent repeat CT (1 year interval) continues to show the following: minimal disc bulge at L4-5, & broad-based central posterior disc protrusion at L5-S1. I have had pain for several years in this area was was told by my orthopedic surgeon who had to RE-Do discectomies on my cervical area (3-4,4-5,5-6,6-7) due to lack of fusion, that patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) usually don't respond well to low back surgery. I have only mild spondylotic changes of the lumbar spine and the AS diagnosis was given to me because of chronic erosion of the SI (sacroiliac) joints. If this is a generally accepted way of thinking, what are some non-surgical alternatives for someone with a heart pacemaker? Rene

Q: I recently had an MRI done, in my report it says that I have focal annular tear and bulging into the right lateral recess. And there is focal disc protrusion at L4-5 into the right lateral recess and right neural foramen. I want to know what this means and also if I should think about surgery options or just the cortisone shots into my spine? Melisha

Q: Need help to understand MRI results.Grade 1 anterolisthesis at L5-S1 with left and likely right chronic pars defects of L5. Lumbar disc displacement, greatest at L5-S1, with generalized disc bulging, moderate bilateral foraminal disc protrusions compressing the bilateral L5 nerve roots, and a small central disc extrusion. Degenerative changes of the lumbar spine especially at L5-S1 with degenerative disc disease, spondylosis. Posterior element hypertrophy is also seen. No significant bony central spinal stenosis. Neural foraminal stenosis greatest and severe bilaterally at L5-S1.What will help the pain that goes down my leg.(Sciatica) Should surgery be considered? Thanks CC

Q: hi, i have had an epidural injection and am back on my feet. have a very large disc protrusion at L4. i could not walk for 1 week but am up and about now. i am a chef and have taken the whole of july off. my gp has warned that i have to very careful. before this regular swimming and walking was my routine. how shall i proceed next, to recover. please advice, prasad

Q: I am a little confused about my diagnosis and treatment route. I am a 39 year old, female, kindergarten teacher. I have experienced lower back issues for ten years now. About four times a year, my back would take me down for about 5 days- meaning I couldn't stand up straight, had trouble sleeping, working, bathroom issues, severe muscle spasms, etc. I have always rebounded, so I didn't address it much. Recently, however, my back caused me to go down for much longer(week 6), and while I am feeling better, the pain is isolated and I am afraid that a wrong move could bring me back down. I have been going the chiropractic route and physical therapy. My MRI reported: -L3/L4 slight decreased disc height and hydration with diffuse disc bulge and central disc herniation. There is bilateral facet arthrosis. -L4/L5 shows slight decreased disc height and hydration with diffuse buldge and central disc herniation with bilateral facet arthrosis.

Do I stay on the chiropractic route. My fiance is being very vocal about seeing a "real" doctor/surgeon. Is decompression a possibility? I have some doubts, as my insurance doesn't cover any of it as a method of treatment and I have top-notch coverage.Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Stacey

Q: I have had back pain, pain in my left buttock and numbness in my left calf and foot since I received an epidural pain injection three weeks ago. My MRI results are a moderately large disc extrusion centrally and dorsal left at l4-l5 with compression of the thecal sac and narrowing of the left articular recess this is my second mri and and the l4-l5 disc has lost height since my first study two months ago. Also there is a small central disc protrusion at l5-s1. My entire left foot is numb. I can't feel my great toe or even move it any longer. I'm having difficulty walking because of pain in my left hip. My orthopedic surgeon is recommending surgery. I'm scared to death and don't know what to do. Pain meds, celebrex, lyrica none of it works. What can/should I do? I'm only 43. I have a family to raise. Anna-Marie

Q: I recently had a mri done and it said. I have a severe right foraminal stenosis, due to asymmetric, right uncovertabral joint hypertrophy.Central spinal canal is patent. There is mild left unconvertebral joint hypertrophy, with mild left foraminal stenosis and would be difficult to entirely exclude a component of foraminal disc extrusion. I am in a lot of pain and the pain doctor said there is nothing he can do he said "this is a big one" the only thing is surgery other than that which my insurance most likely will not cover I been in pain for months before going to him and getting the mri done i am hurting in severe pain and said there is no pain meds that would help or muscle relaxes he was very mean and I wanted to know Is there pain meds that would help deal with the pain or muscle relaxants? please help me understand cause he did not explain what all this meant. Edgar

Q: Hi,I'm a thirty two year old female with back pain. I got my MRI results and don't really understand them so please Help! At l4-5 level,there is a small central protrusion of the disc with what appears to be a posterior annular tear. No significant canal stenosis is seen, but there is mild mass effect upon anterior aspect of the thecal sac and likely upon transversing nerve roots bilaterally. The remainder of intervertebral are remarkable. No evidence of significant canal or foraminal stenosis. Any help to understand the severity would be great! Thank you, Tiffany

Q: neurosurgeon pushing for surgery and i was told i had no other alternative what do you think? I have had chronic back,shoulder, arm and neck pain for years and i thought it was part of wear and tear as a nurse. I never took pain meds except occas tuylenol A year ago I developed some numbness to thumb and index fingers of both hands. Symptoms have worsened since last 2 months I have trouble buttoning clothes and picking up small objects and hooking necklace etc all fingers are numb.. I then did a mri in june 10 which showed --- C3-4 large posterior disc herniation,with mild uncovertebral joint spurring right greater than left with severe compression of spinal cord and associated spinal cord signal abnormalty due to edema. A verylarge pos disc hern at c4-5 with severe compression and narrowing of spinal cord and canal with a focal area of edema seen within the cord. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing present as well. C5-6 moderate posterior disc herniation with moderate to severe narrowing of the central canal and mod narrowing of neural foramen bilaterally due to assoc unconvertebral joint spurring as well. C6-7 -sml to mod posterior disc herniation with significant compression of spinal cord with cord edema to right midline of cord The neural foramen narrowed- moderate to severe on right and moderate on the left. C7-T1 has sml posterior disc herniation which effaces the ventral thecal sac resulting in a mild central canal stenosis. What are my alternatives, choices,,,,,future? Does it have to be surgery? only surgery had was c-section...I have hx htn and hypothyroid disease after tx of hyperthyroidism with radiation and on meds for those,,I desperately need unbiased input so I can make an intelligent choice,,I am not a good pt, I hate the thought of surgery keloids as i scar, but i have no loss of bladder or bowel. I am just slower with my hands and i compensate very well. thank you! Audrey

Q: what is a bulging disc abutting the ventral thecal sac on L5 S1? Eva

Q: The results from my CT scan is left lateral curvature. Alignment is otherwise acceptable. Mild/moderate intervertebral disc height loss at L4-L5. At L4-L5 there is a left central to large distal protrusion effacing the left lateral recess causing moderate central stenosis. Moderate narrowing of the inferior aspect of the left neural foreman. Mild right foraminal stenosis. All other levels there is no significant disc pathologhy central canal and foramina are patent. Facets are intact normal at all levels. When the pain really started to feel bad was after having my baby 9 months ago. I was in pain all through my pregnancy but it was not as bad as this. I have tried Physio,massage,chiro and acupuncture. Now that I have the results from the CT scan what should I do next. I am going back to work in 3 months and would like to be able to stand and sit without pain. Sarah

Q: Left paracentral disc herniation at L5-S1, with mild thecal sac compression and possible left S1 nerve root impingement. Please explain this situation and is it serious condition.Thanks, VIPIN

Q: First to start off I'm 19 years old been having lower back pain and numbness in my left leg for 3 months tried chiropractor didn't work. So I got my MRI results... Need to know what my options are... Impression: 1. 3mm retrolisthesis of L4 over L52. L4/L5: 8mm posterocentral disc bulging and bony spurring. 7mm posterocentral and inferior subligamentous extrusion causing 8.8 mm central canal stenosis and moderate neural impingement of the descending left L5 nerve. 1.8 mm right and 2.2 mm left neural foraminal stenosis due to disc bulging and bone spurring.3. L5/S1: 4,5mm disk bulge with posterocentral and left paracentral 7 mm extrusion moderately impinging thecal sac.1.5mm right and 1.2mm left neural foraminal stenosis due to disc bulge.Travis

Q: Hi, i have just got my MRI results and wondering if there is any way you can explain in plain english!! and what is my next course of action please. Mild degenerative changes with narrowing of the intervertebral disc and some loss of signal intensity together with mild end plate changes seen at L5/S.1 Level. At this level there is a slight posterior and left sided disc bulge which caused a slight encroachment on the left exit foramina at this level and minor encroachment on the thecal sac but with no significant spinal canal stenosis. Deborah

Q: ok this is my second mri of my lumbar spine the first was in 04. The first result said i had 2 herniated disks severe spinal stenosis and a degenerative spine. this is the second result if u can put it in idiot terms for what it means. l4-l5: there is mild loss of disc height. The disc is disiccated. Superimposed upon a disc bulge, there is a small central extrusion with caudal extension. The bulge abuts but does not overtly displace or impinge the descending segments of the L5 nerve roots. The facet joints are midly hypertrophied. There is mild to moderate narrowing of the neural foramina inferior without evidence of foraminal impingement. The spinal canal is not significantly narrowed. L5-S1: There is mild loss of disc height. The disc is desiccated. There is a disc bulge. The facet joints are mildy to moderately hypertrophies. The bulge abuts but does not overtly displace or impinge the descending segments of the S1 nerve roots. There is mild narrowing of the neural foramina inferiorly without evidence of forminal impingement. The spinal canal is not significantly narrowed. The included portion of the sacrum is unremarkable. A stable sclerotic density in the right ilium subjacent to the sacroiliac joint most likely pertaiins to a bone island. impression: spondylotic/discogenic changes, as above, ok can u please tell me what all this means please. thank you, kandi

Q: This is the result of my MRI. Sagittal images show a normal conus medullaris and upper lumbar spine. L4-5.Shows small central disk protrusion causing moderate central narrowing. Neural foramina are patent. L5-S1- A small left paracentral disk herniation causes borderline compression of the ascending left S1. Impression: there is a tiny central disk protrusion L4-5 without stenosis. * Small left paracentral disk herniation L5-S1 causes borderline compression of the descending left S1 nerve root in the lateral recess. Please help me get clarified with my condition. At the moment , I have numbness with my both legs, they are very heavy to stand and walk. A have a friend who got paralyzed due to lifting (hospital) and I am afraid because my children are still small . Is this condition will make me paralyzed ....I am having PT , muscle relaxant and steroids, will I be going for surgery, do you think? Please help me. Windell

Q: I was involved in an MVA twice, 8/16/07 and 6/16/08 thereby causing me to have severe whiplash (myofascial spams), etc. after the first MVA and disc herniation on L5 after the second one. Aside from the constant pain and discomfort on my lumbar when I sit for long periods of time, I have pain on my right toe that pulls to my right ankle and jerks my right low back. Does the herniated disc have something to do with the right toe? Sonia

Comment: Findings: Vertebral body height are preserved. There is no evidence of cervical cord compression, expansion, or internal signal aberration at any level. There is mild multilevel disc bulging with modest desiccation, appreciated on the motion-degraded examination. Disc bulging is perhaps most notable at C5-C6, where the left neural foramen is somewhat narrow. No focal disc herniations are identified at any level. There is no evidence of fracture/dislocation, marrow replacing process, or cervical cord abnormality. Impression: There is a mild disc bulging to the left at C5-C6, without focal disc herniation and there is mild disc bulging at a few additional cervical levels, but this motion-degraded examination reveals no evidence of fracture/dislocation, marrow replacing process, or cervical cord abnormality. Stef

Q: I had my MRI and Impression states Degenerative disc changes at the L2-3 and L3-4 levels without stenosis. Degenerative disc bulge and facet hypertrophy at the L4-5 level resulting in moderate spinal stenosis. Small central disc protrusion at the L5-S1 level with mild thecal sac compression. There is a C4 vertebral hemangioma Small central disc herniations at the C2-3 and C4-5 levels without cord compression. Disc/osteophyte complexes at the C5-6 level resulting in moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis. My EMG report states: Provisional Diagnosis: Bilateral Lumbosacral Radiculopathy. Can you please tell me if this is really bad - i'm in constant pain every day have been through every thing from injection to meds PT you name it. I would really appreciate for you to give me some advice and how bad is it. Thank you, Eleni

Q: I have been experiencing lower back pain that keeps me from sleeping pain free all night for the past 10 months. I get pain about 3-5 hours into my sleep. I also have spina bifida in my lower back, that I was born with. With chiropractic care, keeping in alignment, this relieved the discomfort I was having until the past 10 months. I had an MRI last week and here are the results on the report I was given: FINDINGS: Sagittal sequences show some patient motion limiting detail, but no compression or subluxation is seen. The L5-S1 disc is dehydrated. Axial scans from L1-L2 through L5-S1 show no disc herniation or stenosis. Mild facet joint hypertrophy is seen L3 thru S-1, mostly on the left at L5-S1. Mild left foraminal narrowing is seen at this level without definite impingement. IMPRESSION: Left facet arthropaty L5-S1 with some foraminal narrowing. If significant, this would correspond with left L5 radiculopathy. The L5-S1 disc is dehydrated, but there is no other remarkable finding on this exam. Thanks! Robin

Q: Thanks for your time, about 2 week ago I had surgery for my herniated disc, and its failed surgery. pain on my back and in legs came back and this time is more then the that before surgery. my doctor recommends another surgery, after how many days later, i have to perform second surgery. so far i did not heal my first surgery. thanks for reply, Nasira

Q: hi adam, sean again. i went to see an osteopath with my mri results after his examination he diagnosed me with spinal stenosis and one leg shorter than the other. he did some manipulation and acupuncture but my gp said that spinal stenosis would show up on my mri. does all types of spinal stenosis show on mri imaging?

Q: Hi. Just had an emg done which was normal. Had a ct scan done which show a herniated disc,then went on to have a mri which show the same. I have had 3 discectomies at l5 s1 site. I still have pain in back, backside, leg and foot especially the big toe. My question is Why am I having pain if that nerve is not damaged? Please reply. Irene

Q: I met with a very reputable chiropractor last week after seeing one for many years. Wanted me to get a MRI that day. Passed out from pain that day and was taken to hospital. After MRI said L4&5 disc needs to be removed. Got 2 opinions, resting against nerves, told cannot have shots because of where discs are positioned, no room for shots. I am 62, high functioning, cant sleep, past 2 months constant sharp pain down right leg and lower back with focus on calf. have had disc problems since 20's but chiropractic is not working. Also have arthritis of spine. have appt. friday with neurosurgeon for 3rd opinion on fri. Do I get surgery if 3 reputable surgeons say its my only hope? Beverly

Q: MRI Report indicate that(1)Disc dessication is noted at all lumber levels.(2)Diffuse disc bulge causing mild impingement over thecal sac,bilateral neural foramina and lateral recesses is noted at L4-L5 level.(3)Diffuse disc bulge with right postero-lateral disc protrusion is noted at L5-S1 level causing significant impingement over thecal sac, left neural foramen and lateral recess with severe impingement over right neural foramen and lateral recess.(4)Mild bony canal stenosis is noted at L4-L5 leval. plz give feedback. Manojkumar

Q: About 2 months ago, I started experiencing pain in my low back, right leg, and calf - also tingling from right buttock to foot. I've been going to a chiropractor for about 6 weeks. There's some improvement, but I'm not well. She sent me to have an MRI this week. She (the chiropractor) is sending me to a pain management facility for an injection in July. I've been doing some rehab exercises. Can you tell me what's wrong? I've been thinking, from internet analysis, that I have sciatica - but who knows.

Following is the MRI analysis: Technique: Routine MRI images of the lumbar spine were obtained without contrasts. Findings/Impressions: 1. No paraspinous mass is present. The aorta is normal in size. 2.The distal cord and conus appear normal. 3.No vertebral compression deformity or primary bone lesion is seen. Disc dessication is noted throughout the lumbar spine. 4.L1-L2: Moderate right and mild left facet arthropathy are present. Thickening of the ligamentum flavum and a 4mm broad right-eccentric disc protrusion contribute to mild central spinal canal stenosis, mild right lateral recess stenosis and mild to moderate right foraminal stenosis. The left neural foramin is patent. 5. L2-L3: Moderate right and mild left facet arthropathy are present. Thickening of the ligamentum flavum and a mild disc bulge contribute to mild central spinal canal stenosis. the lateral recesses and neural foramen appear patent. 6. L3-L4: Moderate facet arthropathy, thickening of the ligamentum flavum and a broad disc bulge or protrusion with central annular tear produce moderate central spinal canal stenosis, mild to moderate right lateral stenosis and mild left lateral recess stenosis. There is borderline narrowing of the inferior right neural foramen. The left neural foramen is patent. 7. L4-L5: Mild anterior subluxation of L4, a disc bulge, severe hypertrophic facet arthropathy and thickening of the ligamentum flavum produce mild to moderate central spinal canal stenosis, severe right lateral foraminal stenosis and moderate to severe right foraminal stenosis. There are mild left lateral recess and left foraminal stenoses. 8.L5-S1: Moderate disc space narrowing, mild chronic endplate erosions and anterior endplate spurring are present. Moderate facet arthropathy, thickening of the ligamentum flavum and a 7mm broad-based central disc herniation with an annular tear produce mild central spinal canal stenosis, severe left foraminal stenosis and moderate right foraminal stenosis. A 5x6mm inferiorly-migrated disc extrusion extends into the left lateral recess and produces mild effacement of the left S1 nerve root. There is also slight posterior displacement and mild compression of the right S1 nerve root as it exits from the thecal sac to enter the lateral recess. 9. No evidence of pars defect.I am 63; I have been working out 3 times a week for years, and I am a gardener. I have not worked out or gardened for 6 weeks on the advice of the chiropractor (and I miss them!). Can you help? Many thanks.... Cheryl

Q: Degenerative disk disease with midline disc herniation at L5-S1. What does this mean ? I am experiencing pain in lower back when performing certain things such as when rising after sitting in a couch. sometimes when rising from the toilet seat.Any feedback is welcome. thanks.... Sandeeb

Q: My MRI impression says: Central protrusion superimposed on a disc bulge at L5-S1 resulting in lateral subarticular recess narrowing with disc material abutting the anterior border of each S1 nerve root. Can you tell me what that means in plain English? Margaret

Q: History- Back pain, radicular pain. MRI of the lumbar spine- Technique- Axial and sagittal images to the lumbar spine were performed in T1-weighted images, T2-weighted images, STIR weighted images. Comparison- None. Results- There is a large focal disc herniation to the left of the midline at the level of L5-S1 causing mass-effect in the left lateral recess and asymmetric central canal stenosis. Mild facet degenerative disc disease at the level of L4-L5 but there is no focal disc herniation or central canal stenosis. Other disc spaces are intact. No abnormal signal noted in the conus and distal thoracic cord. Impression- Large focal disc herniation to the left of the midline at the level of L5-S1 causing mass-effect in the left lateral recess and asymmetric central canal stenosis. Just wondering what all this means..I am in severe pain and pregnant..thank you, Heather

Q: my mri report says the l1 l2 l3 discs appear normal there is reduced signal in the l4-5 disc due to degenerative change. There is a moderate sized broad based central disc protrusion posteriorly at this level. This extends to both sides but more marked on the left where it encroaches on the left exit canal. It extrudes slightly down behind the body of l5. There is a little distortion of the thecal sac on the right side below this. There is reduced signal in l5-s1 with moderate narrowing of the disc and a little degenerative reactive change in the surrounding bone. There is posterior annular bulging slightly more marked on the left where it may impinge on the left nerve root. There is evidence of old surgical change on the left side. My pain can go from severe around my lower left side back and buttock at worst i can not stand or lie i can get some ease sitting then all of a sudden i have no pain what so ever i had a discectomy in 2003 and was wondering what are my best options the pain can last for weeks at a time then go completely for days. best regards, sean

Q: yes i work as a healthcare provider and worked in a nursing home tub room bathing residents and the floor was slippery and i had a lot slip and catches and near falls on a regular basis and now would like to know if over time this could cause herniation of the discs in the lower spine. Terry

cure herniated disc pain program