Herniated Disc Questions and Answers Archive 2010 Part 9

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: Hello, My mom has had severe pain for around 13 years now. After going to countless doctors she has finally started to get some answers. She just recently had and MRI done. These were the findings: Straightening of the normal cervical lordosis. Alignment is normal. No significant changes or alignment with extensive views. Vertbral body height and marrow signal are maintained. No acute compression fracture or infiltrative marrow replacement process is seen. At C2-3 and C3-4, disc degeneration. At C4-5, disc degeneration with broad-based left paracentral disc herniation and compression of the thecal sac. Canal stenosis with ventral cord impingement. Facet and uncovertebral hypertrophy with mild stenosis of the neural foramina. At C5-6, disc degeneration with endplate spurring and broad-based posterior and right paracentral disc herniation with thecal sac impingement. Effacement of the ventral subarachnoid space with canal stenosis. Facet and uncovertebral degeneration with mild to moderate stenosis of the neural foramina. At C6-7, disc degeneration with broad-based posterior and central disco herniation with compression of the thecal sac. Ventral subarachnoid space. Facet and uncovertebral hypertrophy with mild narrowing of the neural foramina. The spinal canal and cervical cord unremarkable as imaged. Impression: 1. Multilevel disc herniations at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-8 as described. 2. Straightened lordosis. This may be seen with muscular spasm. At this point her chiropractor has tried just about everything he can think of to help her and nothing has helped yet. The pain is to the point that she isn't able to sleep at night and it just keeps getting worse. We found a doctor who does laser spine surgery and she has an appointment to see him to discuss the possibility of doing surgery. The doctor has evaluated the above and said she is a perfect candidate for the surgery, but there are some more steps she has to take before any final decisions can be made. One of her biggest concerns if whether or not surgery will actually relieve the pain or not. She has also been tested and does have carpal tunnel syndrome as well, so we know some of the pain is likely coming from that as well. But, we are hoping that some of the numbness and tingling will go away if the neck issues are treated. She has a few symptoms and I have been researching them online, but cannot seem to tell what they are most likely related to. The first is that she has times where he hands will lock and she won't be able to open or close them, depending on what position they lock in. She has to force them to open. I have noticed a few times when this happens she has a lump in her wrist, similar to a ganglian cyst, but it isn't there all the time. One thing she has noticed is that when her hands lock up like that, the numbness and tingling go away. However, when they open up again, it will be back and usually worse than it was before they locked. The other problem she has is that she sometimes feels excessive pain up at the shoulder area. She says it feels as if someone is just trying to tear her arm off.I think that covers everything. If you have any info or insight I would really appreciate it. After all these years of dealing with the pain I finally feel like she is getting closer to a solution, but at the same time it has brought so many more questions and concerns. Thanks so much! Jenny

Q: Please help, My MRI of 2009 showed left sided herniation at L4-L5 with compression of the left side of the thecal sac and L5 nerve root, moderate central disc bulge at L5- S1 other wise unremarkable lumbar spine MRI scan, if i didn't have this tingling and pains in my leg while sitting or standing i would feel great, do you know where in Texas there is a Dr. that does non surgical decompression that takes Humana Gold Plus ins. i am retired at 69 and that is all the Ins. i have. thank you for listening to me. Anna

Q: My husband is 37y.o. and currently we are trying to decide if seeing a pain specialist is a good idea, or if going straight to the Neuro. is the best idea. His back was already hurting, then he took a fall, which made it worse. This is what his MRI states:Findings: The vertebral body heights and bone marrow signal intensities are main. W/the conus tip at the T12-L1 level.T12-L1 thr. L4-5:Unremarkable discs. Mild facet arthropathy @ L4-5.L5-S1: Min. desiccation & moder.narrowing of the interspace. Much of the narr. could be devel. or physiologic. 2-3mm central to right paracentral protrusion contact. The anterior thecal margin. S1 roots don't appear displaced. Mild facet arthropathy.Impression:1.L4-5 &L5-S1 show facet arthrpathy.2. L5-S1 shows a small central to right paracentral focal protrusion.Please help. Thank you so much for your time. Lori

Q: here i am giving my husbands MRI report. please suggest what kind of treatment should be given to him. 1.Marginal anterior osteophytes at L4-L5 Level.2.Mild diffuse bulge seen at L4-5 and L5-S1 level with causing minimal indentation over the thecal sac and minimal narrowing of bilateral neural foramina without adjacent compromise3.Alignment of lumbo scral spine is maintained.4.All the lumbo-sacral vertebrae and their posterior appendages are normal5.No lytic or sclerotic lesion seen in the visualises vertebrae.6.Conus ends opposite L1 vertebral body7.Lumbar spinal canal is of normal diameter8.No paraspinal soft tissue abnormality seen. IMPRESSION:AT L4-L5 AND L5-S1 LEVEL THERE IS MILD DIFFUSE BULGE WITH CAUSING MINIMLA INDENTATION OVER THECAL SAC AND MINIMAL NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL FORAMINA WITHOUT ADJACENT COMPROMISE. Spandana

Q: I fell at work have been in pain. i have had an mri scan and the result says i have dorsobilation disc protrusion with soft disc of origin at the L4-5 level. This disc protrusion shows possible indentation to both lateral recess and also to the right exiting nerve root.Loss of central hyperintensity within L4-5 and L5-S1 intervetebral discs suggestion of disc dehydration. I have been referred for a specialist advise who can only see me in december. I am in severe pain lower back going to the right side. i have problem sleeping and standing. The pain comes from lower back going down my bum and my right leg and at time the leg just become numb. Sitting down causes pain standing and also sleeping. While i am waiting for this appointment what can i do to help me back to normal? I have been and off work due to this. Physio did not help me pilates did not help me. HELP. Angelina

Q: I have back problem say for 2 yrs now. I took MRI test and here is the exact report as it reads "Left paracentral lateral herniation of L5-S1 disc compressing thecal sac and nerve root on left side with secondary canal stenosis, left lateral recess stenosis and left foraminal stenosis" Current problems in day-to-day life: 1) From standing position I can't bend myself. If I bend, sense pain in left thigh. Luckily, this pain has not extended below thigh as of now. 2) Cannot stand for extended periods. With reference to above MRI report and my current conditions I have some queries. 1) Is the condition mentioned in the MRI report ONLY cured by surgery? 2) By Physiotherapy can this condition be rectified? 2) What is the long term impact if I have to postpone the surgery. Thanks In Advance. Senthil

Q: Hi. I was wondering if you might be able to help be understand my MRI results.I had prior anterior cervical fusion and diskectomy at C5-C6 & C6-C7 in 2004. Findings: There is mild straightening of the cervical lordosis. Anterior and interbody fusin is resent at C5-C6 & C6-C7, stable. There is diffuse disk dehydration throughout the remainder of cervical spine. At C2-C3, no significant disk bulge or stenosis. At C3-C4, stable small central disk protrusion indents the anterior thecal sac, without significant stenosis. At C4-C5, stable tiny central broad-based disk protrusion indents the anterior thecal sac, without significant stenosis. At C5-C6 & C6-C7, postoperative changes appear stable. No recurrent disk protrusion or significant stenosis identified. There is mild spurring along the endplates. At C7-T1,small right paramedian disk protrusion indents the anterior thecal sac, resulting in mild asymmetric effacement of the right lateral recess. There is superimposed edema in the annulus. The finding appear slightly progressed from prior study. The neuroforamina are patent. Jodi

Q: Hi can you please tell me what this means, many thanks Imogen:CT Lumbosacral Spine. Imaging performed from L2/L3 to the sacrum.Sagittal and coronal reformats show normal alignment of the lumbar spine with no spondylolisthesis and no lumber scoliosis evident. L2/3: no significant disc abnormality is seen, with any central canal or neural foraminal narrowing. L3/4: There is a mild broad-based posterior disc bulge, more prominent on the right. There is no significant central canal or neural foraminal narrowing at this level, with the nerve roots seen to exit without impingement. L4/5: There is a central disc protrusion which has a depth of 7mm. This is seen to extend posterior to the superior aspect of the L5 vertebral body. No definite impingement of the traversing L5 nerve roots. There is no significant narrowing of the neural foramina, with the L4 roots seen to exit without impingement. L5/S1: There is very minimal broad based posterior disc bulging without central canal or neural foraminal narrowing. The nerve roots are seen to exit without impingement. No CT scan evidence for facet joint arthropathy. The sacroiliac joints are unremarkable. No pars defects are seen. Comment: There is a focal central disc protrusion at L4/5. There is mild broad-based posterior disc bulging at L3/4. There is no CT scan evidence for nerve root impingement. Imogen

Q: I have suffered with my back off and on for several years after pushing my old Triumph Herald up a hill. Since the end of last year after a polatis class the muscles around my lower spine went in to spasm but with medication and rest it seemed to be OK. About a month later my pain started again and crept from my lower back to my hip, down my leg and in to my foot. I have pain night and day and have been given tramadol by my doctor which I don't like taking and I can't say I get any more sleep for it anyway. I can't walk and I just sit down and cry at times.I recently had an MRI scan and the conclusion report was: there is loss of disc height at L5/S1 with associated degenerate disc change and minor spondylosis. There is a small right lateral disc prominence with some associated osteophytosis at L4/5 which is just abutting the right L4 nerve root in its exit foramen. I'm no doctor but from this I assume that the disc is just touching the nerve root and therefore causing me all of this pain. I was wondering what the consultant might suggest to help me with this. Helen

Q: I have a central broad based disc protrusion causing some distortion to the thecal sac no evidence of compression..not been told anything other than that..what it means,,is it gonna b like that for life..why am i in so much pain if no sign of compression..please could you tell me as much as possible..many thanks Adam

Q: Hi, I have been having lower back pain for a close to 2 years, initially caused by lifting too much at work. And now in my new job I have aggravated that injury, and also was injured again by too much lifting and pushing heavy pallets of water. After the new injury I started having a lot of pain in my upper midback along with tingling and numbness in my legs if I sit more that 20-25 minutes or so, and also some tingling in my left arm. My MRI of the lower back showed 3 mildly herniated disks or bulging disks, as 2 doctors read it differently. However, I had been telling the doctor that my upper back hurt worse, and they finally did a MRI of the upper back also. This is what they found and I hope you can tell me how serious this is, especially the part about the slight flattening of the anterior aspect of the thoracic cord, and also what you think needs to be done.

FINDINGS: Normal alignment and curvature of the thoracic spine is noted. Bone marrow signal is noted. No abnormal cord signal is identified. No abnormally enhancing lesions are identified. Loss of disk signal noted in the T4-T5 and T7-T8 disk. Small, central T4-T-5 disk protrusion is noted, which has not caused central stenosis. Moderate sized central T7-T8 disk protrusion is noted. T7-T8 disk protrusion abuts and slightly flattens the anterior aspect of the thoracic cord. No neural foraminal narrowing is noted. IMPRESSION: 1. Mild T4-T5, T7-T8 degenerative disk disease. 2. Central T7-T8 disk protrusion abuts and slightly flattens the anterior aspect of the thoracic cord. 3. No neural foraminal narrowing. 4. No abnormally enhancing lesions. Will appreciate your answer! Jonathan

Q: Hi i was wondering if you could explain my mri It is as follows: within the spinal examination there is degenerative non-compressive disc seen at L2/3 level in the midline...I am in so much pain when i walk or stand is there anything i can do to help. Michelle

Q: Hello. I am 43 Years old and recently I hurt my back (not sure how), and after 2 weeks of muscle relaxers, anti inflammatory drugs and pain killers I asked for an MRI on my back. My symptoms consisted of left leg pain (burning), lack of control were my knee would give out under load. MRI Results

L2-3 There is broad disc bulge which effaces the ventral thecal sac without focal disc herniation. This creates mild cebtral canal stenosis. This broad bulge extends into both neural foramen, Left greater the right. There is loss of fat about the left L2 nerve root. There is left neural foramen narrowing. L3-4 There is right paracentral disc herniation with superiorly extruded components. This is superimposed upon broad disc bulge which creates moderate central canal stenosis. There is mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. L4-5 There is mild spondylitic ridge and broad disc bulge which extends into both neural foramen. This creates mild central canal stenosis, with the AP diameter of the canal at 8mm. There is no focal disc herniation. There is right greater than left neural forminal narrowing. Whats this sound like? Andre

Q: I was involved in an auto accident a little over a month ago. Now have pain in my neck and arm. MRI results are as follows: C2-C3 Tiny central disc herniation with inferior migration causing minimal sac compression, no central stenosis, the foramen are patent. C3-C4 Minimal spondylitic changes, no central stenosis, the foramen are patent. C4-C5 minimal spondylitic changes, no central stenosis and mild left foramiknal narrowing, the right foramen is patent. C5-C6 spondylitic changes with mild sac compression and severe left foraminal narrowing, right foramen is patent. C6-C7 minimal disc bulge, no central stenosis, the foramen are patent.What does all of this mean? Please help. Bob

Q: I have 3 problems in my neck and 1 major in my lower back. Neck: C4-C5 Broad based disk bulge effacing the anterior subarachnoid space. Degree of osseous encroachment upon the right intervertbral foramen. C5-C6 Broad based disk bulge more pronounced on right than left, effacing anterior subarachnoid space. Degree of osseous encroachment upon the right intervertebral foramen. C6-C7 central focal disk bulge effacing the anterior.? What does this mean and how dangerous is this for me? Bare in mind I read this on my MRI report after the nerologist said there was nothing wrong with my neck.Lower back: L5-S1 right posterior lateral disk protrusion abutting the right anterior aspect of the S1 nerve root within the central canal.? What does this mean and what is the best course of action to take? My neurologist told me this was a cause for concern and surgery was an option but was up to me. I have tried physical therapy in the past and it hurt me so bad I became extremely angry beyond tolerable amounts. I don't like being angry especially due to pain. I have been in pain for 8 years and I'm finally getting help. What should I do. Ty, Kennith

Q: I have been diagnosed as follows: "A 2.2 x 1.3 x 0.8 cm large soft tissue mass is present posterior/left to the vertebral body L5 that narrows the left side of the thecal sac and the left L5/S1 neural foramen and most likely represents a large sequestered disc fragment from the L4/L5 disc." My questions are as follows: 1) What exactly is happening here, what kind of nerve impingement is going on? 2) Doctor has me on methacarbamol, diclofenac, and 60mg of hydrocodone/acetamino 325, yet the pain is sometimes unbearable. 3) When I ran out of my meds for a period of about five days, the pain was so severe, I went to the ER to get some meds, am I just being a wimp or do I have some serious back pain? My primary care doctor has been generous with my meds to help me with my pain, yet the neurosurgeon (resident just out of school) downplayed everything. I also have a whole body neuropathy (idiopathic) which causes pain from my scalp down to my toes. I am on the max dosage of galbapentin for this. I also have a bad heart and am taking Metoprolol Tartrate and Amlodipine Besylate for BP and rhythm. I suffer from a botched up rhinoplasty (to fix a broken nose) which the VA doctors wanted to pratice their plastic surgery with me, thus resulting in ears that are too painfull to touch, now I have the back problems which won't let up. I could sure appreciate any advice or suggestions that I can forward to my doctor(s). Thank you for your help. David

Q: I've had neck pain that goes down my left arm to my ring finger and little finger with numbness. Last week I woke up in extreme pain and had to go to the ER, from there I got an MRI. The doctor advised me of the MRI but he put me on "psych" pills. I'm not crazy, I'm in pain. Can you please tell me what this MRI means...The heights of the cervical vertebral bodies are grossly intact. Good alignment of the cervical vertebral bodies seen. The craniovertebral junction is intact. The visualized portions of the cervical cord appear to be grossly unremarkable. At the C6-7 and C5-6, there is posterior spondylotic ridging and some mild posterior subligamentous disc herniation seen. Narrowing of the left foramen, which may be due to a small left foraminal disc herniation at the Cd-6 level noted. Correlation with clinical findings regarding this suggested. No evidence of a disc herniation seen at the C6-7 level noted. So can you please tell me what this means and am I crazy??? Melissa

Q: Does a herniated cervical disc impinging on the spinal cord always call for surgery? I went to the doctor for severe leg pain,upper thigh and burning shins, loss of movements (cannot put right foot over left)Right leg pain for 7 years, sometimes less severe, left leg for the last three months. I've had many mris, but the cervical spine results through me for a loop. Is there any chance that this could be causing at least some of the leg pain? I also have stenosis in the lumbar region. I am terrified of surgery. Sara

Q: Hi, hope you can enlighten me. I have RA & am having severe chronic sciatica, which I've had for years but is now becoming intolerable. I have no doctor (mine quit his practice suddenly) and also find myself w/o insurance at present. I wish to know what the impression from my last MRI from 10/22/09 means. Here goes: severe left and mild right neural foraminal stenosis exacerbated by facet hypertrophy. Patent canal. 1)Severe lumbar spondylosis ad detailed above an s shaped scoliosis. The central canal stenosis is most severe from L3-L5. 2} Prominent disc disease involving the lower thoracic spine with annular bulging and endplate bulging and endplate spurring contributing to neural foraminal and significant central canal stenosis. Miild impingement of the distal thoracic cord is possible. That's it! I'm at my wits end. It may be a couple months before I can get Medicaid. Have only Medicare & am on SSDI of $728 mo. (my only income) Am thinking of going soon to an ER. Any thing you can tell me would be tremendously appreciated. Thanking you in advance....Jean

Q: my 17-year olds mri - l4/5 there is mild to moderate disc space narrowing. there is disc desiccation. Central disc protrusion is seen within the posterior midline superimposed on diffuse annular disc herniation as well. There is hypotrophy of the facets. Mild LEFT neuroforaminal narrowing is present. There is effacement of the thecal sac with moderate sac narrowing measuring 6.9 mm AP. L5/S1 there is broad -based posterior disc bulge. There is no signifant neuroforaminal narrowing or spinal canal stenosis. ONLY symptom is chronic bilateral calf pain (4+ months) no surgery is recommended at this time. steroid injections provided no relief. EMG normal. Bret

Q: Five days ago I had a microdiskectomy surgery to relieve the pain that was going from my buttocks down to my foot. The first two days of recovery I had NO pain at all (except for the incision), but now the two days have I have to deal with the same path of pain; however, not quite as unbearable before the surgery. As you can imagine, I feel as if the surgery was not a success and fear that I will never get the much needed relief. I contacted my surgeon's assistant who assisted in the operating room and she advised that having this pain come back a few days after the surgery is quite common and that I just needed to give it time and to continue to walk and move. What is your opinion? Christine

Q: Hi, I am a 28 yr old female with Undifferentiated connective tissue disease, which includes lupus, raynaud's, sjogren's, myositis, and osteoarthritis. I have been suffering from back pain for over 2 yrs now. the pain shoots down the back of my left leg in the middle and stops at my knee. the pain sometimes goes down my right leg but not as much as my left. Sometimes my whole leg down to my foot goes numb on my left. When I sit, and sometimes even when I lay down, the pain is all the way around from my back to my abdomen. I feel lot of pressure with pain in this whole area. also along each side of my spine it is tender to the touch. I have been to physical therapy and I am still in lots of pain. Here is my most recent MRI report. L4-L5: The height of the intervertebral disc space is moderately decreased. The disc is desiccated with a large central protrusion with possible compression of the descending L5 nerve roots, right greater than left. The end plates show fatty signal change (modic 2)posteriorly on the right. The facet joints are normal. the ligamentum flavum is normal. the neuroforamina is mildly narrowed on the right. L5-S1: The height of the intervertebral disc space is mildly decreased. The disc is desiccated with moderate sized left foraminal protrusion with probable compression of the exiting L5 nerve root.the rest was normal. please help me understand what this means and possible treatment. Thanks, Sharrita

Q: Could you help me understand the results of my MRI? It says: Decreased signal intensity at L2-L3 and L3-L4 disc spaces consistent with disc desiccation. On axial images at the level of L2-L3 mild asymmetric annular bulge to the left. No evidence of focal extrusion or protrusion. At the level of L3-L4 mild annular bulge with broad-based left posterior lateral protrusion narrowing the left neural foramen. No evidence of compression over the thecal sac. IMPRESSION: 1. Broad base left posterior lateral protrusion at L3-L4 with foraminal narrowing. 2. Mild asymmetric annular bulge at L2-L3 to the left. This MRI was done a year ago when I began having horrible lower back pain that started radiating down the fronts and backs of my legs. I underwent 3 months of PT before starting to feel any better, but since then I have periods of time when my back "goes out" and I am in pain again. I have been trying the chiropractor for the last 9 months and only have limited relief. There is no way to determine when or why my back will start hurting or how many days/weeks it will last. I am getting to the point that I am leaning towards finally seeing the surgeon my primary care doc has been encouraging me to see since the MRI results. Maybe if I understood what was going on with my back, I'd have a better idea of what to do. Megan

Q: I've been in pain for over a month, left sciatic nerve is pinched as I have pain down my left rear and into my calf and my left foot is numb. Here is the MRI results: L4-5: 6-7 mm left paracentral disc herniation. Mod. spinal stenosis with left L5 nerve impingement. L5-S1: 3-4 mm left lateral subligamentous disc extrusion. Mod. proximal left neural foraminal stenosis; potential for left L5 nerve impingement. L2-3: 3-4 mm broad based and lateral subligamentous disc protrusion. Mild thecal sac effacement with mild proximal left neural foraminal stenosis. L3-4: 1-2 mm disc bulge. Mild proximal bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. SO: What does it all mean in layman's terms? What are my options for getting out of pain? Thank you, Angela

Q: Can the mri show how long the disc has been herniated? Hillary

Q: I just received my CT scan results and would like to know what it means. Central Disc bulging at C4-5, Lucency surrounding C7 screw, mild posterior bony spurring at C5-6, There is some streak artifact obscuring detail at c7-t1, Calcified ligamentous thickening posterolaterally on the right at t2, Sondylosis with canal narrowing at c5-6. Kaye

Q: In July of 2009 I had a 4 disc fusion c4-7 with a plate put in. Now the levels 3 and 4 are herniated as well, what could they do next to me to fix this. I have tried everything. Meds, chiropractor, therapy and last but not least acupuncture, which seems to be the best so far. I am now on pain pills, Nucinta, Morphine and valium and 800mg ibuprofen. Please give me some advice so I don't make another mistake, he wants to put a rod down my spine. Jennifer

Q: I injured my back at work lifting and moving a computer monitor on 4/6/10. Since that time I have had to deal with major pain in my upper back. It is just to the right side of my spine. I had a cervical and thoracic MRI which showed a few bulges in the neck and three larger ones in the thoracic area. T4-5 is 14mm, T5-6 is 9mm and T6-7 is 14mm. I have tried physical therapy, pool therapy, an epidural injection at T5-6 and five trigger point injections that were all done at one time. I now have a EMG because they feel the pain in my upper back might be cause by my neck. The neurosurgeon wanted to repeat the neck MRI however Work Comp would not approve it. My biggest complaint is pain the lack of being able to do everyday task like carrying a laundry basket. I, as well as my doctor, are concerned about the amount of pain meds that I have to take to get through the day. My question is there a point or size of bulging disc that the doctors say that it just needs to be fixed surgically. The pain wraps around under my arm and to the top of my chest. The morning is tolerable however by the end of the day simple tasking of changing clothes becomes a task I dread. I just want to be done with the doctors, medicine and most of all pain. My boyfriend and I are usually very active camping and other outdoor activities but I have had to miss so much this summer. I really just want my life back. Amber

Q: hi my husband was just diagnosed with herniated disk. went to hospital last sunday and was discharged last wednesday. over the weekend he had less pain but it started a bit this morning. he doesn't move around much and he smokes a pack every two days or even less. what should be our next step. he has been in this state since september 12th,2010. Dina

Q: Yes i have 2 lower back herniated disk from working outs and lawn work! i had 2 shots and take advil and walk! the pain started in june how long do you think the pain will last my age is 35 and goes down my leg! I have one more question. How long does a herniated disk pain last for? And does it just heal with time? or can it last for years with pain? thanks, Michael

Q: I received my x-ray report and it concludes, vertebral body heights and disc spaces of the lumbar spine are maintained. No evidence of fracture, malalignment or significant disc degenerative changes, Then goes on to say there is a moderate to advanced disc degenerative change at T11-T12 predominately in the anterior disc space. Disc space narrowing endplate sclerosis and marginal spur formation is seen.I am not understanding any of this, just know that the pain has become unbearable and have been suffering for about 3yrs, is there anything that can be done.Thank you for reading over this. Deb

Q: About eight months ago I was training in jiujitsu when I experienced a pain in my lower back. I try and tough most injuries out because injuries happen when you train in jiujitsu and MMA. 8 months later I finally go get an MRI because the pain is too much. Here is what my report says: Degenerative lumbar disk changes are present at L1-2, L4-5 and L5-s1 and sparringly in L2-3 and L3-4. L1-2 shows moderate disk narrowing and mild diffuse disk desiccation with minimal annular bulging. L4-5 shows moderate narrowing and desiccation with a very large central disc herniation. The disc herniation extends 9mm beyond the expected posterior disk and measures 18mm in transverse dimensions and significantly effects he central anterior portion of the thecal sac and contacts both descending nerve roots. The L5-S1 herniation extends 8mm. So my question: I am 26 years old, in great shape and would love to continue training in jiujitsu and mma. I've tried chiropractic techniques, stretching techniques, etc. AT this point I'm considering surgery. If I do have surgery can I take the time off needed to recover and go back to training like I never had the surgery? Any advice? Thanks in advance! Derrick

Q: hello I have been having left si pain for many years but it got much better last year for some reason - I only had to take 1 pill (codeine) and felt no pain. I could run ( up stairs, ride my horse and do anything) We were rear-ended by a young driver and now all my pain is back and more. my mri says at l4-5 there is a right far lateral disc protrusion and associated annular tear. this contacts the exiting right l4 root. i have some mild degeneration of the disc space. Is this bad my middle of my lower back hurts now which it never really did before. Can this get better by itself? I sometimes have some leg pain down the right leg as well but not often. Judy

Q: Hello, after reading your helpful story i could really use your advice. I had a car accident July 2009 and didn't have too many symptoms back then just usual whip lash, lower back pain, and some pain through left leg, which i guess is where i hit my knee on the dash.I saw my GPp, then a Medical doctor then an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon recommended MRI which i had last Wednesday and waiting the results.Ive been having physio since last year which helps but is very painful. Little bones on my spine have moved out of place and so the physio massages them back into place. The muscles in my back and left leg (All the way down) are completely stiff so she loosens them by massaging them. I have been told by numerous people it could be to do with the nerves in my back or nerves and discs.The leg is constantly a dead, dull ache feeling and feels tingly/lifeless and ever so painful. The back is a dull ache that gives pain all round the lower part. I can never feel comfortable. I have sleepless nights. I've gone from Diazepan & Ibruprofen, to Tramadol which gave serious side effects. I am now on co-codamol which i started yesterday. And also using hot and cold packs, so far nothing has helped!I would appreciate your help alot! Thank you. Jo

Q: I am a parent of a 13 year old daughter who has been diagnosed with a severe herniated disc...L5 S1. We have tried PT, a cortisone shot and now we are faced with surgery. Any suggestions as to alternate therapy? I am very scared of agreeing to surgery on my child at this point. Keara

Q: my doctor has recommended an epidural cortisone injection instead of surgery for the below MRI report. What is your opinion on this? I am concerned that we are just dealing with the pain and not actually healing my back. I have intense burning pain in my left thigh as well as a numb left shin and my left toes. This pain worsens when I lie down in any position.Your opinion on whether I should go for the injection or should I not just have the discectomy straight away? Regards, Daniel

M.R. LUMBAR SPINELeft L3 and right L4 roots signs.TECHNICAL FACTORSRoutine lumbar protocol.FINDINGSLumbar alignment is normal. Intervertebral degenerative changes noted at L5-S1. There is disc desiccation. There is a midline annulus tear. There is a focal midline disc protrusion. There is no associated root compression. There is no further disc related pathology. The spinal canal is normal. The conus and caudaequina are normal.COMMENTL5-S1 annulus tear with associated small midline disc protrusion. No direct root compressionpresent.

Q: Hi Adam, Thank you for providing the wealth of information, I just discovered the site today & intend on researching/learning the best ways to manage neck/back pain. I am 36 & have had an issue with pain in the lower neck region associated with tingling/loss of grip strength in the left hand for the past two years. I have always been involved in moderate to high physical activity & also play a lot of golf. I had an MRI with the following result:

MRI Cervical SpineThere is a narrowing of disk height at C5/6 and C6/7 levels. There is a focal left foraminal disc protrusion at C6/7 compromising the neural exit foramen.There is a small left paracentral disc protrusion at C7/T1, this does not compromise the nerve roots.The remainder of the disc levels are normal and the vertebral elements are normal. No subluxations are present. The remainder of the exit foramina are clear. there is no spinal stenosis. Brain stem and cervical cord are normal. Comment: Disc degenerative change C5/6, C6/7 and C7/T1.

After receiving this information in April this year the doctor advised that the disc was already on the way to healing & the symptoms should subside within 2-4 weeks(which was correct). He advised physio with specific exercises which have left me pain free. I did not participate in any physical activity including Golf for approx 10 weeks after the diagnosis. I have been feeling fine up until this week after a round of golf & here we go again. Over the past two years the same scenario keeps repeating itself and about every 4-6 months I get the same isolated neck pain (dull ache) with tingling/numb sensation in my left hand/left forearm and it takes about 4-8 weeks for the symptoms to stop. My question is should I stop the golf completely for 6-12 months (or permanently?) and continue on with the core strength exercises or should I take a different route to help resolve this? Kind Regards, Nick

Q: I have had a herniated disk for years. The pain used to go down the back of my leg, but that pain has gone away. Now I only have pain from sitting in a chair that does not have a pitch to it. If I'm leaning back in a recliner, I'm pretty muck ok. The new problem is the stiffness on my right side. I'm having problems cutting my toenails on my right foot. I don't have a problem cutting my toenails on my left foot. I have noticed that when I turn a corner I try not to turn my hip. I'm thinking about getting the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery done, but I'm wondering if the stiffness could be contributed to something else besides the disk? I was told many years ago that I had arthritis in my hips. My question is "should something be done before I have the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery even if the MRI shows the bad disk? Thank you, Kevin

Q: I met an accdent, 1)...The radiologist noted: Multilevel mild to moderate disc desiccations with annual bulging and fcet jointdegenerative changes at L2/L3,L3/L4, AND L4/L5 junctions.No significant impigement of interior theca or the nerve roots noted. 2)...The shoulder: He noted...Previous supraspinatus with two suture with two suture surgery anchors inseted at greater tuberosity of humerus associated with intra-osseus cystic formation deep to the greater tuberosity. There is also subdeltoid and subacromial bursitis with mild adhesive capsulitis. Residdual sapraspinatus tendinosis with partial tear strap noted. Do I have strong chances in claiming with worker compensation or insurances for percentage disabilities. shaikhmohdmusa

Q: I had a car accident a few years ago and have had pain in my back and down my leg ever since. I had a CT scan about a month after the accident and then one more recently that showed a disc herniation at the L5-S1 with compression of the left S1 nerve root. This disc herniation was apparently not there in the CT Scan done soon after my accident. I didn't have anything happen to my back since the accident. Why would a disc herniation only show up in the most recent CT Scan and not on the first? Can the herniation be caused by the accident but not have developed in a way that would show up on the CT Scan until later? Adam

Q: interpretation please. the vertebral bodies are normal in height. There is loss of signal in the disc space of l5-s1 on t2 weighted images.There is a left paracentral disk herniation at l5-s1 with effacement of left s1 nerve root sheath. There is effacement of the thecal sac as well. The signal intensity within the vertebral bodies and thecal sac is normal. The conus medullaris is at the level of t12-l1. Amanda

Q: After an mri JUNE 2010 Theses are the results lower 2 lumbar disc degenerated moderate size left L4/5 disc protrusion extensive caudal extension of 2 cms below superior endplatye L5.s1 intervertebral foramen as well as compressing on L5 nerve root signal intensity caudal fragment altering slightly compared to native disc raising possibility of early sequestration conclusion very extensive left posterolateral L4 5 disc protrusion with caudal extension parreling the course of left root nerve down L4 /S1 forament I have had an epidural injection a month ago. but the weakness and stiffness still remains in left leg buttock ? Sciatica also before this has made my foot and left leg to knee with nerve damage. What do you think ? any advice would be useful thank you Sue

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