Herniated Disc Questions and Answers

The Q&A section is now closed. The following are selected posts from the now defunct herniated disc BBS. They are included here to illustrate the huge scope of disc pain throughout the world and provide readers with some real life experiences endured by other bulging disc patients. Understanding the problems other patients have with their diagnosed conditions will help you to better communicate with your own doctor.

If you would like to share your own herniated disc story, you can still do so on the Interactive Forum.

Remember that many commonly asked questions are covered in detail on the herniated disc FAQ page.

 Q: Good morning! I am encountering severe mid back pain. I had an MRI done the other day on my back and don't understand all of the words on the diagnosis. I was wondering if it results in surgery or something else. Can you please explain to me in easier terms what the bottome line of my MRI test results are telling me? Thanks The MRI test results state:Technique: Multisequence sagittal imaging per protocol. Findings: Total vertebral heights are preserved. Schmorls node defect noted involving the superior vertebral end plate at the T11 level. No suspicious pathologic vertebral marrow signal replacement. There is degenerative spondylosis mid-lower thoracic spine most pronounced at the T7-T10 levels with prominent anterior lateral osteophytes. Loss of normal intervertebral disc signal mid- lower thoracic spine consistent with chronic degenerative disc desiccation. Thoracic cord appears normal. Thoracic spinal canal is normal in caliber. No intraspinal space-occupying masses. Intervertebral discs T1-T12: No intervertebral disc protrusions or extrusions. Mild posterior disc bulging T7-T8. IMPRESSION: Degenerative thoracic spondylosis and multilevel degenerative thoracic intervertebral disc disease without intervertebral disc protrusions or extrusions. Thoracic spondylosis. No spinal stenosis. Karen

Q: Hello! As many others, I am just interested in learning what my MRI results mean. here is what the report stated: At L4-5, there is a central disc herniation. This impresses the anterior margin of the thecal sac. The central canal remains adequate. The foramina are normal. At L5-S1, there is a central disc herniation impressing the anterior margin of the thecal sac. There is no central canal stenosis and there is no foraminal stenosis. I also had learned a month of two ago of two bulging discs in my neck with spondylosis to the right. Thank you in advance for any input you can provide! Christy

Q: I've been dealing with back pain for over 8yrs. now. and doctors have told me there is nothing wrong with me. I had an mri done and my doctor just told me that i have a bulging disc, but i'm trying to understand the rest of the report: mild right symmetric facet arthropathy, mild facet arthropathy with shallow effusion,small left extraspinal cyst,dics height is reasonable with a shallow bulge, foramina show mild to moderate narrowing bilaterally with still visible perineural fat. foramina show mild to moderate narrowing bilaterally, note made of right asymmetric S1 joint spurring.having numbness in right leg and sometimes left leg, hard to walk in the mornings, get headaches when neck is turned to much. i'm just trying to get what is they saying in the report. thanks, Anthony

Q: my MRI LS SPINE report is as follows: 1. concentric l1-2 disc bulge with left paracentral extrusion showing minimal superior migration seen causing mild ventral thecal sac compression. 2. concentric l4-5 disc bulge with left paracentral seen causing ventral thecal sac indentation @ mild narrowing of left neural foramina. now i am not getting its actual meaning in simple words. so please suggest me what my report is referring to. Akash

Q: Hello,I have been suffering with lower back pain now for about 1.5 years and just recently had a sciatica outbreak that has had me off work now for 3.5 months. I find it very difficult to find any position that is comfortable and have spent a few thousand on therapy (chiro, acupuncture, physio and massage). We were able to relieve the pain out of most of my leg, but I still have some in my right buttocks. I am unable to get comfortable in any position still and am unable to walk/stand/sit for any length of time without discomfort and by a half hour to an hour I seek comfort in lying down with ice applied. I have had 2 MRI's done recently and the first one shows early signs of osteoarthritis and stenosis, disk degeneration in L4 -L5 and L5-S1. They were uncertain to whether I had a sheath nerve root tumor and so I was sent back for a second MRI. Here is the results.....(I am only currently concerned about what is going on in L5-S1 area as the other issues were deemed mild) MRI: THERE REMAINS A CENTRAL AND RIGHT PARACENTRAL DISC PROTRUSION AT l5-S1 measuring approx 2cm TR X .5CM AP x .5 cm SAG. this demonstrates lack of central enhancement. In addition there is an inferior component within the right lateral recess, which measures up to 2.4cm SAG x 1.3cm AP x 1.5cm TR. This demonstrates lack of central endhancement. the inferior aspect appears to enhance more homogeneously. this is likely compressingh on the traversing and exiting right S1 nerve root. There is mild indentation on the right aspect of the thecal sac. Please give me any insight as to if my condition can be fixed either by therapy, surgery, etc? I saw one ortho surgeon so far that said with fusion he could only fix half of my symptoms. I am awaiting second opinion appointment. Also, do you think I will ever be able to go back to working 8 hours sitting at a desk (when at work consistently had about on average 2 hours of overtime per day). Thanks so much for your time and consideration to all of us with questions. Karen

Q: Prior soldier with a history of DDD. Having increased pain, radiating down right leg, back spasms, loss of bladder control at night. X-ray shows: moderate to severe decrease in disc height with vacuum disc phenomenon and anterior endplate spurring noted at the S1-L5 level. ABNORMALITY, CORRELATE CLINICALLY Is this this just short for DDD, with herniated disk? Can disk replacement surgery help? Michelle

Q: Thanks in advance for trying to answer our questions! I am a 29yr female. Okay, in 2007 I had a 1.2cm herniated disc at L4-L5 with nerve impingement, I opted to not have surgery as I had just had a new baby a few months before. I received a set of 3 epidurals and I felt brand new again. So..here is where my new info comes in: In 2009 I was rear ended and I had some back and neck pain, I did PT and the chiro until i could no longer go ( I was pregnant at the time so no images were taken) during my pregnancy I developed issues with my pubic Symphis and could barely walk. After having the baby I resumed treatment and was starting to feel better but was hit by a hit and run driver pushing me into another car in feb 2011. I have been going to the chiro for 9 weeks,(was still receiving treatment from the first accident when this happened) I was sent for an MRI and it shows: Disc Desiccation and space narrowing at L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1. At L3-L4 level there has been interval decrease in size of the disc, 3mm broad-based subligamentous disc protrusion, at L4-L5 there is a 3-4mm right paracentral disc protrusion (this is where I once had the large herniation), the protrusion effaces the right L5 nerve root, at L5-S1 there is a 3mm broad based subligamentous disc protrusion. Now These protrusions do not sound that bad but I am in constant pain. My back always aches and feels like it is going to buckle, I have pain in my buttox and right hip (feels like a hook or stabbing)which I know is nerve pain. I was complaining of a grinding, popping noise when I walk on the right side of my lower back (which i think is causing some of my hip pain. My chiro said is was likely my SI joint. I don't know if it is inflamed or out of alignment/position. My questions are :What do you think is causing most of my pain? Is it a combination of the things? I am to young to feel this old and i have 2 small kids, I would like to feel better everyday and I don't want to take medication to feel okay. What do you suggest I focus on or how to approach treatment? Currently I am still seeing the chiro but I don't feel like I am getting any better. I was wondering if an SI injection would make me feel any better? I know injections can be hit or miss with people. I have also taken 2 steroid packs for inflammation with no real effect on my back.Sorry about the length, you can feel free to shorten this, I know there is a lot of different information in here. Thanks again. Amy

Q: Strained back at work assisting 400+lb patient 2/13/11. MRI impression 4/5/11: 1)Rt paracentral 4-5mm disc protrusion/herniation at L5-S1 creates flattening of the thecal sac and encroachment on the Rt S1 nerve root. 2) Broad-based annular bulge w/Bil facet arthropathy at L4-5 creates effacement of the thecal sac with some mild Bil lateral recess encroachment. I've been getting aggressive rehab on my back and lower Rt back/buttock pain & stiffness seems worse as days go by. What type of consultation should I pursue next? What course of action would you recommend I follow to try and solve this problem? Thanks in advance and God Bless. Corey

Comment: I'll keep this short and sweet. I have had a herniated disc twice. The first one was cured with a cortisone injection the next one was not, so after three months of intense pain in my left leg i was scheduled for an operation. By this time I was taking codeine, steroids and melotoxin (really good anti-imflam that wont rot your gut). One day I happen to spend a couple of hours in a spa pool while watching my kids swim Next day I noticed that I was not in so much pain, so started applying heat as much as possible which included spending as much as 8 hours a week in the spa pool. Within 2 weeks I was completely pain free and have been for the last 8 months. Hope this helps someone. Cheryl

Q: Thanks for answering and helping people with their pains. By the way, i am suffering from the back pain for almost two years while injuring my lower back pain in Cricket and then building the pain by joining gym clubs. By the way, a month before i had MRI which noted that: L4 & L5: minimal diffuse disc bulge more towards the left is demonstrated causing left exit canal stenosis and slight encroachment of the left nerve root. Can you please tell me how to treat it?? By exercise or surgery? thanks. Abdul

Q: Dear Sir, my father is 70 years old. 2 years back he suddenly fell down from back side, resulted strikes in the back side of head. after a year, he complained for the giddiness and suddenly momentary unconsciousness. after doctor suggestion, following things were revealed in X ray of C spine AP & LAT..1) IV disc spaces between c4 c7 is reduced. 2) end plate spurring,sclerosis & osteophytosis. from last three months he used to get unconscious while sleeping, till he wakes up completely himself. 10 days back he suddenly started behaving like mad and uncontrolled. to bring in control, anesthesia was given. after half an hour he came back in normal condition. kindly advice me, is this may be due to falling impact or it is something else? thanks & regards, Sunil

Q: Hey man, I'm glad you made this site, tons of useful and encouraging information! I just found that I had a disc herniation. My question to you is, do you think this is a big herniation or a small one, it hurts only when I do a lot of wrong moves and twists, do you think it's going to get worse with time if I have a correct movement culture. I upload a .zip file with 4 MRI images on this link : Thank you, Ivan

Q: Hi, I had fusion of the L5-S1 in December 2005 and no pain for 6 mos. Since then the pain got steadily worse and is currently debilitating. I've been treated by 2 pain docs - morphine sulfate, percocet, muscle relaxers, etc and the narcotics now have limited if any effect on me after 4+ years of use. CT scan shows loose screws and a failed fusion. The neurologist wants to do an A-LIF going through the abdomen. I also have severe pain in the thoracic region. The neuro doc says he thinks the thoracic pain is a symptom of the failed fusion and didn't order a CT scan of that region although I asked him to do so. Couple of questions, do you think the thoracic pain could be a symptom of the failed L5-S1 fusion and, if yes, is that normal? And, is A LIF approach better than going through the back? The neuro says it is because he can put in more support and a growth hormone for the bone. Thanks for your feedback. Jerome

Q: Just got my MRI results and need some insight. L2-3 and 3-4 have 3mm disc protrusions. Mild facet and liqamentum flavum hypertrophy. Disc and osteophytes result in mild narrowing of the left foramen. L4-5 there is mod. facet and liq. flavum hypertrophy. There is a broad based disc protrusion or uncovered disc asymmetric toward the left measuring 5mm the thecal sac maintains a 10mm AP dimension. Disc and osteophytes result in narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally, Lt greater than Rt. L5 - S1 disc protrusion and 5mm synovial cyst resting underneath the pedicle of the L5 vert. body on the left and projecting into the left neural foramen and lateral aspect of the spinal canal. I have been experiencing pain starting in the left lower back into the buttock and down the outside of the left leg and into the foot. The pain is better when I sit but become severe when I stand or walk. In the past 2 months I have went from 6 hours of intense exercise to 0 because of the pain. I am now limping and my left leg is becoming weaker. Dr. appt next week. Your Thoughts? Cindy

Q: I've been having pain in my low back since I was in a car accident in 2009.The pain goes down my leg to my foot. I had an MRI and the reading was: Bulging of the L3-4 Disc effacing the Thecal Sac. What does this mean? Whats the Thecal Sac and what does effacing mean. Michelle

Q: Hello. I am 24 years old. I actually work for an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon's office (my physician is one of the best and one the most highly recognized in the U.S.) I had surgery back in May 2009 ( 2 level L4-L4; L5-S1, Discectomy and Laminectomy.) My pain diminished for a few months after surgery, but in the fall of 2009 started back up w/a vengence. It has continuously worsened since and just as of yesterday (4/7/2011) I was doubled over in pain, could barely walk w/pain down my left lateral thigh all the way to my foot (worse than before surgery.) Here are the results of my most recent MRI from 8/30/2010. Technique: Multiplanar MRI of the lumbar spine was performed including T1-weighted and T2-weighted sequences. Images were obtained without and with intravenous contrast. A 1.5-tesla system was utilized. Contrast: 18 cc OptiMark Comparison: MRI lumbar spine with & w/o contrast 10/28/2009. Findings: Alignment, vertebral body height, and the visualized bone marrow signal intensity are normal. The conus medullaris is normal in size, signal intensity, and position terminating at the upper margin of L1. The thoracolumbar junction, as well as upper and mid lumbar spince appear unremarkable and unchanged. L4-5: Status post partial discectomy on the left and laminectomy. Intermediate signal intensity is noted within the ventral and left ventral epidural space. This predominantly enhances after contrast administration w/the enhancement surrounding the left L5 nerve root as its takeoff and along its course towards the upper portion of the left L5 lateral recess. While there is some mild diffuse bulging of the disk, I don't clearly identify a recurrent or residual disk herniation. Focal enhancement in the left posterior aspect of the disk is consistent w/the partial discectomy. No central spinal stenosis. Mild facet joint hypertrophy contributes to mild foraminal narrowing, slightly greater on the left. This does not appear significantly changed. L5-S1: Evidence of posterior laminectomy and partial diskectomy on the left. Enhnacement in the left ventral and left lateral epidural space is consistent w/epidural fibrosis. No definite compression of the S1 nerve root or thecal sac is noted. There is mild diffuse disk bulge which coupled with facet joint hypertrophy results in mild foraminal narrowing, not significantly changed. IMPRESSION: Postsurgical changes of left partial discectomies and laminectomies L4-5 & L5-S1 w/evidence of ventral and left ventral epidural fibrosis at L4-5 & left ventral and left lateral epidural fibrosis L5-S1. There are mild diffuse disk bulges at both levels, but no definite evidence of recurrent disk herniation. Mild foraminal narrowing at L4-5 & L5-S1, slightly greater on the left at L4-5. These findings are stable since the prior study. According to my Orthopedic Physician, other than trying to manage it w/a pain mgmt. system or epidural or facet injections, which I've already been through so many times and they do absolutely nothing for me! My pain meds, which use to work most of the time; but I have horrible days more frequently now and those days are to the point where I almost just want to go to the E.R. and just get immediate relief of the pain. I am now getting tested through labs to see if my tooth infection which I just found out that I had for quite awhile could have introduced an infection in my spine and if that produced a normal result, his only other option is another surgery which would involve a 2-Level Fusion; which worries me being so young; and I feel it would limit my life (although I don't see how much worse it could be since I literally don't have much of a life now as it is, due to the excruciating pain.)I trust my Ortho Doc and value his words; but at times, he can be very vague and short w/me. I'd really like your opinion on; 1.) My most recent MRI in plain english that I can more understand (although I feel as if things may have changed since then b/c as of New Years 2011, I now have pain going down my right leg.) and 2.) What is your opinion in regards to a Fusion Surgery b/c I do see, that you are not in full agreement with Physician's performing fusions. I apologize for this being so long, I just have had extensive history. If you would like my comparison MRI as well to review, please let me know and I will FWD that to you. I had one before surgery on 4/20/2009. Thank you so much and so look forward to hearing from you. Kristi

Q: I am currently reading your book, and I understand your points about how to cure chronic and episodic pain, but I am wondering if you have specific tips for the acute phase. Since this morning I have been unable to stand due to extreme pain,and if you have a "quick-start guide", I would be grateful. Thanks! Matt

Q: I am 29 years old and a Deputy Sheriff. I am also a member of my department's SWAT Team. My job requires a large amount of physical activity as well as wearing gear around my waist and upper body that averages 40 lbs. and at times exceeds 100 lbs. I workout in the gym regularly with heavy weights. Yesterday, after an MRI, my back doctor (neurologist) diagnosed me with a mild herniated disc (L5S1) with mild right foraminal stenosis apparent. The L5S1 disc is also degenerated. When I originally went to the doctor, my pain had been debilitating and severe to the point that I was unable to work or even lay in the bed without blinding acute pain. The pain has lessened, but is still there. The doctor prescribed celebrex (NSAID) and physical therapy. My question is: 1- Do I need to change my lifestyle (i.e. Weight lifting, physical activity level, etc) to keep this condition from worsening? 2- Is there a way to reverse the herniation, or at least stop the pain associated with the nerve impingement without relying on medication? Thanks in advance! Randy

Q: Hello I'm just needing help to translate my MRI report. I have recently started having left lower back pain that radiates to my left side/hip/groin area. My sciatica is painful as well. I had an MRI done today and the report reads...Vertebral body heights, alignment and marrow signal intensity are adequately maintained. Mild annular bulging at T11-T12. No abnormalities at T12-L1, L1-L2, L2-L3, or L3-L4. There is trivial annular bulging at L4-L5 with mild ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. Mild narrowing of the left neural foramen. Degenerative changes of the facets. No spinal canal stenosis. No abnormalities at L5-S1. Conus ends at L1. No intradural lesions. No paraspinal soft tissue massing. CONCLUSION: There is minor annular bulging at L4-L5 of doubtful clinical significance. Mild narrowing of the left neural foramen.---Thank you for your time. Sheree

Q: I have been diagnosed with spinal epidural lipomatosis form t2 - t6 and becomes depressive at t3 and t4 and there is no csf space there and there is a tiny syrinx below. I am in alot of pain but this surgeon states that this will not cause pain. The surgery he wants to do is to decompress cord because of falling weakness and numbness. He states this is caused by diabetes which I have found no evidence to support. I also have deg disc disease throughout my spine. I am lost. Could you explain this? Carlos

Q: I came across your site while researching options and you seem to have some good ideas so I thought I would bug you with my dilemma if you don't mind. I was in a car accident (off center head-on at about 35mph) roughly 11 years ago (when I was 19) and experienced some disc bulging and other injuries. I spent multiple years going through physical therapy, chiropractic visits, and massage therapy and healed decently by the end of the treatment. Over the years, I would experience back pains but when this would occur, I would take it easy and the symptoms would go away after a few days to week. Four months ago, my back began to hurt. After a few weeks, I finally went in to the doctor. After my second visit to the doctor, he sent me in for an MRI which yielded the results listed below. Currently, I am experiencing strong pain in my left buttock and down my left leg. The pain is worse when I am sitting and absolutely horrible when I am driving; especially getting into a car. Walking and standing seem to provide some relief. I am not sure if I am a wimp or if the pain is justified but it really hurts at all times; I can't sleep more than 4 hours a night. Currently, my doctor wants me to try a series of steroid injections and then, if that doesn't work, to look at the option of surgery. In reviewing the injections, I do not seem to think this is the best avenue for me but I only want to do surgery as a last option. Do you have any opinions on avenues that I could investigate to alleviate the pain or could surgery be a practical avenue for relief? MR L Spine without contrast 72148Indication: low back pain, left-sided radiculopathy/leg painTechnique: multisequence, multiplanar MRI of the lumbar spine was performed without contrast.Findings: No acute fracture or infiltrative marrow process is observed. The tip of the conus is positioned posterior to the L1 vertebral body. T12-L1: Negative L1-L2 NegativeL2-L3: Minimal circumferential disc bulge without central canal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing.L3-L4: Minimal circumferential disc bulge without central canal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing.L4-L5: Circumferential disc bulge extending into the neural foramina bilaterally. Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing is observed. Superimposed central disc protrusion results in mild to moderate central canal stenosis, and mild effactment of the subarticular lateral recesses bilaterally.L5-S1: Large left central disc protrusion is noted, measuring 12mm anteroposterior x 8mm transverse. The protrusion obliterates the left subarticular lateral recess and results in moderate to severe central canal stenosis. Mild bilaterial facet arthropathy is also present. Impressions: 1. 12x8mm left central L5-S1 disc protrusion resulting in moderate to severe central canal stenosis. Impingement of at least the intrathecal left S1 nerve root in the subarticular lateral recess is observed.2. Mild to moderate L4-L5 central canal stenosis secondary to small circumferential disc bulge. Michael

Q: My 17 year old daughter was involved in a car accident February 25, 2011. She had an MRI of the Lumbar and the report reads as followed: Minor Facet encroachment posteriorly at L3-4 and L4-5. Mild degenerative disk disease with central annular bulge present at L4-5 and L5-S1. No significant narrowing is present. Also, she has no feeling in those areas and still some swelling. She is only 17 and has never been seriously injured so how can it be "degenerative disk disease? Karrie

Q: I will type in my mri results, after the mri i was referred to nuclear medicine for a another scan, can you tell me what exactly is worong with me and what to expect to happen. T2 and T1 weighted sagittal images, Stir coronal and T2 weighted axial images were acquired/ Findings There is multilevel degenerative disc disease with significant modic Type 2 Degenerative end plate changes at L4/5. Disc desiccation seen at L3/4 L4/5 and L5/S1. The Conus is narmal in location , signal and morphology.There are some focal sclerotic changes identified in the lateral aspect of the right hemisacrum deep to the scroiliac joint likel related to degenerative changes at the right sacroiliac joint. No overt features of sacroilitis. No bone marrow oedema or erosive change. In view of the focal area of aclerotic change in the right sacrum, an isotope bone scan should be considered in order to exclude anu osteoblastic activity at this site. L3/4 Postero-annular tear with a broad based central disc protusion resulting in minimal cental canal narrowing.No forminal stenosis. L4/5 there is a disc bulge which is eccenric to the right with a focal superimposed right para central disc protrusion causing mild narrowing of the right lateral recess and moderate narrowing of the right neural exit foramen. No foraminal stenosis on the left. No central canal narrowing. L5/S1 there is a disc bulge with a superimposed small right para central disc protrusion which does not contact the right S1 Nerve. No central canal narrowing. There is mild osteophytic narrowing of the right neural exit foramen.No forminal stenosis on the left.No discrete pars defects identified.Mild uterine retroversion noted. Impression. degenerative disc disease at the lower three lumbar levels as detailed above with right sided forminal stenosis at L4/5 and L5 S1. the findings are most marked at L4/5 Focal sclerotic change in the right sacral ala which is likely degenerative in etilogy but, given it locality an isotope should be performed. I could really understand what the doctor was saying I was kinda in shock with all the different word and especially with degenerative disc disease. can you pleas try to explain what is happening and what should be done next. I would really appreciate your help. Thank you, Elaine

Q: Is mild to moderate cervical spondylosis something to worry about Also minor neural foraminal stenosis at C6C7 and C4C5 on the left I need help my arm gets intense pains. David

Q: My MRI results are as follows. L4-5 demonstrates a moderate central disc protrusion and moderate bilateral facet joint arthropathy. 25% central canal and no neural foraminal stenosis. L5-S1 demonstrates mild disc bulge and moderate bilateral facet joint arthropathy. What does this mean? Since the MRI, my left hip and leg has started severely hurting and from my knee down, stays numb. Greg

Q: I had a cervical fusion of my c5-c6 last May, prior to that I had many months of excruciating pain and spent 4 months in PT to try and correct it. PT Finally d/c my visits and referred me a surgeon, in which I am now pain free from that area, no more tingling or numb thumb, strength in my arm is coming back, but now I've got a lower disc problem, L4 or something, it causes the right Sciatic never to be painful on and off all day everyday.. I'm back in PT and have a cortisone and nerve block shot scheduled for 4/14. The Dr. @ the pain center told me that degeneration is normal, and yes I do have more degeneration than others at my age (35) and that mentally I have to find a way to live with the pain. While part of me thinks that's a quack dr, i know the mind is powerful and can bring on symptoms you don't even have, but the "tough up and deal with it" seems kinda harsh? maybe not... I'm frustrated, scared, and looking at the rest of my life as doom. I'm hoping the shots I"m scheduled to have will buy me some time to better implement my PT and correcting posture will prevent me from having surgery on my back. My primary doc told me that while neck surgeries usually have good positive outcomes, back surgery does not. Do you think the cortisone and nerve block shot is the correct thing to do at this point? Alison

Q: I'm 5 weeks out of ACDF C5-6; I no longer feel like someone has bashed the back of head in with a baseball bat. MRI also indicated "Sagittal imaging demonstrates T3-4 central to right paracentral disc protrusion causing thecal sac effacement and contracting ventral contour of spinal cord?" I feel like I have a knife stuck in my right shoulder blade (strange but true). My question is, is this symptom from the T3-4 issue indicated on the MRI report? Thanks for your time. Sue

Comment: hi. 38 yr female with diagnosis of advanced degenerative joint and disc disease which recently even found out the osteoarthritis runs in my family- mothers side, her dad, his dad etc, i was diag with the adv. oa at age 33 after giving birth to my son in aug 2006. i started having the back pain very very early in the pregnancy at the beginning of the 2nd month. I remember exactly the pain and it hit my R/upper part and sent a very fast sharp very painful shock like streak down my butt into the back part of my leg and seemed to had stopped at the back of the knee area and about sent me to the ground. i just remember my knee buckling and my r/side of my body going down at least half way and almost bit the dust. it shocked me because it was all of a sudden and so so painful and i don't think i felt anything quite like that before. of course all the other pain was there too as far as bending lifting but esp after kneeling down at my job to get books off the bottom shelf was a nightmare when needing to get back up. i know the way they taught you to bend and lift but no matter how or what i tried to do i just couldn't handle getting back up w/o an alternative way. I had been pregnant before and knew i had never experienced this type of pain early on in the pregnancy and it continued thruout the whole pregnancy. i got an xray following and pretty much just showed the old trauma as compared to an old xray in jan 2002 where i displaced my sacrum (3rd distal) and fx'd coccyx, had L1-L2 compression deformity causing height loss, and it was also reported that there were old fractures previous to the accident at t12, L1, L2 levels.

i also had another bad fall down the steps ( all bare hardwood at that) and went straight down on my butt, r/side hitting my back and sliding the rest of the way down on my r/ side. Was on the couch for a week could barely move. didn't want to it just hurt too very much, it actually felt better to just lay there w/o moving and remain still. it was the only way to keep from extreme pain being too severe to deal with. I called the dr to see if they thought i should come in and explained that i had a very swelled hard taut/notch like bump that was as big as a softball and was purple and black and all kinds of different colors before returning to norm after weeks, but the bump slowly went down in size but never completely went away. being when i seemed to not feel good, be in pain, etc. i would seem to notice the bump was more apparent. dr. said should be alright except for possible blood vessels may have been broken. when i was finally able to move enough to get to the dr they said there was not much to do just deal with the still somewhat swelled butt, still slightly discolored even after 6 wks (yellowish). didn't think it was any use to do any tests since i seemed to be getting better. (well i guess???)

anyhow, i also had a bad fall on icy parkinglot went down, remember trying to grab the back of the car that was to my right and when i did i bent my arm one way still going down while twisting my back and landing on my lower back/butt. it hurt so frickin bad and complained for the longest time, but finally seeing dr the xray showed nothing. I insisted and demanded that they need to listen to me when i say that there is something wrong w/ my shoulder. and i knew because i am never usually strong outspoken like that. i was very sure of myself in getting my point across because usually i second guess my own feelings, etc. to where i feel others have different opinions where i might be exaggerating. it took 3 months and the mri showed what looked like a torn rotator cuff tear. when finally going in for arthroscopic surgery, that there was no time that would have been left if the surgery would have lasted any longer because the space where the orthepedist had to go in was so narrow and the erosion was bad where the end of bones where basically growing crooked at the end (its how i remember the dr explaining it?)... anyhow, there were 4 diff findings: i can't remember them, all right now but there was in inscrapious tear, tendonytis,inflammation, degeneration changes? sorry can't remember exactly, but it felt like right before i got the surgery that my shoulder was getting very stiff to where it was almost fixed in a position that was painful to try and move.esp when working and reaching overhead or rotations (ouch!!).

so skipping back and forth here i will sum it up when i got the mri for my back after my pregnancy (remember xray didn't show much change here either from previous one in 02. but mri showed advanced degenerative joint and disc disease, Osteoarthritis (advanced at age 33), bulged disc at L1_L2, found out i had a partially lumbarized transitional vertebrae at the lumbrosacral level and a small herniated disc (msd 3-4 mm in ap meter) . anyhow over time it has gone to L5-S1 herniated disc abuuting the thecal sac, and on top of that at the L-4 there is a disc bulging. and that old compression deformity was noted at the L1-L2. latest mri 9/08 showed narrowing in the back and more degenerative changes. after seeing numerous specialists (chiro- diag. facet joint syndrome, hurt like you know what when he tried the drop-table thing) didn't go back. i felt like my back was going to break in two. two neurosurgeons had said surgery was not an option, but opted for the blocks/injections, and after 2 yrs of getting nowhere and feeling worse with every passing day i started to try and accept that maybe this is something i have to accept and started dealing with how to balance things out with the day to day bouts of pain and muscle spasms, cramps,etc. and was not living life anymore. just trying like heck to make it thru the day. the stress taking its toll. i finally accepted the notion of having to go to get injections to control the inflammation and calm the pain with different types of injections (epidural, facet block, radthermo,etc) it was every month i was getting these for 2 /2 years when i found out in mar 2010 i was pregnant but had miscarriage, my thyroid (i have hypo) i remember it was out of whack. actually this was almost year ago and my levels are finally getting aback to a normal level. i guess even after stopping steroid injections they can take awhile to get out of your system. it also started affecting my T-4 count. i don't think that was ever a problem before. but good news is now it is norm bad news latet ortho dr is recommending the injections again. I am sorry to say but no fricking way cuz i think they did more damage than good for lots of different reasons. any how i forgot a ct scan/ in 10/07 showed sclerosis at the trabeclar marking of the superior endplate at L1-L2 levels. is this due to the chronic compressionof the L1-L2 in accident of'02? i always complained of the pain and it would come and go and get hard like a baseball (not as big) just a very stiff hard like twsted pretzel type feeling/ pain at 2 different areas in my back (mid/low back at L1-L2) and then a few inches down above the butt. after awhile the top pain came and never went away and the bottom area stills comes and goes but the two together when the bottom one acts up is unrelenting because it so affects the way I walk and the other top pain alone makes it hard enough to keep good posture with dealing with. another experience that was totally odd was when i had a weird sensation at my lower back area L/side ( i would say around where the facet joint is on the l/side of the herniated disc). this ia something i will never forget it was a warm gushy wet feeling that i sensed at a certain point and it just expanded outward in a circular motion from there and went and covered the whole lower part of my back up to my mid back and just stopped. i have no idea what this was. and one more thing that i am curious as to why it happened but after one of my injections i was toatally not able to walk out of the room because i had no feeling in either of my legs from my knee to my feet. it took me 1/2 hr to walk out of the drs office and the dr only could say he gave me double the medicine than what he norm did to where it must have affected me that way. WEIRD! ok thank you for reading if you are still there but i continue to have more frequent pain day by day that the drs say is not credible by the evidence (WHATEVER!!!) Michelle

Q: Hi - just a quick question - my MRI reports seems to be Ok but they mention Arachnoid cysts of 11mm in the sacral canal - could you explain what this means? Could it be part of my pain? there is no disc herniation or compression 0f the thecal sac or nerve roots in supine position. I am 59 years old. Valerie

Q: I got hurt during a game and i got the MRI done and it says below. I have severe pain running down from lower back to left leg. how bad is this and how can i get relief. Impression disc extrusion noted at l4-l5 level causing significant right neural foraminal narrowing and thecal compression. Alignment is normal Loss of disc hydration at L3-L4 and L4-L5 Levels Disc extrusion noted at L4-L5 The L5-s1 disc space is mildly reduced with end plate degenerative changes. conus ends at L1-L2 level. Sunil

Q: Hello, for the last three weeks i've been suffering from excruciating neck, shoulder, chest and arm pain. i've been to my neurologist and he ordered a cervical mri. it readsSagital STIR images show the cord to be well visualized without evident focal signal abnormality.Vertebrae show normal alignment, shape, and marrow signal. Craniovertebral relation looks normal. No intrathecal mass is visible. C-2/3 and c-3/4 UNREMARKABLEC-4/5 MILD POSTERIOR DISC BULGING WITHOUT CORD COMPRESSION. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.C-5/6 Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. slight disk bulging.C-6/7 Minimal disc dehydration and bulging, mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.C-7/ T-1 unremarkable.upper thorasic disk look normal.I see no mass or adenopathy in surrounding soft tissues of neck, or any apical lung lesion.IMPRESSIONC-4/5 and C-5/6 disc bulges, without cord compression.Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing at multiple levels detailed above.No disc intrinsic cord pathology.No disc protrusion or other lesion compromising neural elements detected otherwise.The pain ive been experiencing has been unbearable at times. my question is based on my MRI results will surgery be required to help my condition. Pamela

Q: mri T-spine. small central & left paracentral disc herniation at T7-T8 level associated with loss of disc height. small left paracentral disc herniation at T10-T11. there is degenerative disc disease with central disc herniation at the T12-L1 level. Incidental note is made of a right Tarlov cyst at the T11-T12 level. there is more with my L-spine but no extra room to write it. Lisa

Q: I was wondering if I can send you a copy of my Mri of my back and see what you think, I have been having problems with my back over ten years,and I'm only 30yrs old, the doctor said I have ddd and its hitting s1 nerve root but said surgery isn't a option, can I have you email so I can send you a copy of the mri? I'd love a 2nd opinion, thanks God Bless you Nicole

Q: I am a 40 yr old female and started having alot of upper right arm and neck pain at work. I was denied workers comp. Here is my MRI findings. Could you please explain it to me, especially the C4-5 and C5-6. C1-2 unremarkableC2-3 unremarkableC3-4 mild right uncovertebral causing no impingementC4-5 partially calcified moderate left forminal disc extrusion contacting the exiting left C5 nerve root. Tiny central disc extrusion causes no impingementC5-6 Mild to moderate disc bulge, moderate right psterolateral disc extrusion with foraminal extension and mild bilateral uncovertebral hypertrophy causing mild to moderate central canal stenosis and moderate right greater than left neural foraminal stenosis impinging upon the exiting C6 nerve roots.C6-7 mild left uncovertebral hypertrophy causing mild left neural forminal stenosis without impingement.C7-T1 - unremarkableT1-2 unremarkableT2-3 small central to right paracentral disc extrusion causing no impingement.Cord and intraspinal: no cervical cord or intraspinal lesions. Angela

Q: My MRI after having had one back surgery (diskectomy) without relief of pain says this: 1.Interval L5-S1 laminectomy & removal of previously large disc extrusion with small shallow residual or recurrent disc extrusion remaining.2. Degenerative facet joint changes L4-5 & L5-S1.3. Disc desiccation & left foramina and far left lateral shallow disc extrusion L4-5 4. Development of discogenic vertebral endplate change involving the inferior endplate of L4.5. Probable atypical hemangioma in the left lateral aspect of the T10 vertebra adjacent to the more typical hemangioma in the more central aspect of the vertebra. Can you please explain this to me in layman terms? Thanks! Sherri

Q: Hi, hoping you could help. I had a multipositional MRI on my lumbar spine. Please tell me in English (!) what these mean: At L1/2 Neutral (sitting) - the appearance is unremarkable. At L2/3 Neutral (sitting) - the canal and foraminal regions and disc define normally. Fluid is present in the left facet joint. At L3/4 Dynamic (sitting) - with flexion a 1mm spondylolisthesis appears & with extension it transforms into a 1mm retrolisthesis. At L4/5 neutral (sitting) - there is very minor broad-based herniation but no canal or foraminal stenosis. At L5/S1 neutral (sitting) - the disc is degenerate & there is a central disc protrusion but its not contacting the descending nerve roots. There is a 2mm retrolisthesis. How serious is this and how can these things get improved? Thanks. Sandra

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