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MRI results......

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
I have been suffering from what I thought was Sciatica for about 3 months now.  During the past week or so my pain level has been completely tolerable (1-3 level).  After getting the below results I am concerned that surgery is the only option.  I've been doing strecthes, walking, and taking my pain and muscle relaxers.  I cannt afford to get surgery in the near future and am concerned I wont be able to wait, though I can tolerate the pain levels of late.  Below are the results (word for word):L4-L5  Moderate disk degeneration noted. A large disk extrustion is seen at this level involving the midline structures and extending to the right.  The exturded disk fragment measures 10mm AP by 12 mm traverse by 17 mm craniocaudal.  The spinal canal is moderately stenotic due to this disk extrusion.  The disk fragment completely effaces the right lateral recess, and almost cerntainly impinges upon the traversing right L5 nerve root., as well as the right side of the cauda equina.  The left traversing L5 nerve root may be affected as well.L5-S1  Disk desiccation is noted.  Disk height is preserved.  A 4 mm broad based posterior disk protrusion is seen.  No nerve impingment, canal stenosis, or significant foraminal stenosis is noted.Again, I can completely tolerate this as of late, and I am trying to get some knowledgable impressions of these results and was wondering if I would be worse off for not getting surgery.    I am in the process of making an appt with a neurosurgeon.Thanks to all those who read and reply :)Brian


  • seeing the neurosurgeon will definitely be a must. Also tell them you think you need to be seen soon because of some MRI results you have.

    I would not lift anything too heavy in the meantime and "baby" your back. If you have any bowel or bladder problems or have any major changes with a leg, or increased severe back pain you should seek help ASAP. If you end up seeking help ASAP take the MRI report & films if you have them. You didn't say if you had other problems besides pain like numbness, weakness etc. I was just curious. I am not reading the test but sharing my experiences only.

    I would also refer you to chirogeek.com(I have no connection to the site but it's great) it's very good in explaining things when you get there I think somewhere he describes TYPES of disc herniations very well. Obviously we cannot interpret tests but take your films to the neurosurgeon appt or some places will send them for you just make sure they've been received before you go. Then he'll be able to tell you what you want to know.

    good luck & take care
  • My pain runs from my right lower back down my right leg. Usually the majority of my pain is in the calf/shin area. My right leg will tingle sometimes when I sit or raise my legs above my head on the couch. My right leg is most certainly weaker than my left. I noticed recently that I am able to flex my muscles more like I used to. I mean, the size of the calf muscle is larger than it was when I used to flex it a few weeks ago. I am able to walk on my tippy toes without a problem. When walking on my heels, the right foot hits the floor (which i understand is typical of a L4-L5 problem. I am trying to baby my back and I have been for awhile now. I feel I would be able to lift/run...etc.. if i tried.....but i wont. My pain levels that were around 6-8 or higher a few weeks ago are now at 1-3 for the past 4 days now. I feel much better and hope that continues.
  • it's a good sign things are resolving relative to how long it's been since the MRI. Since your pain levels are down they may even repeat the test again depending on how long it's been. However, with the other symptoms (neurological symptoms) it may be best to continue to baby your back. You're right they are typical of L4-5 sounds like L5 is your biggest problem child (not being able to walk on that heel is one).

    We are all made up different and if you have L4-5 problems you can show symptoms of L4,L5,S1 or above and below because they can criss cross for the best way for me to explain it right now. So you're right even if you feel like a run or a "little" lift maybe wait until you see the doc. When it's not just pain and I don't say "just" lightly trust me, but when you have other stuff going on it's best to be cautious as to not make those things worse.

    So it sounds like you're on the ball and I hope you feel better soon!!!
  • Hi I was on a while ago and cant figure out how to get back to where I posted!I had L5-S1 fusion 2 years ago.Everything was fine,I was running around not a problem then at the end of Jan this year niggly pain started around the same area as the fusion in lower back.It got worse by the day!I had an MRI and got the results - the fusion is fine but the MRI showed inflamation around the disc above it!It showed as a white cloud on the scan both above and below the disc!My surgeon has refered me to a pain specialist which I am due to see 6th April,but the pain is inhuman!I am limping and the pain in my back and leg is so severe it doesnt matter if I rest or move about,its actually worse when I move about,my lower back goes numb-could simple inflamation be causing all this pain?
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