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Help reading my MRI

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
I had this MRI taken on June 30 and I will see the doctor tomorrow that ordered the MRI. Parts of this I do not understand and other parts I do. The parts with the (?) after it are the parts I don't understand.

Evaluate for cauda equina syndrome.

Thoracolumbar Levoscoliosis is noted.(?) Vertebrae have normal height. There is a small Hemangioma within the L1 vertebrae.

T12-L1 level: Loss of disc hydration
L1-2 level: Loss of disc hydration
L2-3 level: Loss of disc height and hydration
L3-4 level: Posterolateral disc bulge in combination with facet arthropathy narrows bilateral neural foramina.(?)
L4-5 level: Loss of disc height and hydration with disc bulge, spondylosis and hypertrophy of the facets and legamentum flava indenting the thecal sac producing bilaterial neural foramen stenosis.(?)
L5-S1 level: Finding suggest sever loss of disc height verus prior discectomy. Facet arthropathy is noted bilateral. Neural foramina are narrowed bilaterally.(?)
The conus medullaris and paraspinal tissues appear unremarkable.(?)

Any help would be appreciated.



  • i'll try. if i were a doc it would cost you 200 dollars. from me its free. my knowledge ???
    thorocolumbar...scoliosis or bend in spine
    hemangioma...growth consisting of mainly blood vessels
    L3-4 disk bulging to the side and back...facets have become arthritic and are narrowing space threw which nervers branching from the spinal canal pass on both sides (the foramin are the openings for the nerves.
    L4-5 disk dried out..more arthritis of facets...thickening of ligament,,,pushing into protective shield of the nerve roots...closing up of opening through which nerve roots pass
    L5S1severe disk dehydration...more arthritis of the facets and more narrowing of openings for the nerve roots
  • Hi Pete and thanks for the fast reply and if I ever meet you I buy you a cup of coffee.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    that members of Spine-Health are not qualified to provide analysis of MRI reports. That type of information should only be obtained from qualified doctors.
    The major reason we do not want members to give MRI analysis is if the member asking the question takes the members reply as being the absolute fact and making decisions based on that.
    Any information you do get from members has to be looked at is being advice based on personal opinions and experience only and should never be acted on.

    That being said, the major words in any MRI are:
    Mild - Not bad, the condition can probably be improved via Conservative treatments
    Medium - Ok, something to be concerned about, you want to make sure that your doctor has solid action plans for you. You want to do what is necessary to avoid surgery.
    Severe - Ouch, sounds like it could be a big herniation. This could require surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Have you ever noticed someone with arthritis in their hands, and how their knuckles are often swollen looking and misshapen? A similar thing happens when you have arthritis in the spine -- the facet arthropathy that is refered to quite often in your report.

    The neural foramina are located at each segment of the spine and are basically an opening that the spinal nerve passes through. When these bony osteophytes grow into the "hole" it makes it difficult, and in some cases, almost impossible for the spinal nerve to pass freely. This results in the nerve being compressed which causes the pain you feel in your hip, leg and foot.

    From the Spine-Health website:
    "The facet joints are located in the back portion (posterior) of the spine. The joints combine with the disc space to create a three-joint complex at each vertebral level. The facet joint consists of two opposing bony surfaces with cartilage between them and a capsule around it that produces fluid.
    The combination of the cartilage and the fluid allows the joint to move with little friction. However, facet joint arthritis causes the cartilage to breakdown and the joint movement is associated with more friction. The patient loses motion and as they get stiffer they have more back pain."

    You have this arthritic condition from the L3 vertebra on down to S1. I would imagine you are in quite a bit of pain.

    I hope you are seeing a fellowship-trained spinal specialist for treatment. It will be important to get an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate plan for treatment.

    Good luck.

    xx Gwennie

    This is a good article on osteophytes:

  • Thank you Ron and I listen to everything and try to sort through it because knowledge is great and I need a lot of knowledge.
  • Gwennie,

    This was very informative and I thank you very much. For my medical on my back I go through the veterans administration and have so for the last 30+ years. I have seen some very good civilian doctors some 20 years ago but a lot has changed. The doctor that ordered the MRI was a pain management doctor and was only interested in one thing and it turned out I did not have what she was interested in and that was pressure on the nerves at the bottom of the spine causing saddle like numbness in the buttocks, groin, upper legs.

    Thank you very much
  • I have already had back surgery 2 years ago.Well 2 weeks ago my back started hurting again so I got a mri and these were my results today

    1.Multilevel small annular disc bulges without neural encroachment.
    2.At L5-S1 there is moderate disc desiccation with broad-based disc herniation 3mm in ap dimension.Mild abutment of both S1 nerve roots in the lateral recess.Scierosis of both L5 pars without discrete pars defect.
    It also said I have mild disc desiccation in my L1-2,L2-3,L3-4,and large disc desiccation in my L4-5 with mild loss of vertical disc height and bilateral facet joint arthrosis.Please explain if you can so I can understand...
  • hi bnt...you do have severe problems at s1, the very lowest lumbar spine,. severe loss of disk height compared to last study plus arthritis of the facets and narrowing of the holes for spinal nerves. like gwennie stated a spine surgeon is needed to accurately evaluate and propose a solution. i hope the hospital will accomadate you
    good luck...pete
  • Once again thanks Pete, just to let you know according to this you would have thought that I have had surgery before but I have never had any kind of surgery to my back.

    I seen the doctor that ordered my MRI and she dismissed everything stating that I did not have the problem that she thought I might have. With that being said she said that she thinks the pain medication that she has me on is good. That would be 40mg of Methadone,40mg Baclofin, 2100mg Gabapentin, 30mg Morphine and some other stuff a day. Not the way that I want to live for the next 20 or 30 years. She could not explain the way that my left hand shakes or for that matter both hands and why I drop things for no reason. I also seem to forget somethings or I will say right when I am pointing left. Anyway I will digress. I guess I should think about going outside the VA and talk to a Neuro person.
  • dbc5150,

    Sorry to say but I am the last person you should ask about reading an MRI.

    Are you from California? The reason I ask is because "5150" in short means a "crazy person" so to speak. Just asking!
  • youre on a lot of drugs. they can make you forget things. do you need that much medication?

    i do think a spinal surgeon would be your next step, cant you see one in the va.. why do you have to go private? will that cost $?
    let's see what spinal surgeon says. i would try to avoid surgery if you can
    good luck
  • You are correct the drugs can have something to do with the forgetfulness. I am not really worried about the cost and not because I am wealthy or on welfare. I will try through the VA first but sometimes they move very slow. I have put off surgery for over 30 years waiting until either science and technology got better or my pain gets to a point that I just can not tolerate it any longer, I think both have reached that point. Thank you for the suggestion about a spinal surgeon being the next stop, I was think about a bone, joint and spine doctor and go on from there.
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