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Can someone describe what I might be in for.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
I got MRI results back today that say I have Bulging disc with profusion spine l4-l5 and with some of the other stuff I have I am getting concerned. Basic history
35 year old male no longer physically active. 15 years ago I developed knee pain that would not go away but remained somewhat active. Eight years ago I started randomly falling down due to my knee slipping between therapy and not pushing so much that went away until last year. Last year all the pain in my knee came back full force rather than the lessened state it had been for the last seven years. With it came the pains relating to sciatica. Have been working on finding out what is going on since then. I start Physical therapy tomorrow. I have to wait until that has run its course before I can see a doc again. Here is a diagnostic history of the problems with my leg and lower back to give a more complete picture.

Petalla femoral pain syndrome left knee(pain never went away) (knee occasionally gives out I can feel the stress this puts on my back when I catch myself)
Meniscus degredation left knee
Bilateral medial compartment narrowing knees
Mild degenerative findings of hip joints
Mild ventral spurring t11-l1
Congential fusion l5 with sacrum
General pain disorder with underlying psychological conditions ( is this still valid with the new finding)
Bulging disc with profusion spine l4-l5

Probable conditions
Scoliosis ( Nurse Practitioner stated I have a minor case when looking at xrays)
Arthritis foot and toe (Podiatrist said would probably find on x-ray)
Patella tendonosis ( I see it on the MRI even if it does not make the reports, or at least something that looks like it)


  • Firstly welcome to Spine-Health . There are few things you put there that may be causing confusion which has caused a slow response.

    Can you please confirm the MRI results “profusion spine” as tried to look it up and could not find that term. Secondly you haven’t stated how it is affecting you now which make it difficult to project what is likely. One of the main things you mentioned was Bulging disks and this is good in that you have caught them before they Herniate and most likely controlled by exercise (and probably a few minutes a day forever). You will see many posts on this site of how a bulging disk irritates the nerves which impacts the muscles around the knee (as well as other places and generally referred to as sciatica). This means the kneecap may not be moving as it should and could have been so for some time.

    In terms of the Congenital fusing I am assuming this is not causing issues (as from birth) but please confirm.

    In terms of Obesity how much are you talking about? I have seen people on this forum that have been told they are obese but only 10 pound over ideal weight. In any case if can get other health issues under control that may be helped as well.

    The conditions you mentioned may all be related and may be all brought under control by a Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist in US) with strengthening your stomach and back muscles (along with Knee) and in the longer term maintained with just a few minutes exercise a day. Depending upon what the “profusion Spine” and exactly where the Mild ventral spurring is (and only a specialist can tell you if impacting anything) then means this may be a positive thing for you as you may have a more accurate diagnosis of years of problems and you can and manage the conditions and monitor your progress.

    While it may not be the case I would approach this as positively and regard it as one step closer to a good diagnosis of your overall situation. I would tend to write down in a timeline all the symptoms you described and talk to the Physical Therapist. Hopefully he/she will design a program suitable to lead to recovery.

    Just for background I will give you some of my experience with the conditions you mentioned:
    KNEE: The condition you mentioned for the Knee (Petalla femoral pain syndrome) from what I can read is an undiagnosed pain behind the kneecap (in other words no-one knows what is going on). I had similar experience for many years (to one point significant pain crossing a road) and had Physiotherapist (PT or in the US known as a Physical Therapist) where they tried to balance the different parts of the quadriceps claiming that the kneecap was being pulled to the side and she even had measurement instruments hooked up to the leg extension machines, shoe inserts (molded from a cast or my feet) and then several years later I was having a 2 year checkup with a diving doctor and she gave me a referral to an Orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon suggested it could be a Plica (simple skin fold) and had me run through the pain barrier for 2 weeks to grind it down and was then back to 10k runs and no knee problems since. 3 years of undiagnosed or incorrectly diagnosed pain behind the Petalla! Please note I would suggest no-one ever simply proceeds through a pain barrier like that without medical advice!

    ARTHRITIS In terms of arthritis I have X-Rays and reports that state “No Arthritis” yet when a Chiropractor saw them she pointed out the Arthritis and stated that it is less than normal for your age so classified by Radiologist as not there in the report i.e. they are reporting when not normal but mine was normal (actually a bit less).

    Note I am not in the Medical Profession and really suggest you gather information (as you are doing) and talk to your doctors and PT.

    Kind Regards and best wishes
  • Thank you for the response in answer to your questions.

    Apparently with profusion is VA speak for herniated. They are saying that the herniation is diffuse still not sure what that means. Also they are stating that the bulge is impinging on the l5 root nerve.
    The fusing is not something that ever caused me issues.
    The obesity issue is severe I am 90 pounds overweight. 6’6 305
    The ventral spurring is apparently tied into facet arthritis and I am waiting to see a doc about that. Apparently there is some central narrowing as well.
    My knee pain has been ongoing for 15 years with four rounds of Physical therapy in that time. I have done the exercises with mixed results. I wear shoe inserts but the are off the shelf as the podiatrist was satisfied with the relief they provided.

    I guess my real question is if anyone has experience with a herniated disk and a
    knee that buckles randomly. If so did this cause any real setback on the road to recovery?
  • A diffuse bulge is larger and harder to treat than a focal bulge. I also have diffuse bulge at L4/5 caused by inflamed and swollen facet joints above and below. See this link for an explanation and pix of diffuse vs. focal bulge.


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