So based on my MRI results, the neurosurgeon that my primary care doctor pointed me to said I am not yet a candidate for surgery. The nuerosugeon says that my MRI doesn't show that have any nerve roots being affected that would qualify for something like a discectomy. Here is what my MRI said, in summary:
There is normal alignment. Disc desiccation noted L4-5. Conus terminates normally at mid L1
L4-L5: Mild Bulge. No neural foraminal narrowing
L5-S1: Mild facet hypertrophy
Impression: Minor Lower Lumbar degenerative changes. No stenosis or root compression
(BTW, If anyone can explain in layman what those statements at L4/L5 and L5/S1 mean, I would appreciate it.)
So here are my questions:
1. I have pain. I know I have pain. That must mean a nerve is being hit right? And given my indications are sciatica, that would mean a nerve root is being affected, right? I tried to understand that from the neurosurgeon assistant who talked to me, but it never came clear.
2. The recommendation was for me to start Physical Medicine. The neurosurgeon assistant mentioned a nerve root block. I have done 2 out of 3 epidural steroid injections. The thinking is to get the 3 steroid injection and a nerve root block as well. Does that make sense?
3. Would it be worth it to get a second opinion from another neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon? The problem is that they will see the same MRI report. I wonder if my MRI could be wrong?
4. And the reason I wonder if my MRI is wrong as I stated in (3), is that the MRI says I have "normal alignment". But I have scoliosis. And my X-Ray shows this and the X-Ray report says "There is a mild levoscoliosis of the lumbar spine" So how could the MRI say I have normal alignment? That does not seem consistent.