As always, check with your doctor to see what bearing the MRI results has on YOUR particular clinical situation but please realize that many MRI findings may be incidental (MAY NOT BE THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF YOUR PAIN OR PROBLEMS).
- A truly NORMAL lumbar spine MRI REPORT with NO reportable findings is UNCOMMON from age 30-40+ on
- In other words, don't neccessarily get all excited/worried about mention of disc bulges(NOT a herniation) or even protrusions, mild degenerative facet disease, ligamentum flavum thickening, osteophytes, mild degenerative facet disease or degenerative disc disease (or loss of T2 weighted signal) since many asymptomatic people (people with no related symptoms) have these findings. Such findings may or not may be significant in YOUR particular case. Terminology may also be inconsistent among cargivers.
So, if your doctor doesn't seem overly excited about an MRI report with several minor findings it may mean that he/she isn't very excited about the report as it pertains to YOU.
- What are a few MRI findings that are more likely to better correlate with symptoms? 1) radicular (leg) symptoms>>>back symptoms (back pain is very nonspecific with numerous causes including causes that may not be well seen on MRI) especially if acute(several months) 2) larger protrusions or extrusions (disk herniations) that CORRELATE with your symptoms (each affected nerve root will produce specific clinical findings such as pain,numbness, or weakness in a specific anatomic location such as a certain part of a leg) 3) Significant central canal or spinal stenosis 4) or SIGNIFICANT degenerative changes
- What if you've had pain for a long time that is not explained by MRI? Your doctor(s) will have to determine the cause