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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello to all, I was involved in a mva almost 9 months ago now. I have been passed from one doctor to another with different findings each time. I finally had a mri done but do not understand all the findings. I am reaching out to see if I can get this in words that I can understand to better help myself. The findings are:

-spondyloltic spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 with 10mm of anterior slippage of the L5 vertebral body.

-mild narrowing of the disc space with some dessication of the nucleus of the disc at this level.

-osteoarthritic change with hypertrophy of the posterior elements at this level resulting in mild reduction in the transverse dimension of the thecal sac.

- wide AP diameter of the central spinal canal at this level without evidence of significant spinal stenosis.

-no focal disc prolapse.

-there is diffuse mild annular bulge. The bulging disc annulus does contact the exiting right L5 nerve root within the foramen.

-there is some posterior displacement and flattening of this nerve root.

the L1-2, L2-3, L3-4, and L4-5 discs are normal. There is no compromise of the central spinal canal or nerve root foramina at these levels. The conus is normal in position.

I am in desprite need of answers and am tired of being passed around like a rag doll without any answers and without any resolution. I am in constant pain with the use of different drugs and am looking for other ways to resolve this. Any kind of answers would be greatly appreciated.


  • Welcome to our community. Sorry things are going the way they are for you.

    Please keep in mind that the members here are just people. They have no medical degrees. We generally frown upon anyone trying to interpret reports like this and request this be left to the "original poster's" doctor.

    I can certainly understand your frustration; I hope you find some answers SOON. Also, it is not uncommon for 2 doctors to look at an xray or MRI and come up with 2 different impressions. I've been told these things are "subjective" - by one of my doctors!

    Usually when an MRI or CT scan are scheduled and done, the doctor who sent you will see you back in the office in 7 - 10 days (or sooner depending on the medical condition). Hopefully your doctor can give you a definite answer. Is this doctor YOUR doctor or the doctor the INSURANCE COMPANY sent you? If the doctor is someone you went to at your own discretion, I would make sure when you leave the office you have had all your questions answered. Don't be embarrassed to write them down on a sheet of paper to bring with you when you go. Doctor's respect patients who are proactive in their care and realize they are part of a team (the doctor being the other part).

    I hope you can get the answers you are searching for.
  • I hope you are seeing a fellowship-trained spinal specialist for your problems. This can be either an orthopedic spinal surgeon or a neurosurgeon that has additional fellowship training in the back and spine, and who devotes most or all his practice to issues of the spine and back.

    Just so you have a little idea of what is going on as you wait to see the doctor, things look pretty good with the exeption of your lowest lumbar dis.

    One thing that jumps out on your report is the spondylolisthesis at the lumbar 5 disc -- This is a rather large Latin term that means slippeage...in this case of the L5 vertebra over the adjacent one, Sacral 1. You can see a video about it here:
    and you can read about it here:

    There is also a bit of a bulging on the disc at this level that is pressing a bit on the L5 nerve root where it exits the spine. Either of these conditions could account for the pain you are feeling. When the nerve is pinched, the pain can follow a predictable pattern that can go from your hip, through the leg and into the foot. If you get curious about this topic, just run a search for a "dermatome map."

    As jeux said, we are all laymen whose knowledge is based on personal experiences. You will need to consult your doctor for an accurate interpretation of your tests. But now you will have a bit more information so you will be able to better understand what the doctor tells you.

    Please feel free to post often with your comments and questions.
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