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Interpretation please?

kyadog115kkyadog115 Posts: 266
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
HI all, As I posted the other day I fell and herniated the L5.I had a micro'd on this dsisc in April 09...this is what the MRI says..."Degenearation and invertebral disc L5-S-1 w/posterior annular fissure. Left paracentral disc herniation is seen extending into the left lateral epidural space impinging upon the proximal left s1 nerve root. There is a slight mass effect on the left lateral margin of the dural sac.

Impression: DDD W/Left paracentral disc herniation @ L-5 S-1 Causing mass effect on the thecal sac and proximal S1 nerve root....How bad is it? can anybody out there tell me please? I have a lotta pain, shooting into my butt area, left leg weak and numb...


  • You definitely have some issues. Whether you will have any permanent damage, time will tell. When I had my original disc herniation (explosion) many many moons ago, I probably would have fully recovered with conservative treatment if it were not for the large disc fragment floating around inside of me causing irreparable damage to my nerves. My suggestion would be to take a deep breath, relax, and sit down and discuss with your doctor what would be the best course of action to take. One good question to ask him/her would be, what would you do if you were in my shoes?

  • Dave,
    That comment initself, has scared me.Whadda u mean "in my shoes"? How bad are the "shoes" i'm in? I mean I know i'm in a lotta pain and something is drastically wrong, but u seem to more that u r saying...please tell me .

  • Paul...you definitely have to speak to your doctor. If you aren't comfortable after speaking to 1 doctor, seek out other opinions.

    MRI doesn't tell the entire story. The doctor will review the results. He will show you (typially on the cross section image) if he can see your sciatic nerve or not. In my original MRI, they couldn't even see the Left Sciatic nerve when I lost a huge piece. I had another herniation (or 2nd piece) which was bad but at least they could see a small bit of the left sciatic nerve.

    So no one can tell you how bad your shoes are. And, remember, even if the doctor says your 'shoes' are bad...another doctor might have another opinion.

    I have L5-S1 problems. 2 herniations (unsure if they were 2 pieces at same time or 1 hernation and a recurrence a few weeks later) and I have DDD. Some doctors wanted to fuse and others do a revision.

    There are 2 different schools of thought and a lot has to do with your image results, your pain, your 'story', your age, overall health, the health of the discs above/below.

    At this point, try to take a deep breath. I know there is a good technique Gwennie recommends to help 'uload' the disc (to me it's very much a stress releaser) where you lie on the floor and put the back of your knees against the couch with feet resting on the couch. Take deep breaths from the stomach. It's very soothing and takes pressure off the lower discs. IT will help mentally too.

    When is your appointment with the doctor?
    Let's see what he says and then we can help you with ideas on similar experiences.

    I may send you a buddy invite to follow your posts. I had a revision micordiscectomy on L5-S1 (original was Aug'09) and would be happy to offer you any insight on how I approached the situation.

    I know it's so hard to be hurting and have to wait to see the doctor.
  • No one can tell how bad it is without seeing the MRI and doing a physical exam. In very simple terms, the Disc between the L5 and S1 vertebrae has ruptured on the left side and is putting pressure on the thecal sac on the side, which in turn is compressing the S1 nerve.

    This results in the pain you are feeling. What cannot be told from the report is to what extent it is compressing the nerve and whether there are disc pieces floating around.

    If it isn't too bad, you may be able to let it heal on its own, encouraged along with a couple ESIs. Otherwise you may be looking at another discectomy or possible fusion if there is any instability.

    When do you see your spinal specialist for a proper diagnosis?
  • Thanks to both previous posters. I cannot see the Neuro until 4-13......thats sorta my dillema. I have meds and have been on them for quite a while but this herniation is really hurting me badly. I dont want any more medication as It makes me very tired and lathargic,but it does help somewhat w/pain.
    There may b legal issues associated with this as I fell on icy steps, i'm a renter and the landlord lives outta State and does nothing here to insure a safe environment. I disclose this because I see an atty on 3-16. I hoping perhaps he could direct me to surgeon (either Neuro or Ortho) before the 13th of April. I've read that the longer one waits, possible permanent nerve or other damage could result...Anyone please feel free to PM me. if u can offer guidance or assistance..

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