My first post and I'll try to not be long winded (people say I tend to be long winded at times lol). First let me say I have read alot of posts and I don't seem to be as bad off as most. So I hope I don't come across as a crybaby with little to be worried about. Had an MRI done last year, dr thought it was sciatica, but MRI showed the following:
L1-2: Minimal facet arthropathy without spinal canal or foraminal stenosis.
L3-4: Mild loss of disc height and facet arthropathy without spinal canal or significant foramonal stenosis.
L4-5: Facet arthropathy without spinal canal stenosis. There is no high grade foraminal stenosis. The foramina are slightly effaced bilaterally.
L5-S1: Mild loss of disc height. Bilateral facet arthropathy. The spinal canal and foramena are patent.
Ok so I understand all this means I have mild DDD, foraminal stenosis and lumbar arthritis. Then in April of this year I had a menistectomy for a torn left miniscus. I went thru 2 months of physical therapy before surgery to try to heal it without surgery to no avail. Last week went back to my OS and was told there is very little strength in my quad so he sent me for another MRI. Office called today and was kind enough to read (not interpret) the impression for new MRI. I was told impression read Spondylosis at L4-5 and Central canal Stenosis most notably at L4-5.
I have read much on stenosis and now realize I have had symptoms for at least 8 years. Back pain, left leg pain numbness and weakness. I equate the leg pain to feeling like someone is taking my quad,hamstring and calf and wringing them out much like you would a washcloth. At times the pain radiates all the way to my foot and causes the toes to web out!
Ok so I got long winded....sorry. My questions... Does stenosis progress from foraminal to central canal? And I don't seem to have the disc bulging and herniation that most here do, is that a progression of it as well? I couldnt imagine the pain getting too much worse than it already is (and I have a very high pain tolerance, gave birth to 4 10 lb kids naturally). Also I am currently going to college, was finishing up prerequisites for a degree in Registered Nursing...mom says I should rethink this and go into what I have a true passion for, Culinary Arts/Bakery Chef. Im guessing this will affect being a nurse??? Dr says at 41 I have the knees and back of a 65 year old due to trying to work like a man in warehousing for 11 years!!