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Lumber MRI Question

frenchfriffrenchfri Posts: 325
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi to all. I have been on this site for some time as I had ACDF C5-6 C6-7 12/9/2010 then a car accident 9/2/2011 (rear ended). My lower back has been an issue since the car accident. Finally asked for an MRI. I have been going to PT and at times seems helpful for both neck and back. Let me know what you think about the Lumber MRI. When I spoke to the PA he did not feel that there were major issues, just to keep an eye on the situation. He did say that there was some fluid lose at the tear which concerns me. He does feel it is recent and probably from the accident. I also notice many white spots which he said were cysts or hematomias . Again not a concern. Should have asked if they were caused by the accident and if they can be a future concern. Oh well, next time.

The lumbar lordosis is preserved and there is a slight convexity of the lower lumber spine to the left. There is diffuse mild dehydration. There is a transitional lumbosacral junction. Based on the termination of the conus which would be at L1-2 level, the last well formed disc space is considered

L5-S1 with sacralizaton of the L5 vertebral body. There is no collapse or subluxation.

L1-2 is normal

L2-3 there is bulging with flattening of the ventral thecal sac. There is no central or foraminal compromise.

L3-4 there is bulging and facet hypertrophy with flattening of the ventral thecal sac. There is no significant central or foraminal compromise.

L4-5 there is facet and ligamentous hypertrophy. There is bulging with superimposed annual tear along the left posterolateral aspect of the disc space. There is flattening of the ventral thecal sac and slight left lateral recess/foraminal compromise.

L5-6 is unremarkable

The consus medullaris is normal in position and signal intensity. There is no intradural or paraspinal mass. There are Tarlov cysts at the S1-2 level. Transitional lumbosacral junction as described. Mild degeneration changes without significant central or foraminal compromise.


  • I'm sure you know we can't interpret MRIs here as we're not doctors, but I hope you have faith in what your doctor tells you. If you have confidence in him, then I would go with what he tells you.

    At least you don't have any words like "extreme" or "severe" in any part of the MRI report.

    So I guess the main thing is to believe in the doc and just keep an eye on things to see if any issues can be helped with the PT.

    Take care and try not to worry until you're told to. :-)

  • I know that people are not allowed to interpret the MRI, but, each person's personal experience with a tear or other issues is allowed (right?)and would be helpful. Do people feel PT, heat, the TENS unit is helpful for the pain? Any other treatment to heal the tear. Ultrasound? I do understand some of the terminology, and realize that mild and slight are great words to have rather than serious or significant. Thanks for the quick response. Just wish I didn't feel like an "older" lady than I am. Only 50 and at times feel older than my mom :(

  • I had really good experience with PT. The important thing is to make sure the therapist is really good. Google them before hand, if possible. I've been to some PT where they just say "do this exercise for 3 minutes, now this, ok, pay at the front". In contrast, I've had a therapist who actually grabbed my hips, pushed them in to the proper position and said "there, feel that? That's how you're supposed to sit in a chair." What a massive difference that was! She taught me the basics from the start. Something as simple as sitting properly has relieve SO much pain. And she didn't just tell me or show me, she put her hands on me.

    As for TENS, ultrasound, and other things, that is completely up to the individual of course. I didn't find relief with them, but don't let that dissuade you from trying! Just like my PT experience above, some don't find PT valuable at all. Try what your doctor suggests, and discuss with him how well things work or don't to come up with an effective treatment.
  • Sorry you are still having Back issues. Funny I hurt tweaked my back a few days after Christmas riding an excercise bike. Go figure - trying to be good and excercise.. DR said most likely bad discs since have them in my neck.. So I took it easy and ice and ibuprofen and worked. Stretch everyday and tweaked it again the other day. The pain grabs my right hip and just kills me.. I can get thru the day but hurts all the time and to be honest sick of going to DR but will if it does not feel better within a few more days .. Anyway I agree Cathie - at least there are no bad words like severe in your MRI. Good luck - hope it gets better.
  • Thanks for the replies ladies. I do try and stay positive. I agree there are only slight and mild not severe or significant words in the MRI, but my mind wanders and I think what activities may I do that may cause changes. Sometimes my mind can cause me to project in the future.
    When I only sleep for a few hours or less at a time it is difficult to remain positive. Easier this week as I am off from school, but tough teaching when the sleep is lacking. If I didn't wake up every time I turned it would be easier. I just want to be able to live life to the fullest without pain, tingling, discomfort, having to think about everything I plan on doing like carrying laundry, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms (ouch) taking a drive to visit friends that is more than an hour away.
    I am tired of going to Drs. also, but still need to find out about the extreme color and temp changes that are still going on. The weather was beautiful this week until today (rainy ;( cloudy ) My neck and sinus definitely feel it. Sorry for rambling. Hope all of you have a happy and painless day. :)
  • Don't apologize - you are allowed to ramble :) When I said that at least the MRI did not say anything severe I did not mean to minimize what you are going thru. I get it. I actually have the same issue sleeping right now - every time I move in bed it wakes me up and then takes another hour to get comfortable. I also get alot of anxiety over what if I do this and have to have another surgery and then try to shake it off. I have somehow come to terms with never being the same as I was before my injury and just try to be Thankful I am not worse off - not easy and I do have my moments. Getting old just sucks. I have been having female wierd issues for the past few months .. longer time in between periods and what I think are hot flashes and dizzy. Went for my yearly gyno appy and talked about it and they ran blood work and found at age 42 I am heading toward meno-pause early (1st time saying this out loud). He said probably 3 years max. Could not believe it and felt so much older than I am. Dr said no concern - I am very young for it but it can happen and they will continue to monitor. Struggling with it emotionally after all that had happened last year with neck, etc. It sucks but life goes on. So now I am rambling! Take care of yourself - here to chat if you need it! Mary
  • Yes, getting old sucks. I have been menopausal for a few years now. On again off again, long time short time. One never knows. The hot flashes can be tough at times. I'm a bit older at 50 years young. I have been going through this phase for 2 1/2 years now I think. My mom just stopped one day no issues no worries around 52. lucky her. My mind seems to wander which makes the issues I am having more troublesome. My lower back causes me the most discomfort when trying to sleep and standing for long periods of time (teaching, making dinner and washing dishes). My other painful area is the left shoulder blade region and under my armpit towards my heart. I just feel I am falling apart. My biggest issue is the hot cold and color changes of my hands and feet. Had a ton of blood work done on Friday, results should be in next week. Going for EMG next week. Just want to live life without all of the drs, but I d want answers. Enjoy the boys and their missing teeth. (I hated wiggle teeth). Good news on my end, I am trying to plan an Eagle Court of Honor for my son for June. Overwhelming and will be expensive after you invite all of the scouts and necessary people may be 100 people. Never realized that I "had" to invite so many people that I don't really know. Oh well, last party till College Graduation or Wedding. So I might as well embrace it.
  • Who geting old? Its a good thing only woman get old, And us man dont get old we just get more distinguised looking!

    On that note i have to run now, I sence a frying pan coming my way!

    Git-ir-done. Ps. Good luck with emg test, You will love it, its like shock thearapy,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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