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Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing @ L4/5 & L5/S1

I have had alot of pain associated with this. I currently take Pregabalin for all the nerves in my back. It does a very good job at doing just that. I have now developed bone pain in my hips and lower back. My Dr. prescribed me Sulindac for that. It has helped me dealing with that pain. My ct scan I had just last week showed arthritic changes predominately at the L4/5 and L5/S1 levels without significant spinal canal narrowing. Mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing present at the L4/5 and L5/S1 levels.
Can you tell me what does this all mean?


  • MRI's- Why we can't advise

    Friday, June 07, 2013
    8:37 PM

    This holds true not only for MRI reports but any other diagnostic test that your doctor or team of doctors performed on you.
    There are no medical professionals on this site that are qualified to accurately interpret any of those diagnostic tests. That should be done only by your doctor and not even the technician who may have run the test.

    There could be many members on this site that have been through so many of these tests that they are pretty accurate, but you dont want to hold your life in the hands of a non-professional.

    Take a look at this analogy. Think if it in terms of reading any diagnostic report. The actual images that come back are much harder

    The Problem
    You have a 5 year old car that has been giving some trouble recently. Your brought it down to the local service center for
    them to run diagnostic tests.

    The Report comes back

    MILD - Ok, so there is a problem, but I think it can be fixed by adding some fuel cleaner and changing the engine oil. Easy thing to do, will not cost much. However, if you ignore it, down the line, this mild problem could
    developed into a bigger problem.

    MODERATE - Yes, we found a few parts that definitely show signs of wear and tear. I think if we bring it in to the shop, we should be able to do sum tune up therapy, and will probably have to add some engine and transmission medications. If you dont do this, I can almost be sure that this will deteriorate further. Maybe not in a few months, but down the line. Know do you want to be driving at night in a snow blizzard in a town you do not know. All of
    a sudden your car stops dead in its tracks, wont start or anything. Here is where you hit yourself in the head and say
    I should have listened, I should have taken care of it back then

    SEVERE - This is not good. I dont think any band aid approach is going to solve the problem.
    Sure, you can continue driving, but I am afraid if you do, you might have some permanent damage. I suggest that we remove the engine and see if we can rebuild it, if not, we are going to have to do a total replacement

    When it comes to cars, I think most people can see the picture... Well, its really not that different when it comes to diagnostic tests.

    The degree of severity as outlined above, is the same when it comes to MRI readings. Just look at those words and relate them to your situation.
  • When I had imaging done for my chronic back pain, my MRI result read nearly identicle, L4/L5 partial bulge, minimal narrowing

    However, a pain specialist told me it was a pinched nerve. My neurologist said that everyone has a bulging disc to some degree and that the result actually read I did not have a pinched nerve or a "pain" problem that should be associated with that.

    Ultimately I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, where I see you posted this topic so it caught my attention. My results were reviewed by 3 different specialists and guess what, they all had different opinions. The only one that actually looked into it further was my Rheumatologist. And while he confirmed fibromyalgia, no pinched nerve...the extra eye found that I had Spina Bifida - also not noted were bone spurs in the pelvic area and other potential signs of arthritis. It took 6 months to get that guy to look at the images and prior I was diagnosed and treated very wrong.

    My suggestion which should stick with medical advice. Find a Rheumatologist or possibly a Physiatrist and ask them to look at the scans (not just the results) with you. This will let you discuss in-person the results rather than them being sent around based on one opinion. Finding this was tricky for me, I basically asked if the doctor would do this upfront and luckily, he did and is the only Rheumatologist within 100 miles from here (and it's a 5 minute drive)...I lucked out there. But I can't encourage you more to get proactive about your healthcare, diagnosis, and treatment options. It's good to learn and much better to catch something early than wait until it's too late.
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