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Please explain my MRI report

edited 11/20/2014 - 2:48 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I am 29 year old/male working as an occupational health nurse in UAE on a construction site. I was recently married and rejoined here 2 months ago. Suddenly one day I was having sciatica pain on the left leg for 2 days and it shifted its location to right side after 2 days and it continued for another 5 more days. I underwent an MRI as per my orthopedic doctor's advice and the report shows that i am having degenerative disc disease on the lumbar region.

This is the MRI report:-

Indication: Low backache radiating to bilateral lower limbs (R>L)
Technique: MRI of Lumbar spine was done on 1.5 Tesla Scanner in multiple planes and using multisequence
technique. Patient given Soft copy of MRI study

Straightening of lumbar spine noted.
Marginal osteophytes noted at L3-4 level.
Transitional vertebra noted (sacralization of L5).
The vertebral body heights are maintained with normal marrow signal intensity pattern.
Disc desiccation with posterior diffuse disc bulge and annular tear at L3-4 level mildly indenting thecal sac and
moderately narrowing bilateral neural foramina.
Disc desiccation with posterior diffuse disc bulge at L4-5 level minimally indenting thecal sac and narrowing bilateral
neural foramina.
Rest of the intervertebral disc normal.
Facetal joints normal.
Pedicles, laminae and spinous processes are normal.
Visualized spinal cord, conus medullaris and thecal sac are normal.
Both psoas muscles are normal.
Both sacro-iliac joints are normal.
Pre and paravertebral soft tissues are normal.


Degenerative lumbar spine disease with

Disc desiccation with posterior diffuse disc bulge and annular tear at L3-4 level mildly indenting
thecal sac and moderately narrowing bilateral neural foramina.

Disc desiccation with posterior diffuse disc bulge at L4-5 level minimally indenting thecal sac and
narrowing bilateral neural foramina.

I am not on any medication because the pain was lasted only for 7 days. Now i am absolutely pain free and i am able to do anything. I am over weight and it is 112 Kg with 6'0'' height. But I would like to know more about -

1) the problem what i have..???
2) what will be managements ..??
3) what are things i should take in consideration to avoid further damage..???
4) Is there any cure for the disease..???
5) What are the things i should keep in mind before intercourse...???
6) Will sexual intercourse make further damage to the said problem...??

Please help....


It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. Here are some questions that you
should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen?
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results
    - What medications are you currently using?
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.

As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc
What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 11/2014 08:47



  • In England we payed for a "Full Survey" of an old house we were thinking of buying. Reading the report our happy little dream house read little a crumbling hovel!!! They list EVERYTHING! Every little crack, every little chip, it was terrifying. An MRI is sort of the same. Most things listed really don't matter...who cares about a little crack that will be sorted with a lick of paint? It's the big stuff that makes a difference. On MRIs you don't want to see the BIG words. Advanced is bad..mild is better.
    We're not allowed to read MRIs because they're just a photo. A piece of the puzzle that a specialist uses along with many other pieces of information to diagnose you.
    They've done studies that show that nearly all people over a certain age have some sort of stuff going on in their spine. Although its called 'Degenerative Disc Disease' its not a disease like we think of it. It means there are findings. Things don't necessarily get worse...that's a complete guess from ANYONE. The sort of pain you're experiencing, how long you've had it, what makes it better etc are VERY important. You're not hurting! That's great! I'm not an expert. I'm just sharing what I've known over the years...

    People who take care of themselves, lift properly, do less jarring things to their spine, keep a strong core etc seem to have less spine problems. It's not true in all cases. I was diagnosed with arthritis as a young teenager. I did my best, most of the time. I was just a bit 'cursed' by genetics. If I were you I'd take this as a bit of a wake up call. Maybe do a little physical therapy to get a strong core & be taught proper lifting techniques.

    As I said, I'm in no way a doctor. Only a spine specialist is qualified to read a diagnostic report & diagnose a spine condition. If you were in a lot of pain my advise to see a board certified spine surgeon (they're the very best at reading & diagnosing) would be more urgent. Please don't worry. I know they're very frightening to read. If your pain comes back push for an appointment. For now just follow their advise & treatment plan which should include physical therapy in my opinion.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • actually your MRI does not look that bad. I would suggest you do correct exercises for your back and build core muscles up. Maintaining health core muscles will take you a long ways in your health.
  • Ashok ChandilaAAshok Chandila Posts: 1
    edited 01/05/2016 - 7:08 AM



    There is mild kyphosis at l2/3 level  with altered signal intensity involving the l2, l3 vertebral bodies and pedicles appearing   hyperintense on t2/stir images and hypointense on t1 image with loss of disc height, end plate irregularity  and  severe anterior wedging of  l3 vertebral body . There is large pre and  para vertebral abscess /granulation tissue at the same level extending bilateral neural foramina region compressing exiting /traversing nerve roots . Minimal epidural abscess is also seen compressing the cauda equina nerve roots  . there is altered signal intensity involving the bilateral psoas muscles  appearing hyperintense on stir images .  No evidence collection seen

    No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

    • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
      MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
      SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

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