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MRI Deciphering (L4-L5)

prymaxpprymax Posts: 1
edited 03/27/2015 - 12:25 PM in Lower Back Pain

I am new to this site and this is my first post. My name is Curtis. 28 year old.

Long story short:

- Back spasms for 5 days before New Years.
- On New Year's, back spasms stopped -- left foot went numb.
- Severe sciatic pain kicked in shortly after. Crippled, but still went to work, basically dragging foot around (luckily have an office job with a stand-up desk)
- Pain has gradually improved throughout the last three months to the point where the only severe pain occurs from sitting for awhile to the standing position
- Been going to the gym for a month now, lot's of walking (pain free)

I recently had an MRI last Sunday and received results on Wednesday.

I'm am open to any thoughts and opinions on the damaged discuss about the L4-L5 area.

This is what it says:

L4-L5: There is a large left central disc extrusion superimposed upon a bulge. Disc material and/or hemorrage tracks caudad along the left posterior aspect of the L5 vertebral body approximately 15 mm distal to the superior endplate of L5. This results in severe effacement of the left lateral recess with moderate central canal stenosis. There is evidence of impingement of the transiting left L5 nerve roots. There is also some posterior displacement and potential impingement upon the transiting left S1 nerve roots. There is mild to moderate left and mild right neuroforaminal narrowing without evidence of exiting nerve root impingement.

I am supposed to see a spinal surgeon in a month or so. When I read that, sounds like alot of damage and surgery is probable. On the other hand, my symptoms have vastly improved since New Years.

I just had surgery for a torn labrum in my left (dominant hand) shoulder. Just now completing full, successful recovery. Not looking forward to hitting the table again.

Please, for anyone who has time, please let me hear your MRI deciphering!

There is nobody on the forum medically qualified or permitted to give medical advice or respond to an MRI finding.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Doug Hell

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
    edited 03/28/2015 - 6:07 AM
    Many on this forum have taken the journey that you are on. As a general note, no one on this forum should provide you medical advice. There are a number of good articles that you can read that walk you through the process.

    When you see your surgeon, they are likely to compare the MRI to their physical examination of you. Surgery is not the first step. Normally you go through more conservative treatments such as PT, NSAIDS, and potentially injections. If all of these things, don't work, surgery may be considered as a last resort. Of course if you are suffering from serious symptoms such as your bladder or bowels shutting down, that can speed things up.

    Hopefully things work out for you and your surgeon can help you out without surgery. Most people don't require surgery.

    By the way, I have had both lower back and neck surgery. I have no desire to go back to an operating table either.

    I wish you the best.
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