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Explanation of test results?

TadleyTTadley Posts: 1
edited 06/15/2015 - 9:44 AM in Lower Back Pain
In the process of "exploring" my husbands peripheral neuropathy he was given two tests on his spine and I'd like some help deciphering what the results mean?

2006 - lower back pain with radiation into left leg
CT scan showed diffuse broad-based disc bulging at L3-4, with impingement on the thecal sac
Severe degenerative disc disease at L4-5 with gas in the nucleous broad-based impingement on the thecal sac, more pronounced on the left of the midline.

2009 MRI follow up
L2-3 leftg lateral disc bulge extending into the neural foramen but no significant foraminal stenosis.
L3-L4 - left lateral disc bulge in contact with left L3 nerve root.
L4-L5 - moderately large left disc herniation causing posterior displacement of proximal L5 nerve root. Moderate facet OA

He's had neuropathy for 12 years with significant progression and extreme pain and we're now going back over everything - there has never been any suggestion that back issues are causing the neuropathy, it's classed as idiopathic.
I was going over his old notes and wondered what most of this meant! Is it something we should be looking more closely at? He's 65, and has no significant back pain at this point. His pain is in his hands and feet.

Thank you.

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

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? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - 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 take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

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.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/15/15 15:45 est


  • What kind of doctor is he seeing? If you have not consulted with a board certified spine surgeon, it might be time to do so. They may want updated MRI and/or CT scans to see what his current status is, then go over treatment options with you.

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