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Help me figure out what my MRI means!

edited 07/02/2015 - 10:14 PM in Lower Back Pain
So a little background on myself. I am a CPT in the Army and a helicopter pilot. Over the last 2 years I have had some episodes of basically crippling back pain. I'm only 28 and nothing that I particularly remember brought this on. The last "episode" was about the 7th one I've had in that 2 year time span and I decided to finally go see a doctor who recommended me for an MRI. I got the results back today, and I am trying to figure out what the radiologist's findings mean in terms of my condition, the effects on my career, and what my options are. I'm obviously planning on going to see my doctor soon, but the results are kind of looming over my head. Any help that is out there would be greatly appreciated!

Here are the results:

There is normal alignment of the lumbar spine. The bone marrow signal appears normal. The para vertebral soft tissues appear normal. The conus is at the L1 level, which is normal. There is mild to moderate disc desiccation with a mild to moderate disc space height loss at the L4-L5 level. There is moderate disc desiccation and disc space height loss at the L5-S1 level.

L2-L3: There is a mild broad-based disc bulge without focal disc protrusion or extrusion at this level. There is mild central canal narrowing at this level. No significant neuroforaminal narrowing is present at this level.

L3-L4: There is a mild broad-based disc bulge without focal disc protrusion or extrusion at this level. There is mild central canal narrowing at this level. No significant neuroforaminal narrowing is present at this level.

L4-L5: There is mild ligamentum flavum hypertrophy at this level. There is a broad-based disc bulge with a central/right subarticular zone protrusion. This causes moderate central canal narrowing at this level. There is some moderate narrowing of the right lateral recess. No significant neuroforaminal narrowing is present at this level.

L5-S1: There is mild facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy at this level. There is a central/right subarticular zone focal disc protrusion. There is moderate central canal narrowing at this level. there is mild narrowing of the right lateral recess.No significant neuroforaminal narrowing is present at this level.

There is nobody on the forum medically qualified or permitted to interpret or advise on an MRI this is something you need to discuss with your doctor



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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