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MRI questions?? L5 impingement??

AshMorgan77AAshMorgan77 Posts: 1
edited 09/01/2015 - 9:16 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So just got my MRI results and I am confused on what is really going on?? Need it translated into plain English!!! Help!!!

I am a 30 year old female with a history of back pain but in the past 3-4 months the pain has become debilitating. Have been seeing a spinal specialist in hopes of getting the pain under control. Finally went in for an MRI after 2 months of constant pain meds, muscle relaxers and 2 expensive trips to the ER for unmanageable pain.

The results from the MRI read as such;

L5-S1: Moderate loss of disc space height, moderate disk desiccation, minimal anterior spondylitis and a 3MM anterior disk budge present, there is a 6MM AP posterior broad-disk extrusion which causes moderate spinal canal stenosis. In the lateral recesses, there is never root sleeve effacement and encroachment of the budding bilateral L5 never roots. Moderate right neural foraminal stenosis is present. There is severe left neural foraminal stenosis and impingement of the left Foraminal L5 nerve.

I saw my Dr today abs he explained to me what was going on I know my nerve is severely impinged and that's what's causing my pain. What I didn't understand was that he said it was my bone causing the problem and not my disk and that the only way to truly 'fix' this I would need surgery but I can manage pain and try to ease my symptoms before I commit to surgery.

Anyone else dealing with this?
Any suggestions other than surgery and PT?
I am going for a epidural for pain management but would welcome any other suggestions!!!!
Has anyone had the invasive surgery to correct this?
Also need help interpreting MRI results please!!!
I was scared and shocked to hear this diagnosis today and need help understanding what I am dealing with and my long term outcome!!!! Help!!!

No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or
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

Liz -Spine-health Moderator



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

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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • purplegirl34ppurplegirl34 Posts: 28
    edited 09/05/2015 - 12:28 AM
    I have a herniated disc at L3/L4 that is also pressing on the column of nerves in my spine. At first there were epidurals, pain meds, pt, etc. then an MRI showed that the disc was pushing the nerves into the V shaped part of the bone and the bone was also crushing the nerves, this is how the disc AND the bone were my problem. Before the MRI i was told i would need a "simple" surgery to remove the herniated part of the disc. After however i was told i would need to have the bone removed and rods/screws put into place along with removing the herniated part of the disc. Sadly, my surgery was too little too late, they were able to remove a piece of the bone and relieve some pressure on the nerves but the disc had hardened and they were unable to remove it to relieve pressure from that side as well. Compared to the pain i experienced before surgery, the pain from the surgery was nothing, the pain now at almost 9 months later is still debilitating and i have never regained as much mobility as i had hoped. Please dont misunderstand me even knowing what I know now, I would still have had the surgery; to go from never ending agony and not being able to dress/bathe myself let alone walk more than 30 feet, to being able to walk even if it is only 30 to 45 min at a time, to dressing and bathing myself, to driving and even on a good day being able to go out and throw a ball for my puppy in my opinion is a miracle. As best as i understand it my particular complications are very rare, even my surgeon was shocked it was nearly as bad as it turned out to be. This should not be the case for everyone, even now i would recommend trying everything short of surgery first but i would also caution against "managing the pain" and waiting too long.

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