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Help understanding my MRI and what to expect at the Neurosurgeon Appt.

edited 11/10/2015 - 9:28 AM in Lower Back Pain
I got my results from an MRI today.

Schmorl's node in the inferior T12 endplate, and mild grade 1 retrolisthesis of L5 on S1. Otherwise, vertevral body height and aliignment are normal. Aside from degenerative marrow changes in the L5 inferior endplate, marrow signal is normal. Mild multilevel degenerative disk dessication most pronounced at L5-S1. Suspected bilateral pars defects at L4-5.

Normal perivertabral and posterior paraspinal soft tissues. Conus terminates normally at L1-2. Cauda equina is normal. Included intra-abdominopelvic structures normal.

On axial images: T12-L1 through L2-3: No spinal canal or neuroforaminal narrowing. L3-4: Mild bilateral facet arthropathy without spinal canal or neuroforaminal narrowing. L4-5: Moderate bilateral facet arthropathy without spinal canal or neurofaminal narrowing. Suspected biltareal pars defects. L5-S1: Broad based right subarticular/foraminal disk protrusion in combination with bilateral facet arthropathy contributes to moderate to severe right neuroforaminal narrowing, mild left neuroforaminal narrowing and effacement of the right greater than left ventral thecal sac.

Mulitlevel degenerative changes fully detailed above and most pronounced at L5-S1 where there is moderate to severe right neuroforaminal narrowing, mild left neuroforaminal narrowing and right greater than left ventral thecal sac effacement.

Suspect bilateral L4-5 pars defects. Correlation with lumbar spine radiographs or CT may be helpful for further evaluation.

I am setting an appt with a neurosurgeon. I initially hurt my back 17 years ago (21). A couple of months ago I started having numbness and pain in my foot. Went to orthopedic doc and he said to get mri because it was probably back related. I am nervous about having surgery because of horror stories I have heard. Was just wondering if anyone has had similar findings that warranted surgery. Thanks and this site is a plethora of Information and support.

No on one 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
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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