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sigificant disc dehydration

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello,Merry Christmas. Im wodering if what the Radiologist said in the MRI report could in fact mean something else. L5-S1 disc shows significant disc dehydration and there is a small bulge. Could that also mean a herniation? After comparing my images with others, it looks like one to me. My doctor doesnt know iether, apparently I need a different one.

thanks and take care


  • Hi blowntib: There are so many terms out there and it seems different doctors use them differently. I have heard bulges referred to as protrusions, slips, etc. Bulges, from what I understand (and Spine Health has a lot of great info on this--I would advise doing research there rather than just listening to my limited advice) bulges generally mean that the inner disc material is still confined within the disc itself. When the anulus (the outermost part of the disc) breaks open, the risk of herniation is higher. A herniation is when the disc material breaks out of the anulus. When you have dehydration, you get little cracks which makes both bulges and herniations more likely--perhaps that is what degenerative disc disease is. Again, this site has great info on DDD. If you have a large marshmallow around try squeezing it downward from top to bottom. You will see it crack and then bulge outward as more pressure is put on it. Eventually as you continue putting pressure on it, the inner goo will break out. That is the best I can do to give a visual of the difference between a bulge and a herniation. I hope the doctors can figure out exactly what is going on with you and that you get well soon. I would talk to more docs about it. What are your symptoms?
  • hi.this is my MRI result that my doc said:

    Degenrative changes of the lever of L2-L3 & L5-S1 ,evidenced by marginal spur formation & change in signal in subchondral bone.
    Disc dehydration at L2-L3 ,L4-L5 & L5-S1 are noted.
    No gross disc herniation is seen.
    Visualized part of the distal cord appear intact.
    No intra dural S.O.L. is seen.
    Surrounding sotf tissue structures are normal.

    what shoud I do now?
    thaks very much
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  • Hi again mhahang,
    Good to hear from you again. What I believe you should do is to call your doctor and have him/her explain these results to you and the implications that they have for your future. You have the right to know and understand these radiologic findings, and the best resource is your doctor. The good news (and I am not a doc) is that there is no gross disc herniation seen. Yipee! The bad news is that you have degenerative changes and some disc dehydration. However, it is fairly common! Many people have these kinds of changes and don't feel a thing. So, the important thing here is, how do YOU feel? What are your symptoms? Are you in pain? If so, where?
    Best wishes
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