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bulging discs L5-S1, L4-5, L3-4

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,605
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
hi....Clinical history: bilateral lower extremity pain
Findings: At L5-S1 there is a slight disc desiccation. A minimal broad, shallow central protrusion just contacts the thecal sac but does not significantly compromise the central canal or it's contents. There is mild bilateral facet arthropathy.
At L4-5 there is slight concentric bulging of the annulus, slightly assymetrical to the right without focal disc extrusion or limiting stenosis. There is mild facet arthropathy.
Minimal bulging of the annulus is seen at L3-4 without focal disc extrusion, central senosis or foraminal narrowing. There is minimal bilateral facet arthropathy.
Conclusion: Lumbar spondylosis as described above.
i was on ultram for about 3 years and it did give me relief...i tried several months of PT with no relief or improvement in pain level....i eventually weaned myself off the tramadol (ultram) and that was a nightmare...i had headache from hell for a few months! it was horrible....i weaned myself because i was trying to conceive a child...i also restricted my activity which seemed to make a difference as well...at any rate, i just gave birth to my daughter last july and gained 55 pounds during the pregnancy...i didn't have any pain in my legs, and only mild stiffness and achiness in my back...i started power walking outside when she was 3 months old and lost all the excess weight over the course of 3 months...so i was back to my pre-pregnancy weight (150) i have been having the pain in both legs since mid-december and it wakes me up at night, then i can't get back to sleep because t he pain is so intense...it's a burning pain in both calves, it starts behind my knee and goes all the way down to my ankles...it's very irritating..it's interfering with the quality of my life...i am unhappy all the time because of this pain...i don't enjoy life anymore and i am currently 12 weeks pregnant so i cannot have a repeat MRI to see what's been going on since 2003...i'm guessing that carrying my 16 pound daughter around, going up and down the stairs with her in my arms is contributing to this pain...which has me very frustrated and depressed....she is going to get heavier and heavier...she's going to want to be picked up...and i am going to need to get her from point A to point B.....i am worried about my future with both her and the newborn....does anyone else here have this same condition?? what works for you?? do you have any suggestions? does this get worse over time?? are pain killers the only/best alternative in order to function?
please help...i need ideas...i need to connect with others who understand and are experiencing the same thing...thank you.


  • Welcome, you will find lots of understand people on this site.
    I had my first back issue when my son was under 2, I herniated a disc in my lower back. I could not lift him for quite a while. You have to get creative, I would sit down and have him climb into my lap. He was a big kid, started at 9lbs 3oz. and just got bigger from there. It was not easy, I wanted to pick him up and carry him but I had to let him walk and hold my hand. You will have to do that soon anyway with the new baby, maybe it will help in the long run and he won't be jealous when the new baby arrives, when you can't carry both.
    It is almost impossible to slow down, but you need to figure out how, nap when your son naps, and read books to him, find activities that let you rest as much as possible.
    It is hard to suggest what you can do, ice helps some and heat helps others. Have you talked to your OB if they have any ideas.
    Keep us posted and PM anytime. I hope this pregnancy can be like you first.
    Take care,
  • Hi hon, Im sorry your having so many probs. And durring pregnancy on top of it has to be very difficult.
    I had disc replacment and fusion of L5-S1 and bulging discs at L4-5...oh pretty much all over.
    I am surprised Tamadaol even helped as that is on the lowest level of pain meds. It never did a thing for me.
    Sorry you cant have another mri yet, but do as soon as your able.
    Everyone is different, some can deal with same probs for years without much problems, and others cant.
    You found a great place here, lots of info and great people, careing people. Chat room is a great place to ask questions too, and we have a lot of fun there, laughs to take our minds off the pain :)
    Welcome sweetie, and hope you will be able to get some answers. We're here for ya >:D<
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  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. good luck as you seek pain relief! =D> Jenny :)
  • Here is my past info.

    MRI Results:

    2002 – There is a small broad based disc herniation causing ventral flattening of the thecal sac. Disc material extends for only 5 or 6 mm dorsal vertebral body border and is not causing significant spinal stenosis or nerve root compression. Conclusion: There is a small broad based disc herniation at L5-S1.

    2006 – Findings – the patient has undergone postsurgical changes of a left laminectory discectiomy at L5-S1. There is moderate enhancing epidural scar formation present at this level. Vertebral body height, alignment, and signal is otherwise normal. There is disc space narrowing with a disc desiccation at L5-S1, but the remainder of the disc spaces appears to be normal. Conus medullaris terminates at L1.
    L4-L5 – There is minimal disc bulge at this level with mild articular facet degeneration. There is no evidence for disc herniation or central stenosis. Neural foramina appear to be widely patent.
    L5-S1 – The patient has undergone postsurgical changes of a left laminectory and discectiomy at this level, and there is mild enhancing epidural scar formation present. There is a recurrent left paracentral disc herniation at this level which results in impingement on the left aspect of the thecal sac and left S1 root sleeve. Nural foramina appear to be minally narrowed.
    Impression: 1) Postsurgical changes of a left laminectory and discectiomy at L5-S1 with mild enhancing epidural scar formation present at this level. 2) Recurrent left paracentral disc herniation at L5-S1 impinges on the left aspect of the thecal sac and left S1 sleeve. 3) Minimal disc bulge at the L4-L5 is unlikely to be clinically significant.

    2009 – Findings – There are discongenic marrow signal intensity changes at L5-S1. This has progressed somewhat in the interim. The lumbar elements are otherwise normal in height and alignment.
    L4-L5 - Minimal disc bulge. Early facet arthropathy. The spinal canal is widely patent. Minimal narrowing of both foramina. Stable.
    L5-S1 - L5 laminotomy defect is again noted. Mild narrowing of the disc with a prominent circumferential disc bulge that appears similar with the prior examinations. A recurrent posterior left paramedian disc herniation is again noted but it has enlarged considerable in the interim. It extends inferiorly and fills the S1 lateral recess with impingement upon the left S1 nerve root. Mild to moderate narrowing of both foramina but no compromise of the exiting L5 nerve roots. The degree of foraminal narrowing appears similar with the prior examination.

    The conus medullaris terminates at T12-L1 and appears normal.

    Impression: The L5-S1 disc remains somewhat degenerated with a prominent circumferential disc bulge that appears similar with the prior examination. However, there is a posterior left paramedian disc herniation that has enlarged considerably in the interim. It now fills the left S1 lateral recess and compresses the left S1 nerve root.

    I have an appointment with a surgeon on Thursday. I may suggest that he just go ahead and fuse them. I am hoping that is will fix the L4-L5-S1 issues. This would be my 3rd surgury since 2002. Any thoughts on me requesting this from my doctor. I am 42 years old. 5'9, 160, in good health otherwise. I know my limitations, and do very little outside my house without a back brace. Thanks, all.
  • what does anyone on this forum know about back inversion therapies ie:back inverter bed or traction ,i suffer with those two discs plus siatic pain ,so just curios about anybodies experiences. and why do we use heat on inflamed discs and muscles when all other injuries would be treated with ice ?
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  • does any body answer on this forum or am i doing something wrong?
  • Welcome to the site!

    You're not doing anything wrong as such, it's just that you've asked your question under someone else's question!

    Try going to 'Forums Home', then ask your question there under one of the relevant headings as a new topic and you'll get loads of replies!

    This is a really helpful site and you'll find people can give you lots of excellent advice.

    Hope that helps!

  • I'm so sorry you are going through all this, but if anyone can relate to ya it's us!

  • What should I do about my back?

    I've had chronic back pain and fybromyalga for years. I'm a 26 year old female who is a CNA. I recently had an MRI lumbar wo contrast bc the back pain is getting too extreme to leave my bed. I have gain 20 lbs since February! The MRI findings state "mild circumferential bulging annuli & facet hypertrophy are present at the L4-5 & L5-1 levels. A superimposed right para central disc protrusion at L5-1 may contact the transiting right S1 nerve root. Moderate right foraminal stenosis at the l4-5 level." What is that? Lol I've researched and ask but can't really get an answer lol please serious help only!
  • philippphilip Posts: 2
    edited 02/28/2014 - 10:56 PM
    I have had 2 back ops already, both on L5/S1 in 2007 and 2009. I've had pain, gradually gettin worse for 3 weeks, and had MRI yesterday. This is findings:
    1. Vertebral haemangioma evident by high signal on T2 and subtle on T1 noticed L4 vertebral body as well as L2 vertebral body. on the STIR it shows high signal. It measures 8 mm in diameter. Conus medullaris end at L1 level.
    2. T11 andT12 vertebral bodies show mild height loss.
    3. Disc bulges noted on L4/L5 and L5/S1
    4. A loose sequestrated disc noted on L5/S1 level
    5. L3/L4 - exiting nerve roots clear. Mild ligamentum flavum thickening
    6. L4/L5 - exiting nerve roots clear. Circumferential broad-basmased disc bulge. Moderate spinal stenosis. Central disc protrusion with indentation on the anteriorthecal sac.
    7. L5/S1 - small sequestrated disc, 5 mm in diameter, noted right lateral recess.Narrowing of right intervertebral foramina suggestive of right exiting L5 nerve root compromisation. Descending S1nerve roots are also most likely involved. Right intra-foraminal disc extension as well.

    Now that is a lot of info, please help me to make sense of it all. How serious is this? I know the pain is almost unbearable. Worried about the growth. This will probably mean 3rd op in 7 years. What can I expect?

    Philip Klynsmith

    There is nobody on the forum qualified to interpret a MRI I hope these links help ...Liz The spine-health moderator team


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