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New MRI results in - Is fusion on the near horizon?
Quick history of my condition:
- Disc rupture 7/2007
- MRI in Feb 2008 showed severe herniation with spinal stenosis at L5/S1
- Lumbar Discectomy at L5-S1 March 2008
- Slight improvement for a few months, then downhill
- Physical therapy failed to help
- 2 ER trips in a month without meds
- Current treatments:
-- 10mg Vicodin
-- TENS unit
So, I got the results of my MRI from last week. I haven't had an appointment with my doctor or the new neurosurgeon I'm being referred to yet, but I always pick up a copy of any reports from the hospital for my own records. Here's a rundown of what it reported:
- Discogenic degenerative changes involving the inferior endplate of L5.
*** I'm really not familiar with the "endplates" and their significance. Anyone have some clarification for me? ***
- Moderate disc space narrowing at L5-S1 with central disc protrusion at L5-S1. The Axial images show central disc herniation at L5-S1. Again condirmed with Post Gadolinium images, also showing herniation is slightly exxentric to the left.
- Mild enlargement of the right SI nerve rootlets but the disc fragment does not abut this nerve rootlet.
*** I don't quite understand this part either. Why would my SI nerve rootlet be enlarged? Anyone able to help clarify? ***
- Spinal canal stenosis at L5-S1. Some of which is caused by this disc herniation with an AP spinal canal diameter of 8.6 mm.
... So, can this be helped by injections? Is there no point in just leaving my treatment up to a pain doctor? I have a referral to a neurosurgeon now, and I'm guessing they're going to tell me I need a fusion. Thoughts?