Hi, I'm new to this messageboard and thought you'd might help.
I'm a 26-year old male and was recently told by my back surgeon that I had Disc Degeneration on my L4-L5 and L5-S1 discs. He said it was "significant grade III degradation"
As concerned as I am about all this, I've looked at the MRIs and I can't quite see how this is classified as grade III, which as far as I know, is rather advanced degeneration with the space between the vertebrae greatly reduced.
I've tried to compare my MRI (I realise that one image is probably not enough and I may not have picked the most relevant) with some on the internet and all I notice is that ALL my lumbar discs are slightly darker than what is considered a healthy spine. Then again I'm not sure if the images were taken in the same conditions, with the same methods etc.
I do see the "bulge" on the two discs but in terms of inter-vertebrae space, I don't really see how these two discs are more affected than the others. http://img59.imageshack.us/my.php?image=0a056fb7yj5.png
If you guys could give me your opinion, I'd really appreciate it. If you reckon more info/images is necessary, then I'll try to answer.