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Help in understanding MRI

I have a conclusion from MRI scan that I don't understand are you able to explain to me. I was referred for a MRI by a Chiropracter the MRI I paid privately to do because the pain was getting so bad and anti inflammatory & pain killers were not really helping me cope.

It concludes there are degenerative changes seen throughout the lumber spine the most significant level is L4/5 with significant canal stenosis and tethering of the cauda equina. 

It also suggests I get a Neurosurgical opinion. I have an appointment at hospital ( NHS ) in 4 weeks but am trying to understand it now. Can you explain in simple terms as I don't really know if this is serious or not ?


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,708

    hello kelly

    no one on 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 /color] 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

    please click on this link for useful information

    welcome to spine-health


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    does the neurosurgeon know that you already have the mri?  that can sometimes reduce the wait - but i think you are in the uk and i don't know what it is like there.

    searching for some of the keywords on the spine-health web site can help you understand the report.  to do that, take a look at searching spine-health for information


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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