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Deciphering MRI Results


Just had an MRI last week due to a chronic lower back pain issue.  Can someone please help me decipher my results???  Thanks!

Exam:  MRI Lumbar Spine W/o Contrast


History low back pain.

performed on a 1.5 Tesla magnet in sagittal and axial projection.

Prior examination, lumbar x-ray done 3/14/2017

FINDINGS:  The lumbar
lordosis is well preserved.  Disc margins
are well-preserved regarding height although there is some desiccation from
L3-L4 down to L5-S1.  The conus
medullaris shows no evidence of abnormality.

Minimal posterior disc bulge T11-T12 without cord
contact.  Foramina at this level as well
as thoracolumbar junction are widely patent bilaterally.

L1-L2 is unremarkable. 
L2-L3 is unremarkable.

L3-L4 shows mild posterior disc bulge which may be a source
of discogenic pain.  There is slight
effacement of the thecal sac.  The left
and right foramina are widely patent but there is slight posterior displacement
of the left L4 nerve root in the lateral recess as seen on image 12/6.  Facets are hypertrophic.

L4-L5 demonstrates moderate facet hypertrophy but bilateral
foraminal patency is preserved.  No
lateral recess encroachment or spinal stenosis present. 

Moderate facet hypertrophy L5-S1.  Posterior disc herniation centrally and
slightly to the left, measuring about 8 mm in diameter.

hypertrophy from L3-L4 down to L5-S1 inclusive. 
Slight disc protrusion L3-L4 with possible left L4 lateral recess

L4-L5 facet hypertrophy. 
Some posterior disc protrusion which may be a source of discogenic pain.

L5-S1: Small central disc herniation confined by the
posterior longitudinal ligament, possibly source of discogenic pain.  Facets are hypertrophic.  No foraminal or spinal stenosis of the…



  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    edited 03/20/2017 - 4:08 PM
    Hello hc93291

    No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

    MILD 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 the link for useful information
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    Can't be lazy here, even though a doctor needs to relate them to your individual condition you can used google and know exactly what every term means. It takes time but someone else telling you doesn't serve you down the road if you have to advocate for yourself. I promise you will thank me if it comes to that.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
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