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Spine and Back Health

Back Pain/MRI Results

06/09/2008

Question:

I have moderate pain daily and I am looking for advice. Will surgery help my problems? Or any other treatment options? I can`t function normally with this pain forever.  MRI- L3/4- very mild diffuse disc buldge. No stenosis. Neura foramen are patent.

L4/L5- There is a broad based posterior disc that indents the thecal sac. Borderline stenosis. There is a bilateral facet joint hypertrophy with a small amout of fluid at the joint on the right.Mild narrowing both neural formaina due to spondylitic changes and facet joint encroachment.

L5/S1- There is a mild broad based posterior protrusion. High T2 signal inferiorly at the annulus posteriorly suggestive of a small annular tear. No extruded fragment. No central stenosis. Mild facet joint hypertrophy bilaterally. Neural foramen are patent.

L4/L5 and L5/S1- Mild disc space narrowing.

Mild multi level degenerative disc disease. Most marked at L4/L5 with borderline stenosis due to broad based disc protrusion and bilateral neural foraminal narrowing largely related to facet joint encroachment.

Any help is most appreciated. Thanks.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. On this site, we try to answer general questions about health, but cannot diagnose or recommend treatment. You appear to have some very, very specific questions about your testing results, which can only be answered properly by a physician who is familiar with your history, physical exam, and test results. Your questions about the testing results you've been given or the risks, benefits, and alternatives for proposed treatments of this condition need to be directed to your treating physician(s). You should insist that they answer these questions in a way that you are able to understand before consenting to any treatment. If your physician is unable to help you understand these issues, you should get a second opinion. Take care.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University