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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Lower back/spine problem. MRI results.

 cedejah - Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:31 pm

Can someone please explain these results to me and tell me what the possible long term implications are. Also please can you tell me some possible treatment options?
Im quite active, i play rugby, basketball and footbal. Is it likely i will be able to play them again?

The MRI results......

Indications: Lower back pain.

At L5/S1 intervertebral disc level there is diffuse posterior disc bulge with bilateral mild facet hypertrophy that indents the thecal sac. No significant nerve root compression noted though bilateral mild inferior foraminal stenosis is noted.
At L4/5 intervertebral disc level there is diffuse posterior disc bulge and some of the disc material is in the extradural space and measures 13mm in the superior inferior measurement and 8mm in anterior posterior measurement. It indents the thecal sac anteriorly. Thjere is bilateral mild foraminal stenosis inferiorly caused by the disc bulge and bilateral mild facet hypertrophy. At remaining levels no disc bulge perfusion or cord compression.

1. L4/5 posterior disc bulge with mild extrusion of the disc material in the extradural space.
2. L5/S1 disc bulge as well. bilateral mild foraminal stenosis at this level.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:24 am

User avatar Hello,
Essentially the MRI says that the two discs are L4 through S1 are bulging with some of the L4/L5 disc material just outside the dural sac. The dural sac encases the spinal cord from the upper cervical region down to about L2 (Lumbar vertebra #2) level. At the L4 level, the sac houses the nerve roots (but not the spinal cord) which eventually exit the bony vertebrae (at the foramina aka holes) and into the pelvis and lower extremities.

If you have neurological symptoms: leg numbness, tingling or pins and needles; leg weakness; decreased tendon reflexes then you will need to see a neurosurgeon as the bulging discs hitting the sac may be causing the symptoms.

Watch out for cauda equina syndrome - a rare but serious condition where the contents of the dural sac are compromised and causes significant leg weakness; numbness in the area of the groin and skin between the anus and scrotum - essentially the area that would touch a saddle when riding a horse and inability to urinate. If these occur, see a doctor asap - a neurological emergency.

Otherwise for treatment, consult a physical therapist. They will evaluate your current status and predict your prospects of continuing sports.

Take care.

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