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  • wiljen08
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Hello!

    I recently had an MRI done on my Lumbar Spine. I have the results and a I dont quit understand what it means? Please see below;

    L3-4: There is a shallow disc bulge with a small central annular fissure contained in the anterior epidural space. The central canal and neural foramina are patent and the posterior elements are normal.

    L4-5: There is shallow posterior annular bulge and a central annular fissure contained in the anterior epidural space. Central canal and neural foramina are patent and posterior elements are normal.

    L5-S1: The is a shallow annular bulge and central annular fissure effacing the thecal sac. There is accompanying facet hypertrophy contributing to foraminal narrowing, slightly impining the exiting left L5 nerve root and the descending S1 nerve roots in the lateral recess.

    Impression: Shallow posterior annular bulge L-3,L-4,L-5-S1 contained in the anterior epidural space and age-indeterminate. There is facet arthrosis at L5-S1 felt to be chronic. There is mild effacement of the thecal sac and left foraminal narrowing at L5-S1 slightly abutting the exiting L5 nerve root and the descending S1 nerve roots in the lateral recess.

    Can anyone give me some insight?????

    Thanks in advance
    Wiljen08

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8465

    Your MRI findings boil down to degenerative annular tears of the lower three levels of the spine. Look at the website for descriptions of these in the lumbar spine section. At L5-S1, you also have degenerative facets. This might lead to a degenerative spondylolisthesis of this level (again-see website). The MRI might not display this type of slip but X-rays will.

    Dr. Corenman

    wiljen08
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Good morning Dr. Corenman,

    Thank you for your response. As I understand your explanation of my MRI, however have a few more questions. So there is no evidence of herniation? Is bulging the same as herniation? Do bulging disc get better or get worse?

    Thank you in advance if you are able to respond.
    Wiljen08

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8465

    A “disc bulge” is not the same a disc herniation. Think of the disc as a car tire full of jello, not air. If you thin out the side wall of the tire, the wall will bulge out without the jello being visible. If you develop a full tear in the wall of the tire, the jello will squirt out. This is the difference between a disc bulge and a disc herniation.

    Discs have no blood supply so these findings will not change as the disc cannot heal. You might have a greater chance for a disc herniation over time but this is nothing that you can do anything about so do not concern yourself about it.

    The best you can do is to rehabilitate your back and learn the correct lifting mechanics. Avoid very large loads.

    Dr. Corenman

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