Radiology/mri results


This is what my mri said. The contents of the thecal sac appeared unremarkable. There is no associated spinal stenosis. Impression: there is acquired spinal stenosis at L4-L5 associated with a broad based disc protrusion centered to the left of midline that causes moderate deformity of the thecal sac. There is also mild left lateral recess stenosis. There is moderately severe foraminal stenosis bilaterally secondary to disc bulging and posterolateral osteophytes. There is acquired spinal stenosis at L3-L4 associated with a left posterolateral disc protrusion that causes very mild deformity of the left side of the thecal sac, mild left lateral recess stenosis and moderately extensive left sided foraminal stenosis. There is mild stenosis bilaterally at L5-S1 secondary to disc bulging and posterolateral osteophytes. There is no significant central canal stenosis. There is early evidence of disc degeneration at L2-L3. There is no associated spinal stenosis. Im 34 yrs old and I originally went to my Dr. with pain in my right leg. The pain  left in 3 days and hasn't returned. I can do all normal activities that I've been able to do all along. MY work Dr. says I can't return to work because of these results?? I dont understand when I was symptom free in 3 days. Please help me understand the MRI results. THANKS

Hello, Travon,

I can only guess why your doctor won't let you return to work. I suspect (s)he doesn't like the diagnosis of bulging discs at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1. Also the diagnosis of spinal stenosis may be problematic.

Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal and nerve root passages. This could cause numbness, pain or even cause your limbs to "fall asleep".

I don't know what type of work you do. If your job involves heavy lifting, the potential for severe back injury is high. Next time the pain may be much worse and longer lasting.

Ideally, your job should not include heavy lifting. You are too young to be having so much trouble with your low back. Take it easy, if you can. Your back needs to last at least 30 more years!

I hope you are able to return to work soon.

Hope this helps,


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

©2016 All rights reserved.