Radiology/mri- report help

Advertisement


Question
Ihave a long history of back pain so i will just briefly outline. i had a spinal fusion and decompression in 2008. in 2009 i was feeling like a grinding pain in back a ct scan just confirmed l5/s1 fusion is completely solid.
i kept suffering bouts of acute pain over the years as though i had another disc gone. although on a lot of medication it was under control. then last year things started to get worsre, i take 55 tabs a day including oxycontin, oxynorm concentrate liquid a numerous patches, gels etc.
i had a mri last oct and another 2 weeks ago.
stupidly in beg nov i saw an elderly gent tryingpush his caravan up a slope and tried help him thats when things went from bad to horrific, i am now in constant agony and have spells of numbness in legs and occasionally hand/arm.
i was wondering if you could tell me if there are any changes from mri taken oct 2012 to mri taken february 2013, and what it means. i would be so grateful,

mri taken 08/10/2012
examination lumber spine
there is normal vertebral alignment. no loss of vertebral  body  height.
the bone marrow returns normal signal,
there is moderate loss of intervertebral disc space height at l5/s1, with loss of the normal t2 signal within this disc in keeping with degenerative disc disease at this level.
the remaining intervertebral disks are unremarkeable.
the conus medullaris lies at the level of the l1 vertebral body.
there are apperances in keeping with a previous spinal stabilisation with interpedicular screws noted at l5/s1 levels.

At l5/s1, as described above, there has been a previous spinal stabilisation. there is a small posterior osteophytic disc bar which indents the adjacent thecal sac but does not comprimise the nerve roots of the cauda equina, traversing s1 or l5 nerve roots at this level.


mri report february 2013

significant artefact from movement and pedicle screws at l5 and s1.

at L5/S1 there is a marked disc space narrowing ,  bilateral foraminal narrowing and a small central disc protrusion which just indents the thecal sac.
at L4/5 there is mild formaminal narrowing on the left.
no obvious abnormality seen at higher disc levels.
normal marrow signal


PLEASE PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT ALL THIS MEANS AND WHAT CHANGES HAVE OCCURED FROM THE PREVIOUS SCAN TO THIS RECENT ONE.

I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN ,

Answer
Hello, Tracey.

The report from February 2013 mentions foraminal narrowing at L4-5 (left) and L5-S1 (bilateral). This is a new finding compared with the report from August 2012.

Foramina are the passages through which nerves pass en route to the rest of your body. Narrowing of these passages could be pressing on the nerves at the levels of L4-S1. These nerves affect your legs. Pressure here could cause your leg pain.

I wish I could be of more help, but I am not a physician. I am only the photographer. Your physician is in the best position to help you. If you aren't happy with your doctor's advice, I encourage you to get a second opinion.

One word of advice, though. No more heavy lifting or pushing cars up hills. Leave that for the younger folks with good strong backs!

I hope this helps a little. May you feel better soon.
Delia

Radiology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Delia White

Expertise

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.

Experience

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)!

Education/Credentials
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.