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Radiology/CT lumbar spine w/o contrast


L3-L4, there is mild disc bulge.  There is mild facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy.  There is no significant spinal canal stenosis.  There is mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.

L4-L5, there is disc bulge.  There is moderate facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy.  There is moderate spinal canal stenosis.  There is moderate and mild-to-moderate right forminal stenosis.

L5-S1, there is a disc bulge.  There is moderate facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy.  There is moderate spinal canat stenosis.  There is moderate rights and moderate to marked left foraminal stenosis.

Impression:  Multilevel degenerative disc disease with moderate spinal canal stenosis at L4-5 and L5-S1.  Foraminal stenosis, most pronounced L5-S1 on the left (moderate to marked).

Have tried all else am considering surgery.

Dear Susan,
I am very sorry for the delay in replying.

There are some degenerative changes in your spine as you can see.  Some of the are moderate and may affect nerves.  However, there needs to be a very careful examination of your symptoms and how it correlates with the results of the scan.  In fact there are many people who hve quite extensive degenerative changes on the images but really have no symptoms or their symptoms do not correlate to the level of the degeneration.  So while you have some moderate canal stenosis and some levels, your doctor needs to really make sure that your symptoms are from these levels.  If you don't have radiculopathy, ie extension of the pain, weakenss or burning into your legs then any type of surgery may not be as helpful as you may think.  Back surgeries are not always the answer and may not fix any of your symptoms unless there is a very good specific correlaton between what you have and what specifically will be addressed by a surgeon.  You have some degeration of the facet joints.  One also needs to address if facet joint degeneration is a cause of your symptoms.  I am sure you've tried injections and other consultations with pain specialists.  I would encourage you to seek second and third opinions.
Back symptoms often do not have easy solutions, unfortunately.
I hope this is somewhat helpful

Michael K


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Michael K.


Almost any kind of questions regarding any types of radiology exams, procedures, meaning of radiology reports etc...


12 year experience in the field of radiology

American Society of Neuroradiology, Senior Member Society of Pediatric Radiology, Active Member

Radiology Seminars in pediatric neurology American Journal of Roentgenology American Journal of Neuroradiology

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