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Lower Back MRI Scan Report

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got my MRI SCAN results and can't make much scene of them can any body explain them for me, the conclusion go like-
Multilevel degenrative disc change with small right paracentral dice protrusions L4/5, L5S1 with annular fissuring.
The L4/5 disc protrusion minimally contacts the traversing right L5 nerve root.
Mild to moderate facet joint hypertrophy L3/4,L4/5 ,L5/S1 levels.
No definite evidence of neural compromise.
Any help would be great thanks, Dan
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replied February 14th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
Dan5000,

I can help with the terminology:


"Multilevel degenrative disc change with small right paracentral dice protrusions L4/5, L5S1 with annular fissuring."

>> It does not say how bad the DDD (degenerative disc disease) is, but you have some changes at the L4-5 and the L5-S1 discs. DDD usually starts out by the disc beginning to dry out (dehydrate). When the disc degenerates to loses water. This causes the disc to not be able to with stand the compressive forces it used to. So, it will then start to bulge out, like an underinflated tire.

So, your discs are starting to bulge out a little on the right, posterior (back) side of the disc. This is the area where the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. They run through a groove and a hole to get out. These are called the lateral recess and the neural foramen. So, the disc is starting to go into that area.

The disc complex is made up of two parts. The outer cartilage ring, called the annulus fibrosus and the inner jelly like core (like the inside of a jelly doughnut), called the nucleus pulposus. The annulus can fissure or tear, radially (from the inside edge to the outside edge). So, it sounds like you have some small tears in the annulus, but not big enough to allow the nucleus to leak out. When the nucleus squirts out, that is called a herniated disc (also called a ruptured disc). But, you do not have any herniations.



"The L4/5 disc protrusion minimally contacts the traversing right L5 nerve root."

>> At the L4-5 disc, the bulge touches the L5 nerve root as it leaves the spinal canal. This is also called neural foraminal stenosis. Which just means that the hole is narrowed (stenosis).

However, when a nerve root is touched, it MAY be irritated. Usually, it takes compression of the nerve root to cause significant symptoms in the nerve root distribution. The L5 nerve root would cause numbness/tingling/pain in the lateral leg and foot.

So, this disc barely touches the nerve root, without compressing it.



"Mild to moderate facet joint hypertrophy L3/4,L4/5 ,L5/S1 levels."

>> At these three levels, the facet joints, which are located in the posterior elements of the spine, are larger than normal. Hypertrophy of the facet joints is a sign of degeneration. However, it is listed as mild to moderate. When the hypertrophy gets significant, it can also cause neural foramen stenosis. But, here it is not yet to that level of significance. They are just larger than "normal".


"No definite evidence of neural compromise."

>> There are no nerve roots or other neural structures that are being compressed or pushed out of the way.




So, you need to discuss the findings with your physician. All findings on a study have to be correlated with the patient's history, symptoms, and physical examination, to have much meaning.

Good luck.
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