Male 49. Back pain since I was probably 10. Anyway over the years it has worsen. Went for an MRI and it reads as follows;
L2 - L3 Broad based left lateral disc bulge. Mild narrowing of the left neural foramen. Disc material is contacting the traversing L2 Nerve
L3 - L4 Mild Diffuse Disc Bulge with bilateral facet athropathy. Mild narrowing of the left neural foramen. No nerve compression seen.
L4 - L5 Mildt to moderate facet athropathy. Mild diffuse disc bulge as well as a small broad based central disc protrusion. Moderate narrowing of the left neural foramen. Disc material contacts the traversing L5 Nerve.
L5 - S1 Small central disc protrusion and a minimal diffuse disc bulge. Mild facet athropathy. There is severe narrowing of the left neural foramen due to postlateral spurs as well as hypertrophied facets. Similair changes are also noted on the right side. Exiting L5 Nerves are slightly compressed.
Multilevel disc desiccation is present. Multiple levels of anterior spurring present. Moderate loss of disc space at L5 - S1. Rudimentary disc level is seen at S1 - 2
Pain and stiffness pretty much constant. Appears to be worse in the morning becomes more tolerable during the day then worsens at night.
Pain seems to radiate from both sides of the sacrum joint. Left side radiates into the buttocks and down into the knee...at times into the foot. Right side radiates into buttocks then wraps around thigh into the groin area. Also spasms on both sides.
The best description I can give my back is that it feels like it's put together like one of those card houses you make out of a deck of cards and it's going to collapse at any moment.
Anyway just wondering if that type of pain would be consistent with the MRI Results. Also wondering if anyone could comment from experience what the likelihood is of this condition requiring surgery. Opinions please...I realize that this is not a surgical consult. I'm just trying to get some opinions from people who have lived this already.
It's hard to say if your MRI results are consistent with all of your pain. Some people have various bulges and feel no pain and others do.
You have stenosis in several levels, with nerve compression in 2 levels and disc material touching nerves in 1.
Based on my own experience, nerve compression, narrowing of the foramen's etc. can cause pain from the "butt" down legs to the knee and yes, to the foot.
L3/L4 nerve compression can cause the pain in your right buttocks around the thigh and into the groin.
L4/L5/S1 will cause the pain to go from the buttocks, down the side and back of the leg to your feet.
Only a doctor can tell you if you will require surgery or if conservative treatments may or may not help you ease your pain.
Have you seen a spine specialist? If not, you need to have a full evaluation done by a spine specialist; either an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spines or a neurosurgeon that specializes in spines only.
If surgery is suggested as your only option, I would suggest that you seek out at minimum one additional opinion, preferably more than one additional opinion.