I'm truly hoping someone can help me. I recently had a lumbar MRI done and received the report today. I am having a hard time deciphering the results. Quick backstory - I do have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as fibromyalgia. Recently, I have been experiencing increasing severe back pain with leg weakness and numbness. The pain is from the base of my skull to my tailbone, but am focusing on the lower back because I kind of need my legs to walk. I did have a lumbar medial branch block done in the spring, which helped quite a bit. I went for a lumbar radiofrequency ablation and had a horrible allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). I have also done a Medrol dosepak as well as taking NSAIDs along with my prescribed pain medication. this is what the MRI report is showing:

"FINDINGS: Vertebral alignment remains normal. Marrow signal is normal.
There are no fractures. No compression deformities. The conus
terminates at L1.

There is again minimal annular bulging at all lumbar levels. No focal
disc protrusion is evident.

There is no lumbar spinal canal stenosis. No nerve root clumping or
thickening in the thecal sac.

There is again mild facet arthropathy at L4-5 and L5-S1. Mild
periarticular inflammatory edema has developed around the L4-5 facets.

There is no lumbar foraminal stenosis.


Mild diffuse annular bulging of the lumbar spine. No focal disc

No spinal canal or foraminal stenosis.

Mild facet arthropathy at L4-5 and L5-S1. Development of periarticular
edema around the L4-5 facets."

Could anyone help me with understanding this better?

Many many thanks in advance.
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replied October 27th, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
There are mild features of inflammation at L4-5 facets. Other changes are considered as normal.
Pain killer like advil will help you in combating this inflammation.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care

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