Hello- Trying to understand my MRI results. My appointment is not until March.
Hypolordosis of lumbar curvature. Conus terminates at L1 level.
L4-5 disc desiccation with central to left paracentral disc protrusion with left foraminal recess stenosis. Overall mild central canal stenosis. Facet arthropathy and ligamentum flavum thickening.
L5-S1- disc desiccation with broad posterior bulging and a left paracentral annulus tear where there is abutment but not effacement of S1 nerve roots. Mild facet hypertrophy.
Central to left paracentral protrusion at L4-L5 partially effacing the left foraminal recess with mild central canal stenosis.
Broad bulge at L5-S1 with annulus tear, however, no significant neural impingement.
There are two issues here with the discs at L4-5 and L5-S1
There are signs of degenerative disc disease (DDD) in the upper disc, which protrudes into the left side of the intrathecal space -- the space that contains the spinal cord.
Below at L5/S1 is a disc herniation. Here, the surface of the disc is ruptured and soft inner disc material is leaking.
From the report, you may be having more pain from the L4/5 disc protrusion in the left lower back, buttock, and leg, than from the L5/S1 herniation.
Your doctor will probably order physical therapy. In the mean time, take NSAIDs as directed on the bottle, always with food. Walking is good exercise if it does not cause too much pain -- if so, try swimming.
Sometimes these things heal themselves. Small movement of the hips and lower back can help accelerate healing. Strengthening of the stomach muscles helps, as does weight loss. No hard, stressful exercise, but easy, gentle movement is what you need. Again, working in a swimming pool is ideal.
Ice applied to the lower back can also help reduce pain. When lying on your back, support your back with a pillow under your legs.
Learn what you can about DDD and its treatments on sites like spineuniverse.com and spine-health.com.
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