I have been having back pain since 2007 and just got insurance to get an MRI done. This is what the MRI indicated and I wanted to hear it in laymen's terms please? I had 3 shots put in my back and am waiting 2 weeks for followup to see if I need more shots. Is this something that the shots might help and will it require surgery if the shots don't work. Thanks!
MRI Lumbar Spine without Contrast
Right lumbar radiculopathy
Normal conus mid L1. Minimal anterolisthesis L4-5 and L5-S1 without pars defect or acute marrow finding. Desiccation and mild narrowing L5-S1 disc, desiccation without narrowing L4-5 disc.
L2-3: minimal broad bulge and mild facet arthropathy, no stenosis
L3-4: Mild facet arthropathy and ligamentum flavum thickening without disc bulge or stenosis
L4-5: Shallow broad central protrusion with anular tear, moderate facet arthropathy with ligamentum flavum thickening. Mild central stenosis, left greater than right lateral recess stenosis. No foraminal stenosis.
L5-S1: small central to right central protrusion with anular tear. Mild facet arthropathy. Small caliber thecal sac appears to be primarily congenital rather than due to these other factors, acquired stenosis is doubted.
1. Facet arthropathy and central protrusions L4-5 greater than L5-S1.
2. Mild central stenosis and left greater than right lateral recess stenosis L4-5.
The MRI describes degenerative changes of the lumbar (lower) spine, with minimal disc bulge at L2/ L3 and L5/ S1 levels and a moderate disc protrusion at L4/ L5 causing narrowing of the spinal canal and spaces that carry the spinal nerves more on the left side, though no actual neural compression is described.
Since the changes are mild-moderate a conservative approach with rest, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, followed by physiotherapy to strengthen the back muscles would be preferred. I would suggest discussing the situation and the management plan in detail with your treating neurologist.
Hope this is helpful.
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