I am new to this forum and have questions about my MRI results. What does: "minimal flattening and signal loss of the L4-5 and L5-S1 discs" mean? I've been told by one Ortho spine specialist that there is a slight buldge in one of my discs but the MRI report says "no disc herniation". Is a "slight buldge" different from a "disc herniation"?? Thank you.
Unfortunately, it's hard to determine your spine pathology without looking at the MRI films myself. However, "minimal flattening and signal loss of the L4-5 and L5-S1 discs" usually represents degenerative disc changes that we see with aging. Buldging of discs are commonly seen. As long as there is no disc herniation or nerve impingment/cord compression, it is most likely benign and doesn't need any treatment. Buldging of disc and disc herniation are similar, except that disc herniation is a more severe problem. Again, as long as the buldging and herniation don't impinge the spinal cord or the nerve roots, treatment is less likely warranted. If you have symptoms to suggest nerve impingement (such as weakness, shooting pain, numbness or tingling sensation), please seek medical attention immediately. Neurology department is a good place to start.
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