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MRI findings and long term outlook
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MRI findings and long term outlook

My son and I were involved in a high speed impact car accident last year. We were rear ended. My son, 19, prior to the accident was very athletic, muscular, no health problems and no previous back injuries sustained a severe back injury. Wondering how serious his MRI is and what he can expect for long term problems.
Here is the read on the MRI-

FINDINGS:
The visualized retroperitoneal structures have a normal appearance for age. The thoracolumbar junction has a normal appearance. Conus medullaris has normal positioning and morphology.

L1-2: Broad-based disc bulge. No significant central spinal stenosis or foraminal narrowing.

L2-3: Broad-based disc bulge. No significant central spinal stenosis or foraminal narrowing. Mild stress related changes in the facet joints.

L3-4: Broad-based disc bulge which results in bilateral foraminal crowding with some abutment of the exiting right L3 nerve root. The central canal is patent. Mild to moderate stress-related changes in the facet joints.

L4-5: Broad-based disc bulge/posterior annular fissure which results in bilateral foraminal crowding with some abutment of the exiting L4 nerve roots. The central canal is patent. Mild to moderate stress-related changes in the facet joints.

L5-S1: Large right paracentral disc extrusion/annular fissure with cranial extension which results in severe right lateral recess narrowing with impingement on the non-exited the S1 nerve roots right greater than left. There is severe central spinal stenosis present of the thecal sac narrowed to 7 mm. Bilateral foraminal crowding with abutment of the exiting L5 nerve roots. Moderate facet arthropathy/overgrowth.

IMPRESSION:

1. Large right paracentral disc extrusion/annular fissure with cranial extension at L5-S1 which results in severe lateral recess narrowing with impingement on the non-exited S1 nerve roots right greater than left with severe central spinal stenosis narrowing the thecal sac to approximately 7 mm. Bilateral foraminal crowding with some abutment of the L5 nerve roots as well. Dextroconvexity at the thoracolumbar junction which may be due to posttraumatic muscle spasm.
2. Multilevel stress-related changes within the facet joints most severe at L5-S1.

Thanks- Marnie
351246_tn?1379685732
Hi Marnie!

It is natural for you to worry about your son. The bad news is that your son has several disc protrusions or herniations between L1 and S1 with the disc herniation between L5 an S1 being the worst and putting pressure on the spinal nerves before they exit out from the vertebra.
The good news is that usually this can be managed conservatively with back exercises, hot and cold pads, physiotherapy, manual therapy and lumbar corset. Later deep tissue massage can be tried.
Normally these therapies along with non-steroidal pain medications help the discs to slip back in place and relieve the pressure. Long term back exercises help strengthen the back muscles. The person can lead a normal life but may have to avoid high impact sports activities.
Please discuss in detail with his specialist. Hope this helps. Take care!

The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
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