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I just don't understand all this???? Please Help!
First off, What is the difference in the "Impression" and the "Findings"? They appear to say the same things to me??? Which do Doctors look at as the "Result" or do they consider both?

Impression: 1. Diffuse disc bulges L3-L4 through L5-S1 with broad based midline disc protrusion L5-S1 level. Moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. Please correlate with distribution of any radicular symptoms. 2. Degenerative disc signal changes T11-T12 with moderate diffuse disc bulge. 3. Mild loss of height of T11 vertebra, probably related to sequela of prior trauma.

Findings: On the T2 weighted sagittal images, abormal decrease signal is identified at the T11-T12, L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 levels. Moderate loss of height is noted at the L3-L4 through L5-S1 levels. There is mild loss of height at the T-11 vertebra. L1-L2 & L2-L3: No disc bulge or protrusions. L3-L4: Mild diffuse disc bulge is present. There is mild narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally. L4-L5: Moderate diffuse disc bulge is present. Broad-based midline disc protrustion is present. There is moderate narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally. L5-S1: Moderate diffuse disc bulge is present. There is a broad based midline disc protrustion present. Mild anterior indentation of the thecal sac is seen. On the parasagittal images, there is moderate narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally.

PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT THIS ALL MEANS! My doctor responds to my questions with... it's a few bulging discs, other than that, you're fine. Sure seems like an awful lot of stuff to me, but I am no MD! And if it is just a few bulging discs, shouldn't rest, PT, and meds help with the pain? It hasn't thus far. The DRs just keep pushing me off to a "pain management" center. I want to know what is wrong with me so I can actually seek treatment... not "pain management". Thanks for your time!
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