In laymans term what does the folowing impression from an mri : Dessicated disks, L4-L5 and L5-S1, Abnormal soft tissue behind L4 vertebra on the right side may represent sequestered disk fragment (superior migration of the disk from L4-L5), Posterior disk bulge with annular tear, L5-S1, Mild Spondylolisthesis, L4 over L5. With the above impression, does it require surgery?
dessicated disks = discs are losing the 'jelly' inside of them. If you are a smoker stop ASAP and change your diet so that you have a lot of fruits/vegetables/ and water for they are, in lamens terms, dehydrated and they will not get better on their own. If you are overweight this is the first battle in front of you and the most important.
Posterior disc bulge means that your disc which holds 80% of your bodie's weight (L5/S1) has a tear on its side which may or may not be healed and the bulge is pressing into your spinal cord but it truly depends on the size and area of your bulge...this could also be a very large herniation.
Mild Spondylosisthesis means that your vertebrae (it would be better if the radiologist gave a grade instead of 'mild') has slid over the other (an upside down step); the mild probably means that it is less than 25%. I would think that this means that you need a fusion but before you do any operations make sure that you get a second opinion [not including mine for I am not a doctor]. Just because he/she is a doctor doesn't mean that they finished at the top of their class!
Either way, life as you have known it must change but not drastically...just take it easy, educate yourself (get your images and study them on a computer), and get healthy without any heavy lifting; weights and running are not the answer but swimming is for you are not putting stress on your biomechanics.
Yeh, I don't know too much about the brace but from what I do know is that when your body uses a brace the muscles, over time, become accustomed to having a tool doing the job in which they are for. The problem with this is that they will begin to lose their value and you will have to wear the brace full-time with the same issues which you have now.
I do not have spondylothethisis (sp) and unfortunately I was misdiagnosed by an idiot doctor after my accident. By the time I convinced Worksafe (I'm Canadian) to give me a CT scan 2 weeks later my broken bones had already begun the healing process and it was too late to do anything about it.
Of course, Worksafe doctors had attempted to hide this from me including making all of my original imaging "dissapear" and any imaging I have received in the last 2 years has either dissapeared or been edited so as not to show my breaks. I have had to go to private medical and I have a lawyer who is rubbing his hands together in glee...this still does not change the fact that I am pretty disabled and the future is not looking too bright. So, that is why I know so much about the back; doctors were lying and I had to educate myself to figure out what the %#** was going on. Good 'ol insurance companies!
With spondylothethisis I have learned that you can lead a normal life [don't ever help your buddy with just one heavy lift for you only get one back!] but you must have a therapist who is experienced/trained in this injury. Also, it is a good idea to get regular imaging every couple of years so that you can have a solid idea of what is going on inside of you. Some doctors will say 'oh, a fusion, no problem for I have done a hundred!' but the truth of the matter is that it is a very serious operation and there are many instances where patients have come out paralyzed or worse. You are being cut open and someone is screwing with your spine so be aware and do your best to stay away from the operating table for you only get one chance at a fusion...but at least the option is there if your L5 continues to slip.
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