I recently had an MRI of my knee and lower back.. However I don't know what the diagnosis means. If any one can answer it would be greatly appreciated.. My knee diagnosis is"there is a deep fissuring in the central patellar cartilage that is full thickness.. There is underlying reactive change in the patella..." My back diagnosis is "at L5 S1 there is a mild diffuse disc buldge without central or forminal stenosis.. Thanks in advance
Simply, the lower back result means you have a bulging disc where your spine meets your pelvis that may be pressing on your spinal space (thecal sac). The disc does intrude on the thecal sac, nor does it push on the nerve roots, both of which is good news. However, any disc bulge can be painful because of micro-cracks in the annulus of the disc. Only a discogram can determine if this is the source of your pain, however, treatment (called IDET) is hard to find, and still considered experimental.
Surgery should never be used to control pain in the lower back, as it usually exacerbates the problem due to scar tissue.
The knee shows a tear in an important cartilage (meniscus) that separates the two large bones of the leg. If the meniscus is shredding, an orthopaedic surgeon can fix the problem, however, your options may be limited with a simple tear -- I don't know. I'm not an orthopaedist.
NSAIDs generally work well for the pain of meniscal tears. Physical therapy may also be a first line of treatment.
All that I've said about your condition is speculative. Ask your doctor for information on diagnoses and treatment options.
Really, I have no idea which medical issue is more severe. MRI reports are a useful tool in diagnosis, but a proper diagnosis includes a full medical history, physical exam, and perhaps other diagnostic tests.
Good luck to you. Keep asking questions of your providers and when they give a diagnosis, look it up. The more you know about your condition and possible treatment options, the better you'll be treated.
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