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Lumbar Spine Problems: L1/2,L3/4,L4/5,L5/S1 Degnerative Disc Disease

About ten years ago, I had two operations to relieve nerve pressure on my nerve to my right leg, about two years apart.  However, now ten years post op, a recent MRI revealed the following:

1. Total loss of intervertebral disc space at L4/5/S1 consistent with advanced degenerative disease. Loss of T2 signal consistent with disc desiccatiion is seen elsewhere. Conus is at T12/L1.

2. L1/2. Mild posterior disc bulge. No central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.

3. L2/3 Mild posterior disc bulge and moderate bilateral facet joint osteoarthritis. These result in mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis and mild central canal stenosis.

4. L3/4 Mild posterior disc bulge and mild bilateral faced osteoarthrities. These reult in mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis and moderate central canal stenosis.

5. L4/5 Post surgical changes of right hemilamectomy are noted. There is a large posterior disc osteophyte complex which extends into the right neural foramen. Also moderate bilateral facet osteoarthritis. The above result in severe right neural foraminal stenosis and moderate central canal stenosis.

6. L5/S Postsurgical changes of right hemilaminectomy are noted. A posterior disc osteophyte comlex extends into both neural foramina. There is also moderate bilateral facet osteoarthritis. The above results in moderate bilateral neural framinal stenosis, but no central canal stenosis.

Opinion: Diffuse lumbar degenerative disc disease which is severe at L4/5/S1.Multiple lumbar neural foraminal and central anal stenosis as described above. Old mild compressiion deformity at L1.


I am 65, male. Presently I am encountering low back pain which is relieved when I am sitting. I am unable to stand for longer than a brief short time before my back gets very VERY tired and I must sit down.  Also, I have intermittent pain to the back of my left leg which is transitory.

WHAT CAN I DO?  WHAT IS RECOMMENDED?  Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
MRI suggested of postero-central protrusion of L4-L5 invertebral disc causing compression over ventral aspect of lumbar dural theca and exitin g nerve roots
1326416 tn?1370930601
What did the doctor who ordered the MRI tell you? Regardless of what he/she tells you, it's in your best interest to get a second and sometimes even a third opinion. Consider yourself lucky that it took 10 years for your symptoms to get bad enough to get an MRI. I have had 9 lower back surgeries due to symtoms similar to yours. I know it sounds horrible to say "your lucky" to have ANY kind of pain, but look at the bright side-there's always somebody worse off than you! My guess is that you will need some sort of procedure to alleviate your symtoms. Maybe a laminectomy, fusion, caudal injection, scar-tissue removal, etc. The only way to find out is to go to a couple of specialists. Your primary care doctor should be able to steer you in the right direction. I do know you won't diagnose your problems online.
1326416 tn?1370930601
I just noticed this post is very old!  Why are these old posts showing up on my watchlist?????
Avatar universal
I seem to be experiencing the same pain as shinty, I have tried Chiropractor;s physical therapy and pain management. nothing works not even cordizone shots, 3 weeks ago I started with severe pain in the low back and I have a hard time sitting, standing, sleeping and getting no relief for any of this. I am going to see a surgeon regarding these issues. I work as a Certified Nursing Assistant, please any suggestion would help.
Avatar universal
what should you do if you have severe posterior L3-4 narrowing and osteophytes?
7721494 tn?1431631564
You should

1) continue with your consultations with the doctor who ordered the MRI

2) learn what these terms mean. Visualize the lower spine, including the cord, and the bony structures that support it. There are plenty of examples on sites like spineuniverse.com and spine-health.com.

3) learn what your options are for treatment, as well as the risks and benefits of each.

The word "serious" in your MRI report implies that action is required immediately. Find those physicians who have much experience in treating lumbar spinal stenosis and consult with them. Get a copy of your MRI, both on film and on disc, to bring to your consult. Also bring a copy of the written report for their records. Keep copies of everything.

write down your questions for your doctors and make sure you have answers that you understand after asking. Self-education is a sure way to ensure you will receive the best possible outcome for treatment.

Best wishes
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