I just returned from the doctors and got my MRI report that was done last week. I was glad I pushed him for an MRI instead of just an EMG. My doctor has referred me to a neurosurgeon in Hershey PA, as he said that he would not be able to handle my care . Here is what my report said:
Impression:1. Central to right herniated disc at L4-5 causing obvious right anterior compression of the thecal sac with compression of several intrathecal nerve roots.
2. Central herniated disc at L5-s1 causing obvious anterior compression of the thecal sac. This causes less compression of the intrathecal nerve roots due to the more patulous nature of the spinal canal at this level.
3. Central to left sided focal disc bulge at L2-3 causing compression of the left thecal sac and approaching but not compression the traversing nerve root at this level on the left.
Degenerative disc disease is present at L2-3, L4-5 and L5-s1. There is a focal central to left sided disc bulge at L2-3 which compresses the left anterior thecal sac and comes in close approximation to the left sided nerve root, traversing the disc at this level. No spinal or neural foraminal stenosis is seen at L 2-3.
The intervertebral disc at L 3-4 is normal.
At L4-5 there is a central to right sided disc herniation which causes obvious right anterior compression of the thecal sac without cuasing frank spinal or neural foraminal stenosis. The herniated disc probably cuases compression of several intrathecal nerve roots.
At L5-s1 there is a larger central disc herniation. It also causes compression of the thecal sac anteriorly, but to a somewhat lesser degree than L 4-5 due to the more patulous nature of the spinal canal at this level. No spinal or neural foraminal stenosis is present at this time.
What is my prognosis? WHat treatments could be offered? WIll I get worse? I am 30 years old..what lifestyle changes should I make? Is there danger in having nerves compressed? Thanks
Studies have been done on the general population showing that about 30% of
patients have bulging discs at one level or other. The most salient issue
is whether the levels involved are symptomatic, and to what degree. Symptoms
from disc herniation are typically shooting leg pain, numbness and weakness
in the distribution of the compressed nerve. Most disc herniations can be
treated conservatively as the body will absorb the water, which comprises a
large part of disc material. The disc shrinks and pressure is relieved from
the nerve root. If a patient does not improve, surgery may be considered.
Speak to your physician as to whether he thinks your discs are causing your
present problems. If the symptoms do not correlate with the location that a
disc is protruding, then surgery will not be of any use. Do know that you
are young and that degenerative changes in the spine are quite common over a
lifetime and you have a reasonable chance of progressing with the changes
already seen on MRI.
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