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Need some deciphering help (L5/S1)

Started by 73800153@facebook on 09/08/2012 4:16pm

Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to the site so I have not gone through many of the posts. Well I guess I will start with what's going on: I am a 31 year and have been active all my life. I was in a low impact rear end car accident about 6 months ago which doesn't seem like a big deal. However it was the second one in 8 months and 3rd in 3 years. I was referred to a pain management specialist by my chiropractor when the manual manipulations were not relieving the pain. Since then I have had some PT, continued chiropractic care, pain injections, and a procedure to deaden the nerves at L5/S1. None of this, combined with narcotics, NSAIDS, rest, TENS treatment, and ice seems to have helped. I now have tingling and pain in/around my left buttocks radiating through my hip, down my hamstring, quad, and calf and into my foot. It hurts to stand but even more to sit. Laying on my sides are the most comfortable although not pain/tingle free. I have already had one consulatation with the surgeon and I am scheduled for a discography/discogram on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and then a follow up with the surgeon a week later.

My MRI results are troubling at least to me from what I have researched. Here's what is says:

L1-2, L2-3, L3-4: everything is normal

L4-5: The height and signal intensity of the disc spaces is preserved. There is minimal annular bulging. The mid-sagittal dimension of the thecal sac measures 16mm at this level. Moderate facet hypertrophy is present. Annular bulging and facet hypertrophy cause mild to moderate foraminal narrowing bilaterally. The perinueral fat planes are preserved.

L5-S1: Pars defects are present bilaterally with 3mm of anterolisthesis of L5 on S1. The height and signal intensity of the disc space are significantly decreased with dorsal endplate hypertrophy anbd annular bulging. Sagittal dimension of the thecal sac measures 13mm at this level. Facet hypertrophy and annular bulging contribute in moderat foraminal stenosis bilaterally.

1. Pars defects at L5 with grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1. No significant spinal canal narrowing is seen. Moderate foraminal narrowing is present bilaterally.
2. Significant facet athropathy/hypertrophy at the L4-5 level with mild to moderate foraminal narrowing.

From what I have researched, it sounds like some type of surgery is in my near future. Some of my results I have been able to decipher and some I have not. I was wondering if anyone has experienced something similar and what your experience was. I'm am trying to research and get all the information I can before I go back to see the surgeon.

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2 Responses


Hi jodi and welcome to the site.my name is Rene u can read my blog its headed ( its been one year since my last blog, IM BACK.)... and im also an orthopedic nurse for 12yrs. I will try to help u as much possible...Picture your spinal chord running through a straw. the space inbetween the straw and your chord, which r toughing your nerves and causing tightening of area. It doesnt show and herniations of discs it sounds all tissue, but u do have a annular tear in one of the discs which causes the fluid to escape the disc which causes issues also, Do your research, they do alot of laser corrction in your situation cause u dont have disc herniations,get atleast 2-3 oppinions, and remember your better surgeons work out of you better hospitals so if u dont hav one, choose a good hospital and find out who are the neuro surgeons that have privalegess in that hospital. Good luck to u, nice meeting you, RENE :) also want to add where it says bulging, those are areas pressing also on nerves causing pain.


Go 2 the resources heading on the front page of the website,I found this MOST helpful with deciphering & actually reading what you are looking at.My case is a lost cause,so much congenital damage,I was completely ignorant 2 the fact it was on my dad's side(DDD+Kyphosis,moderate 2 severe osteoarthritic changes & damage THROUGHOUT the spinal column.At least I am not going under the knife any time soon,maybe if the ticker continues 2 down grade,no worries,I'm a fighter)he told me this just a year ago,so all the sports certainly did not help in my youth,plus 35 years as a carpenter was no help,either.Get as much info as possible be4 they cut you,these surgeries can be life changing,not only in good directions!My positive attitude & spirituality have been my most effective weapons in this battle,Jesus being with me all the way since my major slide in mobility & pain escalation of March/2012.I lost my marriage of 23 years,2,but we are still communicating regularly,I still want 2 come home 2 her,just not done healing yet!I have had 4 specialists & my new GP tell me they are amazed I am still walking,God is in my corner,man,& I still have a mission here!Good Luck!spinelessinalbertaJustKeepSmilin':)JesusSaves! P2