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had MRI for lower back pain. Quite worried about MRI report from Radiologist

Hey guys,

I  found this forum after googling heavily in trying to find out where I stand in regards to my lower back. pain.

 Approximately 18 months ago I did a foolish thing at the gym.. I thought I would be OK to attempt to lift 180kgs (Which I use to do quite easily) for a deadlift after taking a 4 month break from the gym... During the lift I heard a small pop like sound. I immediately dropped the weight & suffered in agony with pain on the left lower side of my back.  That night I had the worst sleep ever. The following morning I took some over the counter Anti inflammatory medicine..  Roughly 10 hours later the pain was gone except for when I bent over suddenly...  From that point on wards I always had a sensitive back.  Everytime I went to the gym I would have a painfull back the following day.  I went to a Chiropractor & they undertook an xray.. They said they noted some wear & tear on the lower lumber (This was about 1 year ago).. They said it wasn't anything to worry about & wasn't lilkely attributing to my back problems.  The chiropractor while helpfull, it didn't fix the issue.. So recently I decided to see a specialist.. The specialist requested an MRI which I have had done & have the results. Now I have to wait 1 month to find out what the results actually mean.. But from reading them I am very worried with what the results mean.

Patient AGE: 36

Multiplanar MRI  performed from the lower thoracic spine to the lower sacrum  including sagittal STIR images.

No bony abnormality detected apart from minor vertebral end-plate irregularities at multiple levels. Low grade bone marrow oedema is noted at L5/S1 adjacent to the vertebral end-plates, particularly in Si on the right.  There are no pars interarticularis defects or bone marrow oedema in relation to the pars.
At L5/S1 there is a diffuse disc bulge and a small left paracentral disc protrusion displacing the left S1 nerve root.
The remaining discs are intact. The central canal and neural foramina are capacious. No abnormality noted in the conus or cauda equina .  Normal findings noted in the sacrum and sacro-iliac joint.  No retroperitoneal or epidural abnormality detected.

L5/S1 disc bulge and small paracentral protrusion displacing the left S1 nerve. Evidence of chronic disc and vertebral end-plate degenerative changes at  L5/SI.

I highlighted in bold is what Im very worried about. :-(.  Is it normal for someone 36 years of age to have Evidence of chronic disc and vertebral end-plate degenerative changes at  L5/SI??  If its chronic it must have been happening for a long period of time.  I know any feedback is just other peoples opinions & I will take it as that.. But at least others may have more Idea than I on what this all means whilst I have a gruelling wait of 5 weeks to see the specialist again.




  • members aren't allowed to comment on mri results, but i will say that if you're worried there are a few places on here you can read some useful information. it sounds like what you're worried about it degenerative disc disease which is a lot more normal than it sounds - from the reading i have done, nearly everyone over the age of 30 will show disc degeneration. i think every case is different and can obviously differ in levels of severity but i don't think it's something worth panicking yourself about until you are able to discuss in more detail with your doctor. 

    check out some of the stuff here for more information: 

    hope that helps?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,241
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • wittynamewwittyname Posts: 42
    edited 03/14/2016 - 11:23 PM
    Tips re MRI - you can search the wording contained in the report on google and find out quite a bit. However word of caution, MRI's are not well interpreted by lay people or necessarily well written by those who write the report. I researched the wording on an MRI report for my shoulder and found out lots about what they wrote. However when I went to see the surgeon it turned out the assessment in the MRI  report was totally wrong and only the surgeon who knows much better could properly advise what the issue was and it was something totally different than what was contained in the report. So best ask your specialist. 
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