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Interpretation of MRI results


I have been experiencing chronic lower back pain for over a year. I have no idea if the results of my MRI indicate a serious problem with my spine or normal degenerative decline or whether anything in the results explains why I am in such pain. Can someone provide a brief layperson's explanation of what some of these findings are and what they mean in terms of causing pain? Here are the MRI results:

Procedure: Sagittal T1, T2 and fat-suppressed T2 and axial oblique T1 and T2-weighted images of the lumbar spine.

Impression:
1. Neural foraminal stenosis due to diffuse bulge of the annulus fibrosis, bilately, L2 - L3, L3-L4, L4-L5.
2. Bilateral facet arthopathy, L2-S1, most pronounced at the L4-L5 level where small facet joint effusions are also noted.

Findings:
Anatomic alignment of the osseous structures of the lumbar spine is present. There is no evidence of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. There is a dextroscoliosis of the lower thoracic/upper lumbar spine. Accentuation of the normal lumbar lordosis is also noted.

The anterior longitudinal spinal ligament, posterior longitudinal spinal ligament, ligament flavum, interspinous ligaments and supraspinal ligament are intact at all locations.

The marrow signal intensity of the osseous elements of the lumbar spine is within normal limits. There is no evidence of marrow edema or a marrow replacement process within the lumbar spine, visible elements of the lower thoracic spine or the sacrum.

The conus medullaris is normal in position and appearance, its tip lies posterior to the mid L1 vertebral body.

T9-T10: Slightly diminished signal intensity within the nucleus pulposus with no evidence of disc contour. No evidence of neural foraminal or central vertebral canal stenosis.

T10-T11: Diminished signal intensity within the nucleus pulposus with diffuse bulge of the annulus fibrosis but no evidence of neural foraminal or central vertebral canal stenosis.

T11-T12: Diminished signal intensity within the nucleus pulposus with diffuse bulge of the annulus fibrosis but no evidence of neural foraminal or central vertebral canal stenosis.

L1-L2: Normal.

L2-L3: Diminished signal intensity within the nucleus pulposus with diffuse bulge of the annulus fibrosis causing mild bilateral neural foraminal stenosis which is slightly greater on the right than on the left. Exacerbated by retrolisthesis of L2 relative to L3 a distance of 2 mm. No evidence of central vertebral canal stenosis.

L3-L4: Diminished signal intensity within the nucleus pulposus with diffuse bulge of the annulus fibrosis causing mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal stenosis which is slightly greater on the left than on the right. Schmorl's nodes involve adjacent vertebral body endplates. No evidence of central vertebral canal stenosis.

L4-L5: Diminished signal intensity within the nucleus pulposus with diffuse bulge of the annulus fibrosis but no evidence of neural foraminal or central vertebral canal stenosis.

L5-S1: Facet joints exhibit moderate to marked changes of osteoarthritis consisting of thinning of the articluar cartilage with periarticluar sclerosis and marginal osteophyte formation. These changes are most pronounced at the L4-L5 level where small bilateral facet joint effusions are noted, greater on the right than on the left.

No paraspinous abnormalities are noted.





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Comments

  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM
    kroselli

    welcome to the spine-health forums.

    when you joined the forums, you explicitly agreed that you would not ask for any interpretations of test results, especially mri results.

    the main reason that you were asked to agree to that is: there are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
    this includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

    your doctor will need to discuss the results with you.

    we would love to discuss your symptoms and experiences though. so, please take some time to tell us about yourself and your symptoms.

    please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started with the forums: Welcome to Veritas Health Forum

  • krosellikkroselli New OrleansPosts: 2
    I have seen several MRI interpretations on this site so I was not sure why it was acceptable for some but not others.
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  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340
    Kroselli

    We moderators do our best to keep this site safe for all users and enforce the rules that our host, Veritas-Health, has put on these forums. In some cases, we may miss comments that members make, I am very sorry that this has led to confusion for you.
  • Ellen625EEllen625 New Jersey, USPosts: 754
    Hi kroselli
    I can't interpret your results. Has your doctor gone over them with you? My mri used words like "large" herniation and "severe" spinal stenosis. Make sure you fully understand what you are being told. 
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