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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I am having lower back pain that is worse when I walk. The pain goes down my buttocks into my thighs and I feel like my hamstrings are really tight. My right foot will also occasionally go numb. The pain is relieved while sitting or laying down.

Below is my MRI results and I was told that I need surgery. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon in my area that I have heard only bad things about him; my appointment with him is in 2 weeks. I live where my options are scant but there are several possible good options 85 miles from where I live and are covered by my insurance. I have scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon that I have read very good things about him but that appointment is 2 months from now. I am also going to try and schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon that I have heard really good things about him and was given a phone number that should get me scheduled to see him faster than usual.

After looking at my MRI results, should I be concerned about waiting several months?

1. Multilevel degenerative disc disease and facet arthropathy as
detailed above most prominent at L3-4 and L4-5 with severe
spinal canal stenosis and redundancy of the cauda equina nerve
roots. Moderate to severe bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing at
L2-3 through L4-5.
2. STIR signal hyperintense signal involving the bilateral
pedicles at L4 and L5 indicating stress response.
3. Fluid within the bilateral L4-5 facet joints with grade 1
anterolisthesis of L4 on 5 which is more pronounced on the
previous radiographs but suggestive of abnormal motion at this
4. Small synovial cyst projecting posteriorly from the facet on
the left at L4-5.

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