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I can "translate" some terminology for you but cannot say what these changes mean - it's not that helpful, really, but I feel for you and hope this helps you to cope with your situation (by the way, ask your doctor or a surgeon to go through this report with you line by line and write down what they say).

You have this at two levels of the spine, without any stenosis of any kind (for explanation of stenosis - see above).

Sacral = pelvis. Your pelvis is fine, according to the report.
The disc pathologies visualised are causing no stenosis. This is good. (Never mind asking for protrusion size estimate, then. They probably can't measure off of the MRI since there is not enough to stenose anything).

This reading is good. But you have degeneration which requires constant care on your part so it doesn't worsen too quickly or catastrophically. That means PT, it means core strengthening exercises (NO SIT UPS. Not the kind of core strengthening we popularly think of in our culture - by "core" I mean, the deepest abdominal muscles, the paraspinal muscles, the pelvic muscles, etc. - seek a very good PT - and by PT I mean someone who has more than a 4 year college degree, and not a "sports therapist." You want someone who really grasps the spine and knows how to strengthen without hurting discs or soft tissue.

Avoid long periods of sitting.

That tear, if real, poses a risk for big problems down the road. Sitting is really bad for annular tears, so get up and stretch every once in a while.

For disc decompression, I was prescribed PT in a swimming pool, and would hang in the pool - with a "noodle float" under the arms - deep enough so I wouldn't touch the bottom of the pool - for at least 20 minutes at a time three times a week. It worked wonders. (That was while I still had a disc there). You can discuss these things with a PT. But to be effective, disc decompression treatment must be for at least 20 minutes (I don't know why, but I have read this and been told this by PTs, surgeons, etc). So. . . hope this helps!



Osseous degenerative changes present at the L4/5 and Posterior inferior L1 levels.
Osseous = bone. Posterior = Rear; inferior = below
Basically, this refers to the facet joint at the L4-L5 level and the rear lower facet at L1.
(The facet joints are at the rear of the spine - at each level of the spine two emerge from the top of any given level, and two from the bottom - these "meet up" - in sort of a "functional" handshake. My understanding is that the function of facet joints is to stabilize the spine. From reading spine studies, I learned that when discs degenerate (meaning, get small), so do the facets - only they may enlarge in the degenerative process - to compensate for the fact that the disc is not absorbing as much pressure anymore. In any event, your MRI report would seem to indicate that you have enlarged facets. There is a finding of no stenosis at L4-L5. This means there is no narrowing of the "free spaces" for nerves to pass through. There are two types of stenosis, as far as I know: central canal stenosis and transforaminal stenosis. Central canal stenosis means there is a degeneration of structures that shrinks the available space for the spinal cord. Transforaminal stenosis (there are other names for this) refers to narrowing of the space through which the spinal nerves pass, and is affected by the placement of the facets. Therefore, this report suggests that there is NO narrowing of the spaces the nerves need to pass through, but I would confirm this with a surgeon or some other expert, to confirm this finding (always good to be certain of things).

A hemangioma is a vascular growth of some kind. I have no idea what a "vertebral" hemangioma is, other than it sounds like this is found in the bone on which the disc sits (the "pad"). I would ask the prescribing doctor about this one.

DISC FINDINGS:
Dessication means "drying out" - A "healthy" disc is like a pad of jello on the inside with really strong fibers surrounding the jello. It's the spine's shock absorber, amongst other things. (It also participates in communication with surrounding muscles, as I read in a really interesting study - can't recall the name at the moment) anyway, A degenerated disc has lost its "form" - it tends to flatten out a bit like a pancake. The more degenerated, the flatter. Degeneration brings more degenerative changes and the disc can start to become brittle or dry. (In my case, it was found in dried tiny, ground-down pieces - pretty much non-existent). So, your discs are "dried out" or "drying out." This merely means "degeneration," but how extensive, I don't know. Again, it is a question to ask.This degeneration is present at L1-L2 (disc in the topmost spinal unit in the lumbar spine), L4-L5 and L5-S1 (the disc at the lowest spinal unit in the lumbar spine). Because L5-S1 is the part of the spine that bears the most weight, and L4-L5 is the most important for weight-bearing while in motion, I recommend asking the expert who ordered the MRI for advice. In the studies I read about disc pressure and motion, twisting and rotation movements seem to be "bad" for L4-L5 ESPECIALLY when weight is applied. So, I would avoid twisting. NO BENDING FROM THE WAIST DOWN - squat instead, and bend the knees, keeping the back nice and straight (any PT or chiropractor will tell you this)! Save L5-S1 and L4-L5!!! Also, try not to hold your hands over your head for too long - ie: painting ceilings. Not great for pressure on the lumbar spine - again, according to studies that I read.

Anyway. . .at L3-L4, there is a "left paracentral disc Protrusion" with central annular disc tear. I don't know how they saw this annular disc tear, unless it's on the outermost margin of the disc (from studies I read, and from personal experience talking to orthopedic spine surgeons, my understanding always was that in order to really "see" a disc tear within the disc, a discogram is needed. Therefore, this tear sounds like it is on the "outer rim" of the disc itself. This sounds like the kind of herniation where the disc has an outer tear, and the disc material may have oozed out, or it could mean that there is a tear, which has healed over - so it's not an ooze of disc material, so much as that the disc is being squashed beyond the margins of the pad. Also, I am unfamiliar with "protrusion" - ask whether the disc is forwardly protruding or posteriorly (backwards) protruding. (Discs almost never forwardly protrude, but it has happened in human history, so. . .) It is worth a conversation with the person ordering the MRI, or the neuroradiologist who read it, just to get clarification. Again, i would ask how they determined that there IS a disc tear (did it look white? was there extra intensity on the image?) and also, how BIG is the protrusion? Can they measure it in millimeters? (Mine was an extrusion - huge - which measured 10x10x15 mm. Believe me, you never want what I had!) Also,





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