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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to the board.

There is some straightening of your spine. This generally happens as people age and may be due to posture. In more severe cases this can lead to listhesis which is a slipping of one vertebra onto another. This can lead to spine instability and may cause sporadic issues with pressing on nerve roots or the spinal cord. The report indicates you are not suffering from this.

At l2/l3 the tough covering on the disk between the vertebrae is torn and the disk protrudes onto the l2/l3 nerve root.

At l5/s1 the disk protrudes into the space for the right nerve root severely narrowing the space where the nerve root exits. This is on a scale thats generally minimal, mild, moderate, severe so the protrusion is significant. This is known an "neural foraminal narrowing" in the report.

You also generally have "discogenic" changes including "facet arthrosis" and "diffuse disk bulges". This means you have some arthritic changes in the joints between your vertebrae and some of the discs are bulging out. These are common findings as people he older and are generally relatively mild in your case.

The radiologist calls out specifically that the l3 nerve root is being displaced which is likely to cause symptoms such as pain and tingling/numbness in the area served by that route. Similarly at l5/s1 the severe foraminal narrowing may also be causing similar symptoms in the lower back, legs etc.

It sounds like you are taking lots of drugs to address the pain. I hope that you can consult with a spine specialist neuro or orthopedic surgeon. These are Drs that have undergone specialized training in dealing with spine issues. They should be able to help get you on an appropriate treatment plan and hopefully get you on a path to addressing your underlying spine issues.

Good luck and let us know how it goes...
When you speak of spinal decompression, are you referring to those machines chiropractors have that attempt to stretch the spine? In any case, I assume you are referring to a non-surgical decompression...which I doubt will do much for you. Most likely what is causing your pain is the stenosis that is caused by enlarged facet joints and by the disc problems at L2-3, where the disc bulge is pushing out toward the back and is pushing against the L3 spinal nerve root.

The enlarged facet joints are caused by arthritic type changes in the disc and joint, which causes the facets to enlarge. This results in less room for the spinal nerves, and can result in neural compression. Other than surgically trimming down the bony overgrowth, not much can be done other than conservative treatments.

This will not be helpful to you, but on the scale of things, being able to stand or walk for 40 minutes is not bad!

Sometimes an ESI will reduce inflammation enough that the disc material will shrink, and decrease in size enough that the spinal nerve can function normally. Most insurance carriers require that the injections be tried before they will cover the cost of surgery.

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