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Done CT for back pain, result showed posterior disc bulge distorting theca. Could you help me understand the results?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 7 Questions
I have had a CT Lumbar spine scan done after 1 year of back pain whilst recovering from gluteal median tendonopathy cause from running. Otherwise healthy. Could you help me understand the results.

L3/4: Normal appearances
L4/5L There is a shallow posterior disc bulge but no focal disc protrusion. No distortion of the theca or compromise of the nerve roots. The facet joints are preserved. No bony compromise of the exit foramina.
L5/S1: There is 5mm of posterior disc bulge, slightly distrorting the theca but not definitely compromising the nerve roots. The facet joints are reasonably well preserved. No bony compromise of the exit foramina.
Comment: 5mm posterior disc bulge at L5/S1 slightly distorting the theca but not compromising the nerve roots.

Also what exercises can I do which will help me recover?
Posted Tue, 10 Jul 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Akhilesh Yadav 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I have gone through your CT scan report. It shows that there is no compression of nerve at any level mentioned in the report. Even though the disc is slightly bulging, it is only impinging on the theca, a layer which covers the spinal cord.

The disc bulge of 5 mm at L5/S1 may be a cause of back pain (if you do have the symptoms).

As you asked for the exercises, you can do 2 kinds of exercises-

1. Spinal extension exercises for your back ( which will prevent any back pain in future)

2. Abductor strengthening exercises for hip

For both the exercises, you can visit a physiotherapist.

In case of any other query please do not hesitate to ask.

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