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Report says at L5-S1 disc level there is degenerative disc disease. What does it mean?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 189 Questions
At L5-S1 disc level, there is degenerative disc disease. Mild bulging disc is noted. There is spondylolysis involving pars interarticularis of L5 with grade 1 spondylolisthesis. There is approximately 6 mm anteriro subluxation of body L5 in relation to S1. There is foraminal impingement upon L5 nerve roots bilaterally secondary to Spondylolisthesis. There is also mild degenerative dis disease with minimal bulging disc at l4-l5. and at L3-L4 disc level there is mild disc desiccation. What does this mean?
Posted Wed, 13 Feb 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Sathyadharan Panneer 31 minutes later

Thanks for writing in,

Spondylolysis means a defect in vertebra causing instability of your back bones. This leads to slipping of vertebra forwards. This slipping is called as Spondylolisthesis and it has slipped nearly 6mm forwards at L5/S1 level. This slipping has lead to impingement/stenosis of nerve canal on both sides through which the nerves exit your spine. This desiccation are usual changes due to wear and tear related to aging.

Since it is Grade 1 spondylolisthesis, it is advisable to
1. Avoid bending forward
2. Avoid lifting of heavy weights
3. Avoid sitting / leaning forward for prolonged period
4. To use hard bed for rest/sleep
5. Lumbo-sacral belt might be useful

If your problem persists or gets worsened, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor and if needed undergo surgery to fix the slipping vertebra and decompress the impingement over nerves.

Hope i have clarified your doubt.

Get well soon.
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