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Low back pain. MRI shows minimal bulging with disc herniation causing narrowing of lateral recess. Suggestions?

My 17 y/o son plays basketball, had no real injury just weeks of aggressive play. Has low back pain radiating into left hip. Here is his MRI results: L1-2 minimal posterior annular bulging asymmetric to the left, there is no central canal narrowing or neural foraminal narrowing. L4-5 there is a disc bulge asymmetric to the left with a superimposed small to moderate broad-based left subarticular protrusion type disc hernaition. There is mild facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy . These factors combine to cause moderate narrowing of the left lateral recess , and likely impingement of the traversing left L5 nerve root . There is no right lateral recess narrowing. There is no neural foraminal narrowing. L5-S1 there is a disc bulge asymmetric to the left. There is mild narrowing of the left lateral recess but otherwise no central canal narrowing. There is mild left sided neural foraminal narrowing He is to start physical therapy in a few days. My question is - could he have sustained all of this through basketball?
Asked On : Mon, 3 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  159
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Neurologist 's  Response
At 17 yrs of age he is too young to have developed so many disc bulges. The symptom also suggests the compression of the nerve root due to these bulges. Usually such changes are seen in elderly. In your son these are probably related to basketball playing and associated exercises. He may be an individual who is predisposed to this and aggressive playing has precipitated it. The predisposing factors could be in the form of abnormality of collagen formation (there are diseases in which collagen protein s not formed normally and it can lead to musculoskeletal problems). He needs to undergo evaluation for that.
Good luck.
Answered: Wed, 5 Dec 2012
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