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Suffer from back pain. MRI showing disc desiccation with annular disc bulge and disc protrusion. Need surgery?

Hi, I have been having back pain since 10 days and just know got an MRI the MRI says disc desiccation with an anular disc bulge and a left paracentral disc protrusion with an anular tear minimally displace the left S1 nerve root , create minimal bilateral neural foraminal narrowing and minimal central canal stenosis at L5-S1. I m a software engineer and I can barely walk, sit, stand for long periods of time without being in pain and I have trouble sleeping due to all the pain as well. Would surgery be the best thing to do and will/should I continue to do my job with all this pain?
Asked On : Sat, 27 Apr 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  108
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Neurologist 's  Response
Dear Ms

You have pain because of annular tear in in the cartilage and disc bulge compressing nerve. However, pain by itself may not be indication for surgery . I suggest you for the following:

(a) Have a review by neurologist weather there is any neurological deficit or not

(b) Your doctor may consider pain relieving medicines, rest and physiotherapy (e.g. short wave diathermy etc)

(c) If we fail and your symptoms are still severe, surgery may be considered.

Answered: Sat, 27 Apr 2013
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Radiologist Dr. Vamshi Kotha's  Response

Your pain appears to be quite severe but you MRI report does not indicate very severe disease. There is no obvious compression of your nerve roots. The findings on your MRI scan are all degenerative (related to age and lifestyle).

If you have any symptoms of nerve root compression (tingling or shooting pain along a thigh, weakness of one leg, etc) you may need operative intervention. However, if pain is your only symptom, considering your MRI report, you would likely improve only with medication and back strengthening exercises. You need to meet an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate your back discuss various options.


Answered: Sat, 27 Apr 2013
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