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MRI showed heterogeneous bone marrow signal with probable fatty-red marrow interphase. Should I be worried?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10353 Questions
My MRI states "Heterogeneous bone marrow signal with probable fatty-red marrow interphase. There is probable 1 cm bright signal right paracentral hemangioma L5 vertebral body.There is grade 1 anterolistheses of L4 over L5 XXXXXXX And it continues on for two pages. Is there anything in what I typed that I should be worried about. My doctors are unavailable this week due to holiday, Thank you
Posted Wed, 25 Jul 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The findings of MRI you have described are not worrisome. Finding of a hemangioma in the vertebral body does not require any treatment if it is not symptomatic.
Rest of the description points towards minor age related degenerative changes.
These changes are not worrisome if there are no symptoms like back pain or nerve compression.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: MRI showed heterogeneous bone marrow signal with probable fatty-red marrow interphase. Should I be worried? 16 hours later
I have been having very much back pain. Had steroid injections in April that really helped, but have now worn off, so pain is back. Should I continue with injections or see a back specialist instead of family doctor?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 5 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
For back pain due to degenerative changes, consulting an orthopedician would be the best option.
The main treatment of such problem is bed rest along with pain killers and muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants can help with your symptoms if used in appropriate dosage in combination with a potent analgesic. You can get these prescribed from your orthopedician.
Local analgesic gels and hot fomentation may provide a short term relief. You can use analgesic gels like Volini gel. Exercise is not advisable in the times of acute pain.
Using an LS contour belt of appropriate size might be helpful in providing support to back muscles.
Physiotherapy also plays a major role in treating such conditions. Epidural steroid injections have been used if oral pain killers are not very effective. Discuss with your orthopedician and an appropriate treatment can be planned depending on the response to medical drugs.

Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
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