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Suffering from lower back pain and weakness in legs. MRI done. What does the reports says?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5930 Questions

I had an MRI for lower back pain and bilateral leg pain Tingling, shocking, tender areas of pain, and weakness in both legs. Had bilatteral knee replacement in 2009 and pain seems to radiate down the legs to below the knees with particular pain in the knees. Losing use of right leg. MRI showed Desiccation of multiple lumbar disks with facet hypertrophy and neural foraminal encroachment. L1-2 - L5-S1 indicate bulging disks with hypertrophy of the facet, and L2-L has prominance of ligamentum flavum narrow the lateral recesses. Central canal is adequate is all cases. Please help me to understand this report. I can give more info if you can't read between the lines. Thank you for your help.


Posted Sun, 2 Dec 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

I have gone through your MRI report thoroughly. According to that and your symptoms are correlated. You have degenerative disc disease with facet joint arthropathy resulting in lateral recess or foraminal stenosis(Type of degenerative spinal stenosis).

However you had not posted the questions you wanted to ask me. Anything specific?

To understand the condition better I would like you to tell some facts about this-

Acquired forms of spinal stenosis usually are degenerative . This process is most commonly localized to the facet joints and ligamentum flavum, with the resultant arthritic changes in the joints visible. Frequently, these abnormalities are symmetrical bilaterally. The combination of degenerative change, aging, and spondylolysis in patients 50 years old or older frequently results in lateral recess or foraminal stenosis.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if you have any more concerns.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from lower back pain and weakness in legs. MRI done. What does the reports says? 16 hours later
As you can tell I am having trouble understanding the MRI results. The Impressions note Neural foraminal encroachment. Does this indicate that foraminal stenosis is present? I would love to send you a copy of the results but can't upload the information. Also, are lateral recess and foraminal stenosis the same?

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query again.

Foraminal encroachment means that degeneration in the spinal column has caused an obstruction of the foramina resulting in stenosis of foramina. Therefore, it indicates that foraminal stenosis is present.

Lateral recess and foraminal stenosis are not the same but are anatomic names attached to stenosis (narrowing) depending on the exact location of compression.

Compression in the lateral recess (where the nerve begins to start the pathway to exit the spinal canal) is called lateral recess stenosis.

Compressioin in the foramen (nerve window and is a bony tunnel) is called foraminal stenosis and will affect the exiting spinal nerve.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if you have any more concerns.

If you have no more questions, please close this discussion, rate the answer and give your review.

Wishing you good health....
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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