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What does "minimal disc space narrowing at L2-L3, L4-L5, and L5-S1" indicate?

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Posted on Sat, 21 Jun 2014
Question: MRI Lumbar spine w/out contrast
History; 37 year old male with low back pain and sensations down to the insides of his knees. I'm also having a lot of pelvic floor pain and spasms. Bladder urgency pain and increased frequency no infection present. Rhomboid Muscle spasms constantly and spasms from rhomboids down to pelvic floor frequently. Inner thigh muscle spasms increased intensity and frequency at night.
Findings
The lumbar spine is in a atomic alignment. There is no spondylolisthesis. Vertebral body heights are maintained. Degenerative spurs are noted. There is minimal disc space narrowing at L2-L3, L4-L5, and L5-S1 with disc desiccation at these levels. There is a hemangioma or fatty rest at L1. Conus medulla dis demonstrates normal signal intensity.

L2-L3 Minimal spondylosis without spinal stenosis or neural foramina narrowing.
L3-L4 no significant finding

L4-L5 Posterior element hypertrophic changes with a left Paracentral small annular fissure and minimal diffuse spondylosis there is no neural foramina narrowing or spinal stenosis
L5-S-1 posterior element hypertrophic changes with central to right posterolateral spondylosis the right neural foramen is patent there is left to left posterolateral disc protrusion contacting the left L5 nerve. There is no spinal stenosis.
MRI impression
1. L5 S1 left to left posterolateral disc protrusion contacting the left L5 nerve. Please correlate for corresponding radiculopathy.
2. L4 L5 left Paracentral small annular Fissure.
3. degenerative disc and joint disease as discussed

What does all of this mean the doctor that ordered the MRI told me their is nothing wrong with my back it's just normal aging process. I'm 37 years old with moderate to severe back pain. Some days are not bad, some days I can't take the pain even with pain killers.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Yes. Minor changes in spine.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
I have read your MRI report. The findings are suggestive of a minimal age related degenerative changes of the spine. There is no nerve root compression. The minor annular fissure and disc protrusion are not worrisome.
The pain in the back that you are having is more likely to be due to muscle spasms. For this condition you have to do stretching & strengthening exercises in which you have to stretch tight muscle & strengthen weakened ones which will alleviate stress on the disc.
- Maintain optimum body weight,if you are obese
- Avoid lifting heavy weights as it imparts more strain on your back
- Change your daily activities so that you avoid movements that can cause further pain, especially bending forward and lifting as it will worsen the disc protrusion. if you want to bend forwards, do it with your hips and knees flexed.
- Use a lumbosacral back support to stabilize your spinal muscles
- Intermittent pelvic traction might be helpful to cause a regression of the protruded disc
- After the initial pain has subsided, remedial exercises to strengthen the spine are very important to restore normal spinal movements and muscle strength. The main aim of exercise is to encourage mobility, reduce muscle spasm, prevent further deterioration in the muscles and speed recovery.
- Use analgesics like advil or aleve and muscle relaxants to relieve pain and muscle spasm, as needed. You can get these prescribed from your orthopedician. Vitamin B12 supplements & Pregabalin may be helpful in controlling the neuropathic pain.
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.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12157 Questions

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What does "minimal disc space narrowing at L2-L3, L4-L5, and L5-S1" indicate?

Brief Answer: Yes. Minor changes in spine. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. I have read your MRI report. The findings are suggestive of a minimal age related degenerative changes of the spine. There is no nerve root compression. The minor annular fissure and disc protrusion are not worrisome. The pain in the back that you are having is more likely to be due to muscle spasms. For this condition you have to do stretching & strengthening exercises in which you have to stretch tight muscle & strengthen weakened ones which will alleviate stress on the disc. - Maintain optimum body weight,if you are obese - Avoid lifting heavy weights as it imparts more strain on your back - Change your daily activities so that you avoid movements that can cause further pain, especially bending forward and lifting as it will worsen the disc protrusion. if you want to bend forwards, do it with your hips and knees flexed. - Use a lumbosacral back support to stabilize your spinal muscles - Intermittent pelvic traction might be helpful to cause a regression of the protruded disc - After the initial pain has subsided, remedial exercises to strengthen the spine are very important to restore normal spinal movements and muscle strength. The main aim of exercise is to encourage mobility, reduce muscle spasm, prevent further deterioration in the muscles and speed recovery. - Use analgesics like advil or aleve and muscle relaxants to relieve pain and muscle spasm, as needed. You can get these prescribed from your orthopedician. Vitamin B12 supplements & Pregabalin may be helpful in controlling the neuropathic pain. 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. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal