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Had MRI scan done showing post-surgical changes and disc disease. What do they mean?

i had recently got a n MRI and my doctor didn t really explain anything to me it says L5- S1 postoperative changes related to fusion, laminectomy and discectomy are noted. Magnetic susceptibility artifacts from the fusion hardware limit detailed evaluation in this region. No significant ccentral canal stenosis is seen. There is slight Grade I L5-S1 anterolisthesis. Mild bilateral L5-S1 neural foraminal narrowing cannot be excluded. Enhancing epidural fibrosis is present. L4-L5 disc bulge and facet hypertrophy are noted with mild canal narrowing. There is suggestion of moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing; however, artifacts related to the adjacent fusion hardware limit evaluation. The appearence is not significantly changed compared to the prior MRI. Impression: postsurgical changes, degenerative changes and disc disease. i had a spinal fusion of my L5-S1 in 2009 but what does this all mean. is there something wrong with my back again
Asked On : Mon, 18 Feb 2013
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Radiologist 's  Response
Welcome to HCM, and be assured that you've come to the right place to alleviate your worries.

"Is there something wrong with back again?" -- I don't think so, not AGAIN.
The line "appearence is not significantly changed compared to the prior MRI" sums up much of the story and is reason for relief.

At the same time, your spine is not "normal". In addition to wear & tear and aging, your spine had to bear the brunt of an operation. 'Epidural fibrosis', 'grade I anterolisthesis' etc point towards that 'brunt'. Above all, you have nails and screws holding your spine in place. So you'd have to go on adhering to the precautions and exercises your surgeon / physiotherapist may have advised you.

Other than that, the "L4-L5 disc bulge and facet hypertrophy" and "suggestion of moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing (at L4-L5)" are things that may need to be watched. However, the fact that "appearence is not significantly changed compared to the prior MRI" means that there isn't a lot to worry about L4-L5.

To sum up, unless your previous symptoms (pain, numbness, weakness, etc) recur, all you have to do is follow the precautions and exercises you've been advised. No worries. No anxieties.

Wish you all the best.
Answered: Thu, 21 Feb 2013
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