I have a "moderately large" central disc herniation at L5-S1 and had a CAT Scan and MRI with similar but slightly different reports, just diagnosed about a month ago, subsequent to a bicycle-meets-pothole accident 8 months ago where I fractured/shattered my Pelvis (but didn't need surgery for the pelvis fracture)
I was sent to a NeuroSurgeon out of town (since the local one was too backed up to get an appointment) last week who offered to do the MicroDiscectomy surgery on me and told me to come back when I decide that I want the surgery, and no ttme to ask questions about my condition. I really dont want surgery. Now I am waiting to get an appointment with a Neurologist, so I'm trying to find out as much as I can in the meantime. My primary care doctor still wanted me to go to the local NeuroSurgeon for a second opinion and further guidance on treatment, but I was told that they dont do "second opinions", so now I'm stuck going out of town if I ever need to see a NeuroSurgeon for this problem. (huh?, doesnt seem fair!) but oh well, I can go to Boston if I really need a NeuroSurgeon, which is probably better if it really does come to me REALLY needing (or choosing) to get spinal surgery.
I have a referral for Physical Therapy from my primary care doctor, but noone wants to touch me without a written "treatment plan" once I tell them what my diagnosis is (which is just based on the MRI-report so far). I live in a small city with a shortage of doctors and therapists from what I can tell, (but it's only three hours from Boston) so it's taking forever to get appointments and get the process started.
I put a few of my MRI images in my profile, and if someone wants to see them all, just email and I will give you the link to my album on Photobucket.
My MRI report said this -----
Alignment is normal. Vertebral body height is maintained. Decrease
disc space height is seen at L5-S1.
There is a moderate central herniation of the L5-S1 disc lateralizing
slight to the left probably deforming the thecal sac. The foramina
L4-L5, L3-L4 and L2-L3 levels are normal.
A significant moderate central herniation of the L5-S1 disc
lateralizing slightly to the left deforming the thecal sac.
The CAT scan report said this:
CT SCAN OF THE LUMBAR SPINE.
Alignment is normal and height of the vertebral bodies is maintained.
There is narrowing of the disc space at L5-S1.
L1-L2, L2-L3 and L3-L4 are normal.
At L4-L5, there is mild circumferential broad-based disc bulging with
slight flattening of the ventral aspect of the thecal sac but no
significant focal deviation or spinal stenosis.
At the L5-S1 level, there is a moderately large left paramedian disc
herniation. This results in significant deformity of the thecal sac
and the left S1 nerve root.
Mild facet degenerative changes are present and there is a minimal
scoliosis with convexity to the right at the thoracolumbar junction.
Moderately large left paramedian disc herniation at L5-S1.
I would appreciate any and all help interpreting the images, since the MRI and CAT Scan reports really didnt get into much detail that I often see on other readings/reports... and advice about therapies for treating my kind of disc herniation. I am a 50 year old mother of seven with mild osteoporosis, and still recovering from a Pelvic Fracture as well as dealing with these herniated and bulging discs. LOW BACK PAIN is my biggest problem.
Thanks for being here!