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lumbar injury

I am a 42 yr. Oilfield female who sustained a lumbar strain and have had pain in L buttocks down outside of keg to my knee, sometimes to my ankle, and sometimes down back of thigh. Once in a while I have pain radiating around my left hip, along with lumber pain and stiffness. I cannot bend over at the waist and get back up on my own. I had an MRI with report which says this:
L3-L4: minor dorsal ligament redundancy and facet afthropathy. Normal disc, no central canal or for animal stenosis.
L4-5: minimal disc eradication and disc height loss and disc bulge and sonspondolysis. Left greater than right minimal to mild facet afthropathy. No annular tear or focal disc protrusion. No central canal or for animal stenosis.
L5-S1: mild disc eradication, disc height loss and diffuse disc bulge and sonspondolysis. Slight increase in size of a shallow left parasitism/lateral recess disc protrusion. Mild displacement and mass effect on the transiting left S1 nerve root with left lateral recess narrowing. The central canal and right lateral recess are patent. No significant for animal stenosis.
What exactly does all of this mean? I had the injury in November and had been doing OR with little improvement. Will I ever be able to bend over and get back up without pain?
5 Responses
7721494 tn?1431627964
Two problems,

First, and underlying case of mild to moderate degenerative disc disease. DDD is common in many people, who are usually asymptomatic, until a trauma like yours aggravates the condition.

Second, you have a disc protrusion at the bottom of the spine which is placing pressure on the nerve roots forming the sciatic nerve -- a large nerve that travels through the buttocks down the leg.

Pain from the buttocks through the knee from this kind of low back condition is known as sciatica.

Surgery is an option but can aggravate pain. It is best to leave surgery as a last resort until more conservative means have been exhausted.

I suggest that you consult with an interventional spine and pain physician. This is an MD or DO with the credential DABPM, which means they are board certified in pain management. This practice, and advanced practice of anesthesia, can often deal effectively with spine pain with medication and specific injections.

You can find these docs through referral, or at a local university hospital with a pain clinic.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the help trying to understand my MRI. Is it the protruding disc or the degenerative disc disease that would cause inability to bend forward and not be able to straighten back up, along with the hunched-over stiffness I experience after sitting for more than 15 minutes? I have been doing physical therapy for the past 6 months and still have these symptoms.
7721494 tn?1431627964
Yes, indirectly.

These kinds of disease cause inflammation that is not usually seen on MRI.

Also, the facet arthropathy (osteo-arthritis) is a painful condition and is probably contributing to your difficulty in flexing and extending the spine.

Again, find a DABPM who can evaluate your facet joint disease and probably treat to reduce pain.
Avatar universal
What cause facet afthropathy?
7721494 tn?1431627964
DDD causes facet arthropathy, probably by stretching the joint out of shape, and perhaps because of the same genetic reasons your discs degenerate.

You usually find facet syndrome in moderate - severe cases of DDD, and it causes a great deal of pain discectomy and fusion does not fix.
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