ZocdocAnswersWhat does my MRI report mean?

Question

What does my MRI report mean?

"At L5-S1 there is a central extruded herniated disc protruding 6-7mm measuring 12-14mm across its base. It elevates the epidural fat and impinges upon the thecal sac and touches the S1 root."

Answer

Most likely you had this MRI of your spine done in order to investigate why you might be having back pain or related symptoms. Essentially what this report says is that one of the discs that pads the spaces between the vertebra in the spinal column has herniated out if the space between the discs and is potentially pressing into the area of one of the nerve roots. This finding on the MRI could be the cause of the symptoms you are having, but this definitely requires review by your primary care doctor, spine doctor, or whichever doctor ordered this test. This is because findings on a spine MRI need to be carefully correlated with the exact symptoms you are experiencing in order to determine whether the two are related. Also, your doctor will be able to help you figure out what to do next. This will depend a lot on the severity of your symptoms and how recently they have started. Some disc herniations will spontaneously improve, and only require anti inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Other disc herniations are very severe and require back surgery. The doctors who know your case the best will be able to give you appropriate advice!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.