ZocdocAnswersCan you please help me understand these test results?

Question

Can you please help me understand these test results?

Conclusion: transitional anatomy. Sacralization of L5. Recommend anatomic correlation of dictation. is to undergo surgery. leftward L4-L5 disc bulge. Left L5 radiculopathy would be expected if clinically significant. Linear abnormality in the left hemisacrum abutting the SI joint. This probably related to the transitional anatomy.Subtle sickle fracture could have this appearance and sacral MRI would be recommended if the patient has low back pain which could be related to the sacrum.

Answer

It sounds like these are the findings from an MRI of your lower back and spine, which I assume that you had done because you were having some back pain. MRIs of the spine are notoriously difficult to interpret, because often findings on the MRI may not correlate very well clinically with the pain you are experiencing. Therefore, it is very important to discuss these results with your primary care doctor or your back doctor, whoever is managing your pain and other symptoms. They are the only ones who know you well enough to say whether or not these findings explain your symptoms. "Transitional anatomy" means that there is partial fusion of the lumbar vertebrae, making them appear more like the sacral (tailbone) vertebrae. This is also what "sacralization of L5" means. This is a common spinal anatomic variant which is found in a small but significant percentage of the population. There is some evidence that people with transitional anatomy may be more predisposed to back pain from nerve pinching, but this is not necessarily the case all the time. You also have a bulging disc at the L4-L5 vertebral level which might explain some pain symptoms, if they localize to this region. Please talk with your doctor to get help interpreting the findings.

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

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