ZocdocAnswersWhat could be the explanation for this MRI ?

Question

What could be the explanation for this MRI ?

L4-L5:foraminal disc protrusion and endplate spurring causing mild foraminal stenosis.Central canal widely patent.L5-S1:disc desiccation and flattening. Broad-based posterior disc herniation compressing the left S1 nerve root and significantly crowding the right S1 nerve root.Endplate and facet hypertrophy towards the neural foramina causing severe left foraminal stenosis and moderate right foraminal stenosis. Impression: disc herniation at L5-S1and L4-L5. ----Facet arthosis--multifocal central canal and foraminal stenosis.Have already had microsurgery and experiencing more pain before the surgery..thanks in advance.

Answer

That is an excellent question and one that is best answered by your spine surgeon or primary care doctor. Based upon the limited history you have provided, it is difficult to know your age, gender, medical comordbidities, and when the prior surgery was performed and for what level. That being said, there is a risk of reherniation after lumbar microdiscectomy and so it may be possible that you have had a reherniation of the prior level or it could be that you are having a new level of herniated disc that may be causing the leg pain symptoms that you are experiencing. In a lumbar microdiscectomy, the surgeon is only able to remove the disc fragment causing the compression, not plug up the hole from which the disc fragment was extruded. For this reason, it is possible that more disc material may herniate out and cause the pain you are having. When patients experience the same level disc herniation multiple times, the surgeon may elect to fuse that level of the spine to prevent further herniations from occurring. It is important that you discuss any questions related to what level surgery you had and what level symptoms you are having with the surgeon who performed the prior surgery, as he or she knows the anatomy of your spine best.

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

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