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First here is a little history I am 36 year old female and I had back surgery in 02.  After surgery I have had very few issues, until back in May when I fell off of a 4-5ft fence.  I am an active person I ran a mini - marathon at the beginning of May and had no issues.  However, ever since I fell off the fence I have been having pain in my low back with radiating right leg pain and numbness.  I can trace a line that is numb from the back of my thigh to the top of my calf and on the outer side of my right foot .  I feel that my gait is off and my ankle feels odd.   I have my MRI results and I have no clue what they say.  It is not as painful as 02, but the leg pain and numbness since May is starting to annoy me.  I would like to get back to running and other things.  The Dr cannot give me a definite cause and to me the MRI say no “significant” impingement, so why is the nerve in my leg bothering me?…do I just go back to running and suck it up and go on ..will it go away by itself? As my drill sgt use to say "pain is weakness leaving the body":) but I dont want to make it worse.

Here is the MRI :

Interpretation: No vertebral fractures or destructive bone marrow lesions and no spondylolysis. Straightening of the lumbar lordosis associated with lower lumbar disc degeneration. Consus medullarias terminates at T12-L1 level which is normal. There is normal midline sagittal central spinal canal dimension.

L5-S1:  There is a right hemilaminectomy defect. There is marked desiccation of the disc and moderately sever narrowing of the disc space, 4 mm degenerative retrolisthesis and circumferential bulging disc and spondylotic spur complex.  The central spinal canal is mildly narrowed.  There is no definitive impingement of descending S1 nerve roots.  Both foramina are mildly to moderately narrowed, without significant L5 ganglion impingement.

L4-L5:  Moderated disc dehydration, minimal narrowing of disc space, 2 mm retrolisthesis and circumferential bulging disc annulus with posterior central annular fissure.  Mild indentation of the ventral  margin of the the cal sac without impingement of descending L5 nerve roots.  There is no significant froaminal stenosis. Facet joint morphology is unremarkable.

L3-L4: Normal disc hydration and morphology.

L2-3:  Minimal narrowing of posterior disc space. Mild decrease of central disc signal intensity. No sidnificant disc contour abnormality. There is a Schmori’s node of the inferior endplate of L2.

L1-2 & T12-L1: Normal disc hydration and morphology.


1.       At L5-S1, there has been right hemilaminectomy. There is marked disc degeneration with circumferential bulge and spondylotic spur.  There is mild to moderate bilateral foraminal narrowing without significant impingement of L5 ganglia. There is mild central canal narrowing without significant impingement of descending S1 nerve roots.

2.       At L4-5, there is disc degeneration, 2 mm retrolisthesis and circumferential bulging disc annulus, without significant central stenosis or neural impingement.

3.       Subtle dehydration of L2-3 disc without significant disc contour abnormality.

Any help interpreting the results would be greatly appreciated.  I tried looking up the deferent terms, but I swear it seems like the MRI report is written in a different language!


For more than 1 year and according with the MRI I was diagnosed with synovial cyst that it was narrowing the exist of the left sciatic nerve. After that, a surgeon ordered a X Ray to discover that I had also an unstable spine at L4-5 called Grade I Spondylolisthesis. I believe that you need to ask your doctor to order a X Ray to explore a possible traumatic unstable spine like a consequence that you fell off.