Help to understand Lumbar spine MRI findings

Patient

Q: Would like this in laymans terms after an mri.. At L4 to L5 Diffuse disc bulge with biltaral posterolateal components partially efface perinural fat from both foramina without direct neourological impingement. Prominent central disc protrusion indent the anterior convexity of the thecal sac.

Doctor

A:    A herniated disc, meaning “bulging disc”, may produce a root nerve compression at a given level of the spine that causes an inflammation of the nerves and radiated pain to the arms or legs depending on the level of compression. If this compression progresses, meaning, gets worse over the time, it can produce irreversible damage of the nerve root, then the discectomy is performed to decompress the nerve root involved so the neurological symptoms (numbness, tingling and pain local and radiated to the legs) improve and also avoid more damage to the nerve. In your particular case, according to the findings of the MRI that you mentioned, “the bulging” is not producing any compression, hence, no damage of the nerve, nevertheless I recommend you to keep a healthy weight, exercise regularly and do not strain your lumbar spine with extreme activities.

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