MRI Report: Radicular Compression L3-4


Q: Diminutive extruded disc in right lateral recess of L3L4 without evolution?


A:    According to the description of the MRI this sounds most likely a Lumbosacral nerve root compression by the extruded substance of the disc at the level of L3-4, that apparently is not progressing. Some of the major causes of acute and chronic low back pain (LBP) are associated with radiculopathy (nerve compression). However, radiculopathy is not a cause of back pain; rather, nerve root impingement, disc herniation, facet arthropathy, and other conditions are causes of back pain..Lumbosacral radiculopathy, like other forms of radiculopathy, results from nerve root impingement and/or inflammation that has progressed enough to cause neurologic symptoms in the areas that are supplied by the affected nerve root, the leg in your case.During the acute phase of the pain, the physical therapy is very important and involves the use of ultrasound, TENS, heat to control pain, teaching you back-protection techniques (e.g., proper lifting, posture awareness). A lumbar stabilization program is also useful in  instructing you in various techniques to control  back pain, and you also can work on strengthening the stabilizing muscles of the lumbar spine. If after follow a physical therapy program, and try every conservative measure the pain and the neurological symptoms do not improve, the surgical possibility should be considered to release the compressed nerve and avoid more damage.

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