Can someone help with X-ray results?

Posted by gravity3 @gravity3, May 22 8:25am

I received these results from X-ray done two days ago. I'd like help understanding.
Space narrowing most pronounced at L3-L4
Advanced facet arthrosis
Trace anterolisthesis L4 L5
Mild scoliosis
Thanks in advance

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@windyshores

How bad is your pain? Lower back mainly?

I had x-rays done of thoracic and lumbar spine to check to see if I had more fractures and though no new fractures since 2021, the rest of it was pretty disturbing!

I can't tell much from your report other than that all of these results would cause lower back pain (I googled two), and though "trace," the anterolisthesis could cause nerve pain.

What are your symptoms? Glad you have no fractures but I am sure that is small comfort.

Did your doctor respond? My docs don't seem to bother anymore. Once I hit 70 I am "just old."

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I'm much closer to 80 than 70 and just had neurosurgery which was fabulous. It depends upon your problem, not your age.

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@gravity3

Thanks, I will. May not have thought of it without your reminder. Are you willing to say more about your journey with lumbar stenosis? I have been in for two steroid injections. I tolerate pain pretty well so I don't want to do any further steroids unless the pain is unbearable.

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Pain with twisting sounds like disc which would't be evident on x-ray except as reduced space. You may wish to have an MRI. ( which is to say insist on an MRI w and wo/contrast). The disc can cause the vertebral slipping with of loss of disc integrity. Steroid injections have their place. I don't like them because they degrade cartilage. Twisting can also be painful if you have vertebral fissures. An MRI would be helpful in that area too. Have you had dxa.
I have more stenosis in both the cervical and thoracic still mild in the lumbar. I think becaue of chiropractics, which relieves my discomfort completely, but temporarily the scoliosis hasn't advanced.
Scoliosis can be adult onset, but whenever the origin it advances as the muscles, and ligaments adjust. It you can, find a PT who will work the muscle the inside of the curve.
The extent of variation with scoliosis isn't evident on x-ray or on MRI.
You may need a different medical provider.

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@gently

Pain with twisting sounds like disc which would't be evident on x-ray except as reduced space. You may wish to have an MRI. ( which is to say insist on an MRI w and wo/contrast). The disc can cause the vertebral slipping with of loss of disc integrity. Steroid injections have their place. I don't like them because they degrade cartilage. Twisting can also be painful if you have vertebral fissures. An MRI would be helpful in that area too. Have you had dxa.
I have more stenosis in both the cervical and thoracic still mild in the lumbar. I think becaue of chiropractics, which relieves my discomfort completely, but temporarily the scoliosis hasn't advanced.
Scoliosis can be adult onset, but whenever the origin it advances as the muscles, and ligaments adjust. It you can, find a PT who will work the muscle the inside of the curve.
The extent of variation with scoliosis isn't evident on x-ray or on MRI.
You may need a different medical provider.

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"Scoliosis can be adult onset, but whenever the origin it advances as the muscles, and ligaments adjust."

@gently I did not know this! Very relevant for me.

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@gently

Pain with twisting sounds like disc which would't be evident on x-ray except as reduced space. You may wish to have an MRI. ( which is to say insist on an MRI w and wo/contrast). The disc can cause the vertebral slipping with of loss of disc integrity. Steroid injections have their place. I don't like them because they degrade cartilage. Twisting can also be painful if you have vertebral fissures. An MRI would be helpful in that area too. Have you had dxa.
I have more stenosis in both the cervical and thoracic still mild in the lumbar. I think becaue of chiropractics, which relieves my discomfort completely, but temporarily the scoliosis hasn't advanced.
Scoliosis can be adult onset, but whenever the origin it advances as the muscles, and ligaments adjust. It you can, find a PT who will work the muscle the inside of the curve.
The extent of variation with scoliosis isn't evident on x-ray or on MRI.
You may need a different medical provider.

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Thanks you so much. Very helpful.

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@gravity3 regarding the steroid injections, yes they work but they also cause bone loss or destruction depending on how many and over how long you receive them. So if you’re young and beginning with a low back issue my best advice is to obtain an instructed low back exercises to increase core strength, maintain leg strength and good body mechanics. A good PT program will keep you away from surgery forever.

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I can't interpret it well but I will tell you it sounds much like my MRI's of the spine except that I now have impingement of some nerves too.

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I have narrowing of L1-L5 plus chronic fractures in 2010 they were all noted after I fell in the ER at a local hospital when they believed my vision problems ( which were making me unsteady) were manufactured, and I was at that time massively overweight (I have lost 69 lbs since) then they did not want to make sure I was steady, even though I walked with a cane because of a stroke years earlier, I fell flat on my back. I suffered an acute fracture and was there for 4-5 days. Scoliosis, yes that too. My doctors who are now up at a university hospital - Stanford- keep track of my pain, and spine health but for the most part from what you said those diagnoses - if your doctors aren't worried - don't worry about the actual names that they've listed they aren't anything that to me raise red flags NOW! Pain, nowadays no doctors like to give pain medication I wish they would :} But physical therapy is a really good choice of treatment. Strengthening the correct muscles for the right vertebrae is important so even if you only want to do it for a short time ( even just 2 or 3 )that is better than none. It costs me too much to go now when it was all paid for I went three times a week when I have a deductible and co-pay I went for the evaluation and two visits (maybe three) and then continued at home. The other thing with physical therapy is if you do not like the place do not continue going. You can always visit the place before the evaluation or look online before deciding. Aside from the pain that happens that you may not notice until later and doesn't show up on X-rays or CT scans is numbness you will become aware when there is tingling but that often doesn't happen ( at least I do not think so) with lower extremities upper yes, Well anyone out there please correct me with what I have gotten wrong at 70 everyone has narrowing spaces me because of weight and falling from epilepsy mine have narrowed a little faster than most so..... I have my fair share of thoughts Take care again unless you feel bad and they (doctors) did not say anything worrying you just take care of each of your concerns and look to the doctors to coordinate the care of them --Leslie

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