My back just kills me everywhere, weak thighs, tingling in feet

by Charlie
(Albuqueruqe, NM USA)

My back just kills me everywhere, weak thighs, tingling in feet

Hi....can you put this in plain language so it make sense. I am somewhat scared and apprehensive to go Chiro for fear of making it worse?

MRI lumbar with and without IV contrast

Comparison 09/14/12

Indication, low back pain with numbness radiating down to the buttocks and both legs. Evaluate for HNP.


Stable lumbar spinal alignment and positioning. This includes an S-shaped thoracolumbar scoliosis and mild straightening of the nomal lumbar lordosis. Stable minimal retrolithesis of L3 on L4 and L1 on L2. Lumbar vertebral body heights are maintained. Minimal anterior weding of the T11 and T1 vertebral bodies is remote, without superimposed STIR hyperintensity to suggest acuity. Bone Marrow signal intensity is diffusely heterogenous. Degenerative endplade changes and Schmorl's note formation at L3-L4, as before. Postcontrast images demonstrate no abnormal parenchymal or leptomeningeal enhancement.

The technologist obtained images of the thoracic spine demonstrating a left central disc protrusion at T11-12 that moderately compresses the anterior left hemicord. There is possible STIR hyperintensity within the substance of the cord on image 6 -14.

At L5-S1, mid diffuse disc bulge. Moderate bilateral facet arthrosis. No nerve root encroachemnt within the central canal. Left foraminal disc protrusion appears stable with contact of the existing left L5 foraminal nerve segment. Stable mild right foraminal narrowing.

At L4-5, similar bilateral hemilaminectomy appearance. Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed 3-4 mm AP central disc protrusion and transversely oriented annular tear. The disc protrusion is slightly increased in size. Faced arthrosis. Hyptertropys of the remaining ligamentum flavum on each side. Moderate - sever bilateral subarticular zone stenosis is similar versus slightly worsening ot the prior exam with encroachment of the descending nerve roots on each side. Similar mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

At L3-4, similar bilateral hemilaminectomy diffuse disc bulge. Superimposed 6-7mm Ap central-left central disc protrusion. Central canal stenosis amy have slightly progressed at this level. Residual transversece thecal sac diameter is 5 mm compared to 6 mm previously , and residual Ap thecal sac diameter is 7 mm compared to 9 mm previously. Subarticular zone stenosis remains worse on the left. Similar moderate-sever left worse than right foraminal narrowing. There may be a superimposed left foraminal focal disc bulge, as before

At l-2-3 there may be a bilateral hemilaminectomy as before. Central disc extrusion wiht transversely oriented annual tear appears fairly stable. It measures 9.5 mm Si x 3 mm AP x 10 mm TV. Mild moderate bilateral facet arthrosis and ligamentum flavum thickening. Mild-moderte central canal stenosis appears stable. Mild lbilateral foraminal narrowing, perhaps worse on the left appears stable.

At L1-2, T2 hyperintense anterior left eupdural space mass is NEW. This maybe be a free disk fragment or extrusion. It measures 10 mm SI . 6 mm AP x 8 mm Tv and nerve roots. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

IMPRESSION: New free disc fragment versus disc extrusion in the left anterior epiducal space at L1-2. Otherwise fairly stable MRI lumbar spine

Hello Charlie,
You weren't afraid to consult a neurosurgeon for fear of making it worse. Why afraid to see a chiropractor? Do you think hands are more dangerous than a scapel?

Seriously now. Yes, you have a difficult back with multiple level degenerative changes. I wouldn't expect miracles from anyone, a chiropractor included. Yet spinal stenosis usually responds surprisingly well to McManis Chiropractic traction. And to the Thompson drop protocol. They are most unlikely to make your back worse.

Yes, side posture can worsen it, but that's where the quickest response is often too.

The weakness and tingling in your legs are probably coming from your back, though there are other causes. No diabetes? Weight okay?

The hyaline cartilage that lines the joints in your back is pretty shot. At this link you'll see ways to support it.

Are you doing any lower back exercises ? That's where I would start.

Find a good chiropractor is your next stop. Someone experienced.

I'm not a radiologist, so it's not appropriate for me to interpret that report. Make an appointment with the man who wrote the report and ask him to explain it you. The long and the short of it though is multiple level quite advanced degenerative change. And a probable new slipped disc at L1/L2. That would account for the weak thighs.

I hope this contributes.

dr B

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