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Thread: XR Lumbar spine x-ray - what does the scan mean?

  1. #1

    XR Lumbar spine x-ray - what does the scan mean?


    I have received from the surgery the results of a XR Lumbar spine. The receptionist said I need to make an appointment but earliest is in 3 weeks. I desprate to know what the results mean in plain English - can anyone help?

    It states:

    "There is a mild Scoliosos concave to the right with slight loss on intervertebral disc space to the right of the L3-L4 junction and severe loss of L5-S1 intervertebral disc space where there is a grade 1 spondylolisthesis with a pars defect"

    I just had my PIP F2F 2 days ago but got this scan today for lower back pain I have been suffering from for a number of years and was noted down in my application form.

    Thank you


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Hi tk19 mild scoliosis is getting more common in people means the spine is curving to one side there is a scoliosis website L5-S1 is at the very bottom of your spine loss of disc space can cause probs with the nerves coming from the spine and on the spinal cord though not in every case an mri or ct scan would show if this was the case L3-L4 is just above this area is the most common vertebrea to have problems. Doesn't look like you have osteoartritis it would have said and this would have made the probs worse. The xray shows why you have been having pain in your back and you may have also experienced pain in your hips and legs as well because of it. It's not life threatening or anything. When you see your GP you can ask to be sent to a spinal specialist who will explain things to you better each case is different so i don't know what they will offer you, usual meds are anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant but your GP will explain all that.
    Regarding your pip F2F I'd wait and see what the result of it is first if the outcome isn't what you want then you can ask for a MR based on the results of this and by that time you would have seen your GP so have more info and might be then in process of waiting to see a consultant.
    If still worried go to google and type in the key words seperately to see what they each mean. Basically your xray shows there is a reason for your pain and it's not in your head.

  3. #3
    Thank you freedomeagle - this has helped a lot. I was going crazy because I have had bi-lateral hip replacements and a revision (1992, 1993 and 2004), a total colectomy and reversal back in 1987, DVT in left leg (1987) and very painful varicose veins on the left leg. At first I thought the pain was from the hip replacements but they are not in very bad condition despite being a long time, then doctor thought it might be neuropathic pain because of diabetes (because my feet pain a lot and toes lock all the time) but I ruled that out as diabetes is more a less in control.

    Last month I had results of neck scan which showed "severe degenerative wear over L2 to L7 I think which the doctor said was osteoarthritis
    - I got x-ray done as was getting frustrated by pain and was told to just take painkillers which were not helping – the same issue concerned with the small of the back. Not happy obviously withe the results but in a way it at least satisfies last point your mentioned - "there is a reason for your pain and it's not in your head."

    Don't know how this would affect any award but Dr said my condition will only get worse :-( Been refered to a Physiotherapy as to maybe how I might eb able to adjust lifestyle to make things easier. The neck x-ray mentioned Ankylosing Spondylitis.

    I will make an appt with the doctor to explain things in a easier manner and what it means long term but your response has really helped. Thank you. I will chekc out the Sauk website.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    You're welcome TK, I have a lot going on in my entire spine started when i was a kid. Any hip surgery does have an affect on the bottom of your back. Your feet sound simlar to mine like i say i have a lot of issues entire length of spine the issues from my L3-S2 is what's caused the radiculopathy and neuropathy what you have could be what's causing yours ask the gp to send you for emg/ncs tests, you may have had these before they are when they put the pads on your legs and feet and send little shock things in that measure your nerve reactions then sometimes they do the muscle one where they put a small needle into the muscles in same places and do the same thing this will show if you have radiculopathy or peripheral neuropathy this is caused by pressure on nerves coming from spine and they affect your legs the report they send your GP will show which area of your spine is causing this and which one you have. My mom also as a lot of spinal damage and she had a hip replacement many years ago she kept thinking something had gone wrong with it as she was getting pain in hip and down leg i said i thought it was her back based on my experiences and eventually she found out nothing to do with her hips but back pain causes hip and groin to have pain.

    I think you ment C2-C7 not L2-L7 for neck xray L is for Lumber Spine C is Cervical spine which is your neck, My osteo started in my neck first years ago and i now have it in every joint your GP is right once it starts it does spread, you might already or in time find you get probs with your arms and hands that's caused through the neck probs along with more headaches.

    Pyshiotherapy no longer helps me but it once did so it might help you, I have a high pain tolerance level according to the pain clinic doc so meds are different for everyone for me i take declofenac, gabapentine, baclofen and capsician cream for them and the spasms i have, i have other meds for my other health issues. Some people find pain patches help them and then there are other drugs. I would suggest you have a bloodtest ask them to check for everything especially vitamin D and B levels. And i'd say defo ask to see a spine specialist they will usually refer you to a neuro specialist if they think that would be more helpful.

    Also ask to be referred to a pain management doc they might be able to give you some help. Based on my own health situation these probs can't be fixed it's just a case of finding things to make it bearable and since some of yours are the same as mine i'd say same for you. I know my friend as diabetes and is in a wc due to a genetic disorder she was recently diagnoses with scoliosis and disc space lost etc and she as been given the drugs i've mentioned as they are ok for someone with diabetes but i know your GP as to be careful with the meds they give you for your pain. Only other thing you might find is you urinate a lot more and sometimes wont know though with your other surgery in 87 this may not be relevant.

    Goodluck with it all hope you can get some help and aren't in too much pain at the moment take care

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