Which MRI Findings are Relevant?

Reference:AuthorsJanardhana AP, et al. Correlation between clinical features and magnetic resonance imaging findings in lumbar disc prolapse. Journal. Indian J Orthop. 2010 Jul;44(3):263-9

Here is a valuable lumbar MRI study summary on the right.

What can we learn? Central disc bulges and protrusions are most often irrelevant as they correlate poorly with clinical signs and symptoms.

On the other hand centro-lateral disc protrusions or extrusions with gross foramen compromise are strongly correlated with clinical signs and symptoms.

When reading an MRI report you may ignore the information on the type of disc herniation (bulge, protrusion, or extrusion) but do look for the words “neural foramen compromise” as it appears to correlate with signs and symptoms.

Note: Even if the MRI correlates with symptoms, this still does not make the patient a surgical candidate as most still respond to conservative management.

Posted on: June 12, 2014

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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