Disc protrusion (lumbar)

Case contributed by Dr Varun Babu

Presentation

Low back ache with right lower limb radiculopathy.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Male
MRI

Straightening of the lumbar spine with preserved alignment. Irregular L5 end plate margins. Decreased hydration of L4-5 disc depicted by the reduced T2 hyperintensity of the disc. 

L4-5 disc posterior bulge with central annular tear and protrusion indenting ventral thecal sac, obliterating both lateral recess and compressing both exiting nerve roots. 

L5-S1 disc posterior bulge with left posteorlateral annular tear and protrusion indenting ventral thecal sac, obliterating both lateral recess and compressing both exiting nerve roots. 

Conus medullaris and cauda equina nerve roots are normal. Pre and paravertebral soft tissues are normal. 

Case Discussion

It is important to understand subtle difference in terminologies attributed to disc bulge and protrusion. Following a standardized system of reporting enables to convey the imaging findings to the referring physician in a format they are familiar with. 

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Case information

rID: 57342
Published: 20th Dec 2017
Last edited: 21st May 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: Vivid Diagnostic Centre

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