This is a sagittal image of an MRI of lumbar spine. This would be the camera taking a picture in the opposite direction. Meaning, instead of looking from top to bottom, we’re looking at the side of the individual in different cuts.
Now what we can see is the area where the spinal cord are highlighted by water. You can see that there’s water content inside the disk, that’s why they’re white and there is water around the spinal cord as well. These images also show us the disc desiccation. Desiccation is just a fancy term for the word drying. It’s dried, the water inside of those disc has started to dry up and you can see the result of a degenerative process.
We can also see that the disc is nicely encapsulated within the vertebrae and you can see that those disc materials are actually pushing out pass the vertebral bodies. We’re looking to see how far those have passed the vertebral bodies to term of whether it causing any type of cord compression because once this pushes out, there is a canal that is where the cord is housed and when the disc matter is pushed out into that area it can cause the cord to become compressed or it can also cause the cord to have pressure on it which will cause myelopathy problems with the hand, feet, etc.
Finally what we’re looking for in this test is to see if there are vertebral bodies are on top of each other and in the right position. We sometimes see a thing called spondylolisthesis where the vertebrae are actually moved out of place because of ligamentous problems called a bilateral pars defect. When that happens people tend to be more susceptible to injuries. This means a low speed impact for one person could cause totally different symptoms and problems for a low speed action for another person because they have a pre-existing condition that they didn’t even know about.
This test become instrument not only for the doctors to determine what is the appropriate treatment for an individua. As attorneys, we need to know how to read the MRIs and how to look at MRIs in order to determine what we can prove in front of a jury.