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Old 11-12-2002, 12:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vacaville, CA USA
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coppersmom HB User
Question What do x-rays really show/not show?

With my HMO I went to my Primary Care physician as required. In my visit, he changed his mind about meds maybe 4 times, and also PT or no PT (ended with no PT). The medical group denied my even seeing the spine specialist within the group (they seem to deny everyone everything). The findings were scoliosis to the upper portion of my spine and another in the thorasic-lumbar region (I knew that). Also they say there are arthritic changes to my lumbar region.

Are there things that a normal set of spine x-rays don't show that could be causing all of my pain? All he has me doing now is taking Celebrex (other anti-inflammatories give me stomach problems.) I'm deciding what my next move should be, and if I need to fight for a visit to the spine specialist.

 
Old 11-12-2002, 02:04 AM   #2
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Berenice56 HB User
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What are your symptoms????

Berenice

 
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Old 11-12-2002, 08:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NC USA
Posts: 51
joha HB User
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Welcome Coppersmom:

There are many problems an xray cannot show. But there are also problems that can't be seen by any test and only by "going in" can problems be detected. (But that is the worst case scenario and is a gamble that only few of us are willing to chance. Keep in mind that most drs take a conservative approach at first.

To repeat Bereniece's question, what are your symptoms?


Jo H.


------------------
1979: Fell from scaffold onto gymnasium floor. Decompression Laminectomy L1-L3 w/Spinal Fusion and Harrington Rods Insertion.
1992: Harrington rod breakage and dislodging. Removal and refitted with smaller hardware and re fused.
2001: Pain Again. MRI inconclusive due to hardware
2001: Diskogram shows bulging and DDD at L4-S1 due to domino effect
2002 Feb: 10 hr. surgery. 360 fusion and hardware extended with "connector" to S1. 3 Titanium cages placed anteriorally. Fused from L1-S1.
2002 Sept: Pain worse than before surgery.
2002 Oct: EMG shows damage to L5 and S1
2002 Oct: CT Myelogram ordered.

Meds:
Duragesic Patch 50 mg
Morphine Sulf 15mg for bt pain
Wellbutrin
Relafen
Nitrofurantoin for UTI prevention
Ambien

Believing God will heal me!
__________________
1979: Fell from scaffold onto gymnasium floor. Decompression Laminectomy L1-L3 w/Spinal Fusion and Harrington Rods Insertion.
1992: Harrington rod breakage and dislodging. Removal and refitted with smaller hardware and re fused.
2001: Pain Again. MRI inconclusive due to hardware
2001: Discogram shows bulging and DDD at L4-S1 due to domino effect
2002 Feb: 10 hr. surgery. 360 fusion and hardware extended with "connector" to S1. 3 Titanium cages placed anteriorally. Fused from L1-S1.
2002 Sept: Pain worse than before surgery.
2002 Oct: EMG shows damage to L5 and S1
2002 Oct: CT Myelogram shows clustering at the nerve root endings of L1-L2. Scar tissue causing mild arachnoiditis.
"We can't find anything "PRONOUNCED"
2002 Dec: "What To Do or What Not To Do?" That is the question.

Meds:
Duragesic Patch 50 mg
Morphine Sulf 15mg for bt pain
Wellbutrin
Relafen
Nitrofurantoin for UTI prevention
Ambien

Believing God will heal me!

 
Old 11-12-2002, 10:32 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New Berlin, Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 338
EmtShirl HB User
Wink



Coppersmom~

First of all WELCOME to the board!

To answer your question as to if a normal x-ray will not show something that may be causing your pain........the answer is yes. X-rays pretty much only see hard substances such as bone. Yes, it can see curving of the spine and narrowing of the spine. The normal x-ray will not pick up on soft tissues such as disc material.

You may have a disc problem like a tear, herniated, DDD, or a rupture.

Like the others are asking.......what are your symptoms? Were you in a MVA or a fall? In other words is your pain from an injury?

I would have to say your next move should b to insist on seeing a Neurologist, Neurosurgeon, or an Orthopedic doctor.

Celebrex or another NSAID is a part of step one in the long road of back problems. MRI and PT is another step. From there it goes into ESI, facet injections and other minor to major painful tests. But first you need to find a good doctor who will look into your case more.

Some people will try to talk you into seeing a Chiropractor..... please be careful with that choice. I personally would not go! If you choose to please know what is causing your pain.

Please fill us in more so we know how to point you in the right direction.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Shirl [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]
__________________
Love,
Shirl
History:

1980- Transaxillary resection of 1st rib and division of band (left side)
1982- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
1985- Transaxillary excision of cervical rib (right side)
1991- Laser stapedectomy (right side)
1992- Fractional D&C
1992- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
1996- Lumbar hemilaminectomy
1999- Left knee arthoscopic surgery
2001- Laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy
2002- L5-S1 Microdiscectomy
2002- L4-L5, L5-S1 Anterior inter-body lumbar fusion with cages and my own bone from left hip for bone graft
2002- Neck problems Surgery??????
2002 DEC 21- C4-5, C5-C6 Anterior Cervical Corpectomy with Fusion and Internal Fixation (Bone from the bone bank)

 
Old 11-13-2002, 12:54 AM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vacaville, CA USA
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coppersmom HB User
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I posted a few weeks back the long story of this whole problem. I do have scoliosis, and was told of it when I was about 12. They wanted to do bracing etc., but due to my Mom being a single parent, with not much money, we could not afford it- according to the system we had to much to get any help, but not enough (money) to afford the expense of all the years of care. At that time there was no pain, but they warned me that as the years went on, the pain would start.

When I was 22 I broke a rib coughing, from my lungs being in too close proximity of my ribcage because of this, so the doctors said anyway. I've had on and off pain in the mid back (where the vertabra are somewhat twisted to the right side) ever since the rib problem. That pain is there quite often now- almost like a pinched nerve. Sometimes hurting so bad I can hardly breathe when it pops up suddenly. It is a searing pain going from the vertabra around following the rib cage. I have a pretty high pain tolerance (so I'm told) and that HURTS! There is a general achiness in the joints of my spine in the areas of both curves, but the Celebrex seems to be helping that a bit.

There is also a lot of sharp pain and spasms, mostly on my left side near where the upper curve is in my spine, next to and above my shoulder blade. The left arm is sometimes numb and tingles, and there have been days where I lost my grip almost completely in that hand. (It was so strange- the first time that happened we were eating out. I thought I was holding my glass and it fell right out of my hand. After about 3 times with the water glass, and once with the pepper shaker...I decided I had some issues with my grip. That problem comes and goes.)

There is sharp pain in my rear (again on the left) down into my upper leg.

I guess that about covers it...oh- I also have severe restless leg syndrome in both my legs and arms. All of the tossing turning and twisting that causes in a person does not help matters either. I was lucky enough [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif[/img] to inherit that from my Mom's side of the family along with the bad back.

Sorry- it feels like I went on and on here...but then I guess I answered your questions!

P.S. Berenice- thank you for finding the address of the tax person for me. It was a huge help!

[This message has been edited by coppersmom (edited 11-13-2002).]

 
Old 11-13-2002, 11:00 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NC USA
Posts: 51
joha HB User
Post

Coppersmom, I would fight to see a spine specialist. Jo H.
__________________
1979: Fell from scaffold onto gymnasium floor. Decompression Laminectomy L1-L3 w/Spinal Fusion and Harrington Rods Insertion.
1992: Harrington rod breakage and dislodging. Removal and refitted with smaller hardware and re fused.
2001: Pain Again. MRI inconclusive due to hardware
2001: Discogram shows bulging and DDD at L4-S1 due to domino effect
2002 Feb: 10 hr. surgery. 360 fusion and hardware extended with "connector" to S1. 3 Titanium cages placed anteriorally. Fused from L1-S1.
2002 Sept: Pain worse than before surgery.
2002 Oct: EMG shows damage to L5 and S1
2002 Oct: CT Myelogram shows clustering at the nerve root endings of L1-L2. Scar tissue causing mild arachnoiditis.
"We can't find anything "PRONOUNCED"
2002 Dec: "What To Do or What Not To Do?" That is the question.

Meds:
Duragesic Patch 50 mg
Morphine Sulf 15mg for bt pain
Wellbutrin
Relafen
Nitrofurantoin for UTI prevention
Ambien

Believing God will heal me!

 
Old 11-13-2002, 11:10 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29
Shiz HB User
Post

I would fight to, I have a t-12 comp. fracture with kyphosis, because my symptoms are alot like scoliosisI did quite a bit of research on scoliosis. I would definetly get into a specialist.
Please keep us posted and best of wishes.
[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] Shiz

 
Old 11-13-2002, 12:23 PM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vacaville, CA USA
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coppersmom HB User
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I am trying, but everything I try- the medical group turns me down. The first one I requested they turned down because he is outside the medical group. I agreed to the spine specialist who is part of their program, and the referral coordinator turned me down again. Just to show you how hard this medical group is to deal with- my friend, who is 63 and had a stroke last year, requested a referral to a cardiologist. They said no. Two days later she ended up in the hospital, couldn't stand or walk, with BP of 84/46. NOW they say ok....

 
Old 11-13-2002, 12:49 PM   #9
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Posts: 549
Telzey HB User
Post

Hi coppersmom,
I found a very interesting article on yoga for scoliosis here:
[url="http://ebmyoga.com/scoliosis/index.htm"]http://ebmyoga.com/scoliosis/index.htm[/url]

The author says that she has managed her pain from scoliosis through specific yoga poses.

Good luck!
[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] Telzey
__________________
4 years of back pain, but was still able to work and maintain moderate activity (hiking, low-impact aerobic exercise)
Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
IDET 12/2/02
1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
3/9/03 Severe, new buttock and thigh pain and numbness starts.
3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
4/4/03 Started physical therapy
5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from facet joint
7/6/03 Still worse than pre-IDET due to leg and thigh pain and numbness, and have become so inactive I can't tell whether back pain is better. Can't stand for any length of time, can't walk long, run at all, or do any aerobic activity. I regret agreeing to the IDET and wish I had had more patience with the natural healing process of my disc!

 
Old 11-13-2002, 07:49 PM   #10
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vacaville, CA USA
Posts: 8
coppersmom HB User
Post

Wow thank you! I'll check the site out a little better when I have more time, but so far it looks wonderful. Anything I can do to help the pain and not have to rely on pain meds I'm happy. Maybe this will really help.

 
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