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Old 06-28-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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MRI Results - What does this mean?

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I'm going to post my own MRI of the Lumbar Spine results here too. I've been told by my Neurologist that I have what is called Lumbar Radiculopathy. It developed with Foot Drop first. Then I had an MRI and then I had an EMG. I go to Physical Therapy three times a week, which I actually get some comfort from.The traction is something else..meaning I think it's quite painful after the ten minutes. I'm going to get an AFO soon. I use a cane at the present time. I take anti-inflammatory meds, muscle relaxants and recently added Darvocet. I know this is not a life threatening thing, but my neurologist said if this doesnt' work, she'll send me to a neuro-surgeon. I'm just wondering if there is someone who really can explain to me what all this stuff means on this report. Anybody with any knowledge of this would be greatly appreciated.

Anyway, here are my results:

FINDINGS: Ther vertebral bodies demonstrate normal height, alignment, and marrow signal characteristics. There is a fairly large Schmorl's node involving the superior end plate of L1 and degenerative changes present at the T11-12 disc space, with mild disc bulge but no spinal stenosis. Disc desiccation is present at L4-5 and there is the most pronounced disc space narrowing and discogenic changes at L5-S1. The region of the conus is within normal limits. There is a cystic structure at the upper pole of the right kidney. Sagittal and coronal images indicate a complicated cystic structure immediately to the left of the uterus, which demonstrates hyperintense T1 and T2 signal, approximately 3.6 cm craniocaudal by 3.2 cm anterior posterior, and 2.8 c. in width. There is a fluid debris level evident and this is most concistent with a hemorrhagic cyst.

In addition to diffuse disc bulge at T10-11, there is mild disc buldge at T11-12, also without significant spinal stenosis.

L1-2, L2-3, and L4-5 demonstrate no disc herniation, significant disc bulge, or spinal or foraminal stenosis.

At L4-5, there is diffuse disc bulge, and possibly a very small broad-based herniation but without spinal stenosis. There is mild foraminal encroachment on a degenerative basis.

L5-S1: Diffuse disc bulge is present with focal herniation and there is no central canal stenosis. Degenerative facette changes are greatest at this level, with encroachment upon the lateral recesses and neural foramina, with greater than right neural foraminal narrowing.

IMPRESSION:

Mild degenerative disc disease without central canal stenosis and may involve herniation suggested at L4-5. There is a fairly pronounced neural foraminal narrowing at L5-S1, however, left greater than right, on a degenerative basis. There is also mild foraminal encroachment at L4-5.

There is a cystic structure of the left adnexa, most consisten with a complicated ovarian cyst. There is also a cystic structure at the upper pole of the right kidney, which is incompletely characterized.

ok, what does all this mumbo jumbo mean really? Anybody who knows this medical terminology that can explain some of this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

 
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

Your post has been moved into a separate thread of its own. Please start a new thread to post about your own issues so that your post receives the attention it deserves.

Also chatting on someone else's thread about your own issues takes away from the original posters post which is unfair to them.

Thank you for your cooperation.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

You may also want to post these on the Back Pain board. Most of the postings on this board primarily concern Cervical spine issues while the Back Pain board deals with Lumbar spine issues.

Disc degeneration, to some degree, is normal as we age.

A big part of interpreting MRI results is knowing what, if any, symptoms you have. If you took a room of 20 people with no back pain and did MRIs on them - you'd get some results that showed disc bulges or herniations and the person may have no symptoms.

What symptoms are you experiencing? Have you seen an orthopedic spine surgeon yet?
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

Hello Terri,

I can address your cystic issues so I hope this helps you.

You seem to have two cysts, one on your ovary and another on your kidney. These cysts occur to a lot of people, especially the ovarian complex (or as is stated in your MRI "complicated") cyst. Women grow cysts on their ovaries every month and one of them bursts open two weeks after the start of her period in order to release an egg .. then the cyst shell and the other cysts get reabsorbed into the ovaries and the whole process begins again at the start of the next cycle. The follicular cysts, however, are usually only filled with fluid and are called simple cysts. I, for example, have been watching an 8 cm fluid filled cyst on my left ovary for a number of months now (8 cm is quite large for an ovarian cyst). Since it has not regressed, it may be an abnormal cyst (ie. not the normal functional kind but a cyst much like you would get anywhere on your body). In your case, your ovarian cyst is a complex cyst because it is filled with both liquid and something else. From the comments, your ovarian cyst looks to be a hemorraghic cyst, meaning that it is filled with ovarian fluid (epithelial fluid) and blood. You will need to discuss this with your doctor to see if anything needs to be done. Sometimes, these cysts also disappear on their own but you will probably require a follow up ultrasound to keep an eye on this cyst and to have a look at the one on your kidney. The ultrasound is a much better tool for looking at these types of structures as it can actually see what is inside them (sound waves will either travel through the cyst or bounce back depending upon whether the material is liquid or solid). On the bright side, the ultrasound is fast and easy to perform and it does not involve radiation like the MRI, or other types of scans so numerous ultrasounds will not endanger your thyroid with exposure to radiation.

I am sorry that I cannot really address fully your spinal issues. From what I can see though, you seem to have some mild degeneration of the spine so you may wish to address this issue so that you can slow this down if at all possible (ie. loose weight if necessary, perform certain exercises which will improve flexibility etc..). You will obviously have to speak to your physician about all of these issues but hopefully this post has helped to prepare you a little. It does not sound like anything to freak out over .. just stuff to keep an eye on.

Hope this helps.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 07:05 AM   #5
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

Thank you for taking the time and explaining the cyst information. That helps a lot. I was kind of worried about that. The spinal stuff, I'm told, that I have lumbar radiculopathy. The traction is helping and I notice that I'm not flapping my foot as much as I was. I tire easily whenever I do anything. I can go for a walk now and it doesn't take forever. Thanks again.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 07:11 AM   #6
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

[QUOTE=SpineAZ;3626849]You may also want to post these on the Back Pain board. Most of the postings on this board primarily concern Cervical spine issues while the Back Pain board deals with Lumbar spine issues.

Disc degeneration, to some degree, is normal as we age.

A big part of interpreting MRI results is knowing what, if any, symptoms you have. If you took a room of 20 people with no back pain and did MRIs on them - you'd get some results that showed disc bulges or herniations and the person may have no symptoms.

What symptoms are you experiencing? Have you seen an orthopedic spine surgeon yet?[/QUOTE]
I have not seen a different doctor yet other than the neurologist and my PCP. The neurologist suggested that if the physical therapy did not work or help that she would send me to a neuro-surgeon. At this point I'll do anything to avoid that. I'm scared to death of back surgery. My foot drop developed first out of the blue. The day I went to have the MRI done my back started hurting......lower back. When the doctor did the EMG on my left leg, it was getting worse. The therapy helps. As soon as I'm done with traction, thank God I lay there for ten minutes because it hurts right in that region where it's the worst and omg the pain is something else. Then they do an ultra sound heat massage on that area and I do exercises and I feel so much better. I look forward to going. It really has helped. I did some cleaning this weekend and I find that I am very sore today, which is Monday. Thank God I go this a.m., but it's difficult to do just about anything without seeming like im hunched over and in pain. I'm on anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxants, and pain pills, if needed. I try to take Ibuprophen over the counter if I can. At bed time I take the Darvocet. I find sleeping on the couch is good. It's soft and keeps me in one position. Well, I hope they'll extend the therapy. I also have to get fitted for an AFO next week.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

What's an AFO?

If it feels better to walk slightly bent over, or if you feel better when pushing a shopping cart, you will probably find that there is some impingement on a nerve, probably at L4-5.

I'm sure you've been told that if you develop any bladder or bowel issues, you need to call your doctor, or go straight to the emergency room. Otherwise the nerve damage can be permanent. Cauda equina syndrome is very serious and nothing to mess around with.

I'm glad PT seems to be helping you.

 
Old 06-30-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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Re: MRI Results - What does this mean?

Ankle/foot drop indicates that you need more immediate attention from a neurosurgeon. You have to put your fear of surgery aside unless you are willing to live with the symptoms you currently have forever. An AFO (ankle foot orthosis) means there is significant problems and if it is spinal related don't delay - get immediate treatment.

Sorry to be so harsh but you have to decide if you can live this way forever or if you can push aside your fears to hopefully have an improved quailty of every day living.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
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