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Old 07-24-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
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foxymom1play HB User
Need help understanding the meaning and severity of my MRI results on my lower back

I have been in several car accidents and, as a result, I have had chronic acute pain in my lower back. I stay mostly at a level 7-8, going up to 9-10 at least twice a week. It seems as if my life is ruled by my pain. And then I wonder (since surgery was suggested) if I am taking my pain more seriously or not seriously enough. I have exhausted every non-surgical means to recovery and/or reduction of pain. I went to PT, including e-stem, traction, chiro adj., massage ther., some exercise ther. that I was unable to continue because of the pain, hot packs, ice packs, hot baths, rest(seems to be the only thing I can do).

Here are my MRI results word for word. My neuro tried to "dumb" things down for me too much (i.e.-jelly donuts!), which confused me. So here it is:

The L4/L5 disk space level demonstrates a central bulging disk wiht annual tear in the left paracentral location but without focal herniated disk protrusion. There is mild spinal stenosis. The neural foramina apperar normal.

The L5/S1 disk space level demonsstrates desiccation of the disk with Modic type 2 signal changes prominent on both sides of the interspace. Central bulging disk indents the thecal sac in the midlline. There is no spinal stenosis. There are small bilateral foraminal herniated disks.

When I went to the neurosurgeon, he explained to me that he was the person to see when I couldn't take the pain anymore and that if I got that point, he could "fix" me. I went back to see him after about a week because I realized that I am so beyond sick of the pain. Right now, I have sciatic nerve pain going all the way down both legs. My most severe and constant pain is in my lower back and just about everything aggravates that pain. I don't know what to do. Help?

 
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:36 AM   #2
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Re: Need help understanding the meaning and severity of my MRI results on my lower ba

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have had numerous sessions of pt and my last attempt,went 4 times a week for 6 months. I also take tramadol and baclofen and ibruprofen(which I'm not supposed to take because I have a bad gallbladder).

 
Old 07-26-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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Re: Need help understanding the meaning and severity of my MRI results on my lower ba

[QUOTE=foxymom1play;4043212]I have been in several car accidents and, as a result, I have had chronic acute pain in my lower back. I stay mostly at a level 7-8, going up to 9-10 at least twice a week. It seems as if my life is ruled by my pain. And then I wonder (since surgery was suggested) if I am taking my pain more seriously or not seriously enough. I have exhausted every non-surgical means to recovery and/or reduction of pain. I went to PT, including e-stem, traction, chiro adj., massage ther., some exercise ther. that I was unable to continue because of the pain, hot packs, ice packs, hot baths, rest(seems to be the only thing I can do).

Here are my MRI results word for word. My neuro tried to "dumb" things down for me too much (i.e.-jelly donuts!), which confused me. So here it is:

The L4/L5 disk space level demonstrates a central bulging disk wiht annual tear in the left paracentral location but without focal herniated disk protrusion. There is mild spinal stenosis. The neural foramina apperar normal.

The L5/S1 disk space level demonsstrates desiccation of the disk with Modic type 2 signal changes prominent on both sides of the interspace. Central bulging disk indents the thecal sac in the midlline. There is no spinal stenosis. There are small bilateral foraminal herniated disks.

When I went to the neurosurgeon, he explained to me that he was the person to see when I couldn't take the pain anymore and that if I got that point, he could "fix" me. I went back to see him after about a week because I realized that I am so beyond sick of the pain. Right now, I have sciatic nerve pain going all the way down both legs. My most severe and constant pain is in my lower back and just about everything aggravates that pain. I don't know what to do. Help?[/QUOTE]

So I have torn apart the MRI and it can mean different things according to the synthoms which would be expressed.
I will make things easy for you you have pressure on the spinal cord casing and this is exactly what i had although people don't always show all the spinal cord synthoms, deffinetly physo and or moving twisting and such can bring them on suddenly. Docters try to eliminate the spinal cord injury by doing tests with the legs and feet.
The thecal sac is the casing around the spinal cord that holds in the fluids it protects the spinal cord.
neural foramina are the openings for the nerves (holes) can be to the spinal cord or through the spinal colum pending how it is expressed yours are through the spinal colum
I am guessing that the constant pain is like a spike and never goes away only gets worse when beeing active this is conclusive with nerve impingment. You express twice a week it gets worse well read this.
The thing is that when we have something pressing or aggitating either the nerve or thecal sac that it can cause it to be inflamed and to the point where it ruptures, then it heals and does it all over again this is a 3 day cycle and will do this over and over again.
When we are active twisting and bending sometimes pending on the situation but it can cause the disk to become inflammed then this is what would cause the nerve or thecal sac to be impinged or aggitated. and the cycle will continue on and on.
I went through all this. have you tried bed rest. . You should try bed rest after about a week you may find that everything will settle down as the inflamation will go down.
What are all the exact synthoms you are experiencing and when, like when being active or resting. Do you wake up in your sleep in pain.
Do you express anything in your legs or buttox. Do you find any delays when going to the bathroom like it won't come out like normal.
keep an eye on your big toe does it move up and down when you try.
Lift your leg up does it feel heavy.
believe me I know there is no medication that will take the pain away.
Does it feel like it gets worse almost as though pressure is building up in one spacific location.
Tramadol is good as it will help you sleep.
You ask as if you are taking the pain seriously, when people are in this kind of pain for so long it almost becomes a part of us and although its always there we tend to wounder if it is seroius. Yes I think it is.
I think if the oppertunity is there you should consider surgery before things get worse, although surgery is the last resort you must understand that you have some pressure on the Thecal sac as well as spinal stenosis and if it gets worse you can start becoming paralyzed like me.
This is a very tricky surgery even at that it may continue for years with more to follow. I am not a docter but this is what I can understand from the mri.
To help you decied weather it is seroius enough or worth it i will show you how to research the mri properly.
Take the mri and google every medical deffinition in it's term write down it's meaning and then research the synthoms, You can also add picture of or pics of to the deffinition and it will help you get an idea of whats realy going on.
Don't pay attention to the conclusion or immpression but pay attention to the exact deffinitions all of them in the mri.

 
Old 07-27-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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Rampage HB User
Re: Need help understanding the meaning and severity of my MRI results on my lower ba

Here's a breakdown of your MRI:

"The L4/L5 disk space level demonstrates a central bulging disk with annual tear in the left paracentral location but without focal herniated disk protrusion. There is mild spinal stenosis. The neural foramina appear normal."

The disc is bulging and torn, but does not protrude (say, on your spinal cord). Stenosis is impingement of the spinal cord or the nerves that branch from the spinal cord. However, since you identified sciatic pain, there's a possibility you have stenosis on the round canal (where the spinal cord resides), on the transverse process (the angled protrusions of a vertebrae), or both.

"The L5/S1 disk space level demonstrates desiccation of the disk with Modic type 2 signal changes prominent on both sides of the interspace. Central bulging disk indents the thecal sac in the midline. There is no spinal stenosis. There are small bilateral foraminal herniated disks."

The vertebrae shows previous and recent damage (Modic Type 2 of 3 stages), and the disc is drying (desiccation), which is a loss of fluid and may cause degeneration. The disc is also impinging the spinal cord protector (thecal sac) and is bulging/herniating.

It's no wonder you're in such pain! Having gone through much of this, I know where you're coming from. But I was a bit lucky (if you can say that) only because I was affected by stenosis 2 years AFTER I'd had the surgery for my torn disc...you're dealing with my 9 years of issues all at once!

I also think you should seriously consider surgery, as you've tried everything else & much of this can only be fixed with surgery. I know, as I had an IDeT for my torn disc and a laminectomy for my stenosis. I still have other problems, but i can walk without a cane or crawling!

I recommend an Orthopedic Surgeon, who focuses solely on the spine, or a Neurological Surgeon, since they understand the spine better than anyone else in the business. Sports injuries would be a plus, since your injuries mimic those type of problems.

My Ortho focuses only on the spine, works with many of the NFL players in town, and has at least 2 Neuros who work with him. Don't settle for less...it's your health!

Good luck and keep us posted.
__________________
Rampage
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

Last edited by Rampage; 07-27-2009 at 10:52 AM. Reason: poor grammar

 
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