It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-14-2011, 12:23 AM   #1
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 93
MagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB User
Question Understanding MRI Results?

I was recently diagnosed with these back/spine problems. The doctor did explain some of what is going,but the whole time it felt like a blur because I was so upset and nervous. I'm seeing a specialist soon. In the mean time is there anyone that can help me understand what is wrong with my back, or give any advice etc? My doctor told me it's bad! How bad is bad in my case??

Here is the run down on my MRI

multilevel servre facet arthropathy
servere degenerative disk disease at L5-S1
servere central canal stenosis
multilevel posterior disk protrusions

 
Old 03-14-2011, 06:34 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
twohands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 581
twohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB Usertwohands HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

MagicPotion,

As you can see, severe is mentioned to describe several problems in your back. Many surgeons won't do surgery unless the condition is severe.

Facet arthropathy is basically degeneration/arthritis of the facet joints. At each spine level, you have the disc and two facet joints (one on each side) which allow you to bend and twist at that level. Your facet joints are basically shot at several levels. This condition can be fixed by a spinal fusion at that level.

Degenerative disk disease at L5-S1 - at the lowest level of your spine you have severe degeneration of the disc. This basically means the disc is dried up and has lost height which can pinch nerves at that level then.

Central canal stenosis - stenosis basically means narrowing, so your central canal where your nerve roots go through is narrowed which can cause nerve pinching.

Multilevel posterior disk protrusions - at several levels you have disc protrusions where the outer rim of the discs are protruding into your central canal where your nerves are, and where you already have narrowing (stenosis).

You basically have narrow areas for your nerves and nerve roots to travel through due to the several factors above. This means you are likely experiencing both back and leg pain. Surgery would likely be the only option which could give you significant relief.

How bad is your pain and where is your pain located at?

The funny thing is someone with an innocent-sounding MRI can need surgery and be in bad pain, where someone with a nasty-sounding MRI can function for years without having surgery. Just because your MRI is bad doesn't necessarily mean you need surgery immediately. However, bad-sounding MRI's are far more likely to need surgery of course.

You're the only one who can decide if and when you're ready for surgery, but most likely the surgeon you will be seeing is going to recommend surgery for you.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to twohands For This Useful Post:
MagicPotion (03-14-2011)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 03-14-2011, 10:07 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 755
maltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

Twohands has given you a good case scenerio. You do have multiple problems in your spine and are probably experiencing some nerve pain. If I were you I would get at least 2 opinions as to the proper treatment and what kind of surgery is recommended. The best doctors to do this, of course, is Orthopedic Spine Specialists and neurosurgeons....both should be fellowship trained and limit their practice to the spine. Personally, I prefer an Ortho spine specialist as I find them more "down to earth" and willing to go into detail with their patients. Of course, that is only my experience and there are plenty of people who swear by their neurosurgeon. Only you can decide what doctor best suits you and you can do that by seeing several specialists before deciding on a course of action.

Researching the terms in the MRI will be helpful so that you have a better understanding of what is going on.

I hope you will continue posting and keep us updated on how things are going. Best of luck to you.

Carol
__________________
Lumbar surgery x 7 over the last 30 years.
cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
Last surgery Oct, 2010, 3 levels

 
The Following User Says Thank You to maltluver For This Useful Post:
MagicPotion (03-14-2011)
Old 03-14-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 93
MagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

Twohands you gave me more information than the doctor, thanks! You info helped me understand everything so much better. My pain is in my back down my legs and on the right side in my hip area.

Maltluver thanks for the advice. My only problem is due to my insurance. I'm limited to who I can see. My doctor has to ok everything for me to see specialty doctors. He did mention options when I got my MRI results. I'm hoping that includes seeing an ortho doctor.

Last edited by MagicPotion; 03-14-2011 at 11:11 PM.

 
Old 03-15-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 755
maltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

Just be sure that the dr. you are referred to is a spine specialist. There is a vast difference between an Ortho and an Orthopedic Spine Specialist. A spine specialist, both neurosurgeon and Ortho specialist treat only spine issues and don't do hips, knees, etc. This insures that you will be getting a doctor with training and experience in the spine.

Please stay in touch.

Carol
__________________
Lumbar surgery x 7 over the last 30 years.
cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
Last surgery Oct, 2010, 3 levels

 
Old 03-30-2011, 12:34 AM   #6
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 93
MagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

Carol,I thought about you. I've recenlty been referred to a neurosurgery appointment. It's not for a while. I don't know the reason for that,or what my first appointment will be like. It's in the works so, that's a good thing. Of course it scares me a little!

 
Old 03-30-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 755
maltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB Usermaltluver HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

It is a bit scary, isn't it? I can still remember my first appointment with a spine specialist and I was a wreck going in, believe me. Unfortunately, I wasn't well versed in issues concerning the spine and blindly agreed to surgery since that's what the neurosurgeon advised. It was not the right thing to do! If I knew then just half of what I know now, I would have gotten at least 1 more opinion, maybe 2, and one of them would have been an orthopedic spine specialist.

In hindsight, I realize that the surgery was possibly unavoidable, but there was no other options offered to me. Afterwards, I continued to have a good deal of pain, sometimes worse than before the surgery. After much prodding, the neuro agreed to more testing and said I had re-herniated that same disc and another laminectomy was needed. Again, I agreed and that began my long journey.

Since you have time before seeing the specialist, try keeping a diary that records your pain levels....what you were doing, what makes the pain worse, what helps the pain, where the pain is and what kind of pain it is. That will help paint a picture for the doctor and along with your test results, will help him to offer options for treatment. Do get at least a second opinion, not from a dr. in the same practice. Since this first appt is with a neurosurgeon, it would be good to get your second opinion from an ortho who specializes in spine and devotes his practice to the spine only.

There is tons of information on the internet that can help you understand what is going on, and what kind of treatment might be helpful. Learning some of the terms will allow you to interact with the surgeon better and will also make you more comfortable.

One last thing....I have always found it helpful to have another person with me. That second set of ears helps, and I have found most doctors to be more forthcoming when there is a "witness" so to speak.

I hope you will stay in touch and keep us updated on how you are doing.

Best wishes.

Carol
__________________
Lumbar surgery x 7 over the last 30 years.
cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
Last surgery Oct, 2010, 3 levels

 
The Following User Says Thank You to maltluver For This Useful Post:
MagicPotion (04-01-2011)
Old 04-01-2011, 12:42 AM   #8
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 93
MagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB UserMagicPotion HB User
Re: Understanding MRI Results?

Hey Carol,I totally agree with you, doctors treat you diff if you have someone come with you. I also agree with getting second opinions. My only problem is my insurance. I'm not sure I will be able to. With my old insurance no problem. I want to see an ortho doctor,like you suggested. I'm going to ask my gp on my next appointment what he thinks. But for now I have to be referred before I can see other doctors. I wish I had my old insurance. I will get all the facts first before surgery. I'm so scared I will end up worst off. With my luck, you know it! I'm sorry you had that happen to you. And again your in put has really helped me, and thank you for taking time to answer and show your support. Your great! Have a good weekend

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
MRI report, need help understanding it cinletharwi Back Problems 9 04-21-2011 07:40 PM
Need help understanding MRI results kentuckywoman Back Problems 6 11-30-2010 09:02 AM
I need help understanding my MRI, I was injured over a month ago thedancingdress Back Problems 0 11-17-2009 10:40 PM
Need help understanding the meaning and severity of my MRI results on my lower back foxymom1play Back Problems 3 07-27-2009 10:48 AM
MRI Scan - Need Help Understanding Results dannyb0410 Back Problems 2 11-19-2008 05:53 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ibuprofen
Lyrica
Morphine
Neurontin
Oxycontin
  Percocet
Soma Tylenol
Valium
Vicodin




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



teteri66 (1083), gmak (126), SweetPeainSF (78), maltluver (71), twohands (64), pebblebeach3 (63), cheryl1213 (51), Moldova (46), ibake&pray (41), workinmom572 (40)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1136), MSJayhawk (941), Apollo123 (857), janewhite1 (823), Titchou (773), Gabriel (743), ladybud (667), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (655), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:47 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Copyright and Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!