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 09-29-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: littlerock, ar, usa
Posts: 3
wolverine119 HB User
i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

I recently had an MRI on my lower back because of back pain that ive had for a while. i was diagnosed with muscle spasms, but feeling that it was a crappy answer for the 4 yr problem that i keep putting off getting looked at so i could deploy mutliple times to iraq and afghanistan so others with families didnt have to. well with this on goin problem from 2008 until now i have had a fight with my medical provider to get anything looked at. my first vist i was told that there seems to be slight muscle spasms. so i attended 24 sessions of physical theropy (pt). i then got but on 4 rotations to overseas and wasnt home long enough in between to get it looked into further. this last trip while working out i had a lot of pain so once i returned stateside i had my doctor take a look at it. she the told me that she could see nerve, tendon, and ligamint damage from just an x-ray. so she send my back to pt for another 24 session. once i completed the pt i returned to her and told her that the pain was still there and i wanted to get it looked harder this time. she then told me it was just muscle spasms and that because while going to pt i did follow her instuctions of: have my girlfriend message my back and to take my muscle relaxers everynight before bed. i told her i wasnt used to taking pills regularly so i missed a dosage here and there but took them about 98% of the time. i then requested to see another doctor for a second opinion and she told me no. so i waited a few days and tried again. this time she allowed me to see another doctor and he told me that there is some problems and that he wanted to get an MRI on it to see whats goin on in there. i had my MRI a few days later and the hospital told me that the base would come pick the results and the scans up later that day. 2 weeks later they still hadnt picked up the results, so i picked them up and drove the 6th of a mile back to base to drop them off. when i got to the clinic on base i was told i needed to make an appointment to drop off the scans. thats when i lost it and started yelling at the young female about how i should have to make an appointment to drop something off that they were supposed to get themselves. she then took the scans and told me the doctor would look at them and inform me of the finding in a few day. after another 2 weeks of no results i contacted patient advocacy about the none response, they then told me that they would call me by the end of the business day with the results. once again noone informed me about the results so i went to the clinic to see if they just hadnt called me about them yet. once i meet with 1 of their staff i was informed that they hadnt gotten the results back yet, i immediately left the base and went to the hospital to get the results that i had delievered earlier so i could have a copy for myself.here is the results that i have gotten from the location that i had the MRI at and am still waiting for the base to inform me on stuff that took me 3hrs of waiting so they could make me a new copy of the scans and reports:

at L4-L5 disc interspace, a prominent central disc protrusion is identified causing compression of the available dural disc. the facet joints are unremarkable. the neural foramen is unremarkable.

at the L5-S1, on sagittal image, a focal area of hyperintensity is seen along the posterior margin of the disc interspace. this represents a large annular tear. a right central disc protrusion is identified causing compression of the dural sac. this focal disc protrusion does not appear to compress the dural sac or the right S1 root. the facet joints are unremarkable.

impressions:
1. degenerative disc changes at L4-5, and L5 S1
2. focal central disc protrusion at L4-5 causing moderate compression of the dural sac without compression of the adjoining nerve roots
3. focal annular tear at L5 and L1 with a right central disc protrusion without of the dural sac or adjoining right S1 root

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-30-2011, 09:16 AM   #2
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: littlerock, ar, usa
Posts: 3
wolverine119 HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

I am in real need of help understanding what that information means. I am 6months away from getting out. I have been fighting with my medical provider about getting this problem corrected so I can end my enlistment and focus on my next goal of trying to make a division 1 college wrestling team and go on to coach after I have finished school. Any replies would be appreciated

 
Old 09-30-2011, 11:48 AM   #3
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lorain, OH USA
Posts: 21
Marinesback HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

I am a disabled vet with leg/back problems so I can understand the lack of care for military personnel. I am currently dealing with the Veterans Adminstration (VA) and it isn't much better in my state. One of the best states for VA care happens to be Wisconsin. If you can't find a solution or answers you might want to contact your patient advocate. I have been out of the military for some time, but the VA does have advocates so I would guess the military should have something similar.

If your back condition is service related and/or causes your discharge I would encourage you to contact the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) who can act as your advocate (legal firm) when dealing with the military/VA. You might want to contact them anyways to see if they can offer additional advice as well.

I am no expert but in laymans terms. An annular tear to the best of my knowledge/research is a vertical tear/rip in the back muscles (one thing we share). Dural sac is a pouch where nerves culminate or start at. The disc(s) are seperated by a soft spongy material with an egg-shell like substance. These can narrow, be compressed, pinched, buldge out, etc... which can cause various degrees of pain, numbness in the back or legs.

Water therapy, physical therapy are probably the best first steps you can take. Hope this helps some and thanks for your service.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Marinesback For This Useful Post:
wolverine119 (10-01-2011)
Old 09-30-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,448
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

First, thank you for your service, and welcome to the board. I can give you a general idea of what the wording of your MRI indicates, but know that the MRI is but one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The doctor will correlate whatever information it provides with what he finds in a physical exam, a simple neurologic exam and listening to you describe your symptoms in detail.

The report indicates that there is a problem at both the L4-5 and the L5-S1 segments of your spine. At L4-5 the disc is herniated; the location is toward the central part of the disc near the spine. It is bulging out of its space and pressing on the dural sac, but the bulge is not sufficiently large to also cause compression of the adjoining nerve roots. (The dural sac is a tough membrane that contains the lumbar spinal nerves. Technically, the spinal cord ends around the Lumbar 2 level. Beyond the point, the lumbar nerves collect and co- mingle after this point, and are called the "cauda equina." These nerves are contained in the dura.)

When the disc bulges into it, it can result in pain as the lumbar nerves carry signals out to the legs....you might feel pain in your groin, hip, buttock, leg and foot. But it is not compressing the immediate spinal nerves that exit the spine right at the L4-5 level.

At the next segment below, L5-S1, there is what I interpret to be a mistake in the writing. I can't quite tell what the writer means. There is an annular tear in the disc and that the disc is also protruding. It goes on to say that it protrudes, causing compression of the dural sac..but the next phrase says it is not compressing the dural sac or the right S1 nerve root. The facet joints at this level are fine...nothing noticeably wrong with them.

Generally speaking, if the herniation is really bad, the radiologist uses the word "severe herniation" (as opposed to mild, or moderate). That word is not used in your report so I would conclude that the bulges are noticed but probably not in need of surgical intervention.

Of course your doctor will examine you and may discover things that are not clear from the MRI...so whatever I said above, it is just a general restating of the report. (and you know members do not have formal medical training...we are laymen that share knowledge gained from our own personal experiences.)

Hope this helps a little bit...If you have questions, I or another member who sees your post can try to answer them.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post:
wolverine119 (10-01-2011)
Old 09-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Panhandle Florida
Posts: 2
Severepain HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

[QUOTE=Marinesback;4852693]I am a disabled vet with leg/back problems so I can understand the lack of care for military personnel. I am currently dealing with the Veterans Adminstration (VA) and it isn't much better in my state. One of the best states for VA care happens to be Wisconsin. If you can't find a solution or answers you might want to contact your patient advocate. I have been out of the military for some time, but the VA does have advocates so I would guess the military should have something similar.

If your back condition is service related and/or causes your discharge I would encourage you to contact the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) who can act as your advocate (legal firm) when dealing with the military/VA. You might want to contact them anyways to see if they can offer additional advice as well.

I am no expert but in laymans terms. An annular tear to the best of my knowledge/research is a vertical tear/rip in the back muscles (one thing we share). Dural sac is a pouch where nerves culminate or start at. The disc(s) are seperated by a soft spongy material with an egg-shell like substance. These can narrow, be compressed, pinched, buldge out, etc... which can cause various degrees of pain, numbness in the back or legs.

Water therapy, physical therapy are probably the best first steps you can take. Hope this helps some and thanks for your service.[/QUOTE]
I agree with marine. Get the advocate involved because you will have a tough time after you get out because the military will say they lost your records. As far as the wrestling goes, hold off because you will cause much more damage atleast until you get true, clear answers and what the fix is.

 
Old 09-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: littlerock, ar, usa
Posts: 3
wolverine119 HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

well thank you guys a lot for the replies. like i said ive had this pain since 2008 and dont really know how i got it.i will for sure contact the disabled veterans to get some guidance on what to do about it. im just so frustrated at the fact that i was willing to put my problems aside to deploy 4 more times before getting it looked at. the things i was looking for in these replies was to make sure that this information on the report was more than just the muscle spasms i was diagnosed with. i have meet with the patient advocacy on base and they were no help to me. so my next step is on monday morning im goin to make an appointment with my commander to get a different angle on the problem. thanks again for the information and if someone else has any more information or advice i would gladly take it thank you.

 
Old 09-30-2011, 11:33 PM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,448
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

I would say that you may have some pain from muscle spasms, but your radiology report has nothing to do with muscle spasms. What is described in the report are degenerative changes that have occurred in your lumbar spine.

I suspect that your spine took a great deal of abuse when you were deployed and your MRI is reflecting the results of that stress and strain. When we think of words like degeneration, we tend to associate it with old age, but the spine actually begins to age in our twenties. Often discs are described as being similar to a jelly-filled "bismark" doughnut. The center of the disc (the nucleus) is a soft, gel-like substance. It is contained by a tough, outer ring of fibers that is called the "annulus fibrosis." This outer ring will sometimes bulge out due to wear and tear, (among many other reasons). It can also tear...and then it is called an annular tear. Sometimes when there is an annular tear, a chemical from the inside of the disc leaks out and is irritating to the adjacent nerves.

In the case of a bulging disc, it can press out into space that would normally be occupied by the spinal nerve, leaving less room for the nerve to function properly. This can cause the nerve to become compressed and leads to nerve pain. Either of these situations can be caused by wear and tear to the spine, or commonly, by a twisting type injury to the lower lumbar spine

The best type of doctor for an accurate diagnosis would be a spine specialist. This could be either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who limit their practice to issues of the neck and back. Other doctors have a limited knowledge of the spine. A patient can end up getting an incorrect diagnosis from them, and end up wasting quite a bit of time. I don't know what type of doctor you can get but they must have some orthopedic surgeons, at the very least!

When I first started out in the wonderful world of spine problems, my internist told me for over a year that I was fine... eventually he got tired of me complaining and ordered a MRI. Results came back; he read them and told me my back was just fine, for someone my age. I finally went to see a spine specialist who looked at my MRI for about a minute and told me the good news was I didn't need a fusion right away...the bad news was that there were no other options. Imagine my shock...going from thinking I was perfectly fine to being told I needed a lumbar fusion surgery.

You can find lots of information online pertaining to degenerative disc disease. It isn't actually a disease, but an easy way to categorize a bunch of changes that occur in the discs due to wear and tear, aging, and living. You might want to do a little reading so you will better understand what the MRI indicates is going on in your lumbar spine.

 
Old 10-01-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,448
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

You could minimize your chances of damaging your discs further by taking some preventive measures now. Try to avoid activities that involve bending or twisting at the waist, pushing, pulling or reaching up overhead, and try not to lift much of anything. Repetitious bending and lifting are particularly stressful. Also, try to use good body mechanics and posture and proper structural alignment. Drink lots of water to try to keep the discs hydrated. It would be helpful if you could avoid doing much more than walking for physical activity at this point.

It would be helpful if you could go to a physical therapist for a course of strengthening exercises. If you are able to avoid hurting your back further, you may have a good chance of getting it to heal on its own. But for now, you need to baby it!

 
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post:
wolverine119 (10-01-2011)
Old 10-04-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lorain, OH USA
Posts: 21
Marinesback HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

Did my first aquatic therapy session yesterday and I feel the difference already (for the good). The land therapy is/was helpful, but I feel the water therapy is much better all-around.

I actually was referred to a podiatrist about a month ago who explained to me that most of the nerves for the legs to ankles start around the L3-L5 region where many have issues with the degeneration of discs. He did agree verbally that many leg injuries (in my case) can cause additional back problems. As a construction worker for years, I can attest to seeing many basement walls with weak spots (cracks) in the base corners then you go to the first or second floor and find the same corner with drywall/plaster damage. Just like the human body. Along the same lines if you have back issues first later on you may develop nerve problems into your lower extremities.

Being a Marine, I have to keep reminding myself to not overdo it. Pushing too hard, to fast can cause more damage even when you "feel" better. Small,slow movements with either land or water PT is best. I get yelled at all the time for overdoing it

Good luck

 
Old 10-04-2011, 06:16 PM   #10
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,448
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

I'm glad you are enjoying the aqua therapy. I am finding it very useful too.

There are some professionals, particularly in the alternate therapies, who would contend that all our structural alignments stem for our feet...that the feet are the foundation of our structure. If, for example, someone has a pronation, it changes the angles of the ankles and knees, allowing them to roll inward, which, in turn causes the pelvis to rotate. This can cause the vertebrae to angle in an unnatural way, etc. After years of standing and walking this way, it begins to affect the lower lumbar discs, etc.

 
Old 10-05-2011, 01:47 PM   #11
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lorain, OH USA
Posts: 21
Marinesback HB User
Re: i need help understanding my MRI, for military medical

I agree totally. Although I think the medical consensus is 50/50. My primary care doctor is a self-admitted complete moron when it comes to spine problems. Not the only veteran who deals with her, I've heard the same thoughts about her from other people who have her. Dealing with the VA you don't have much choice unfortunately and the doctors are often moved around the country. One week you might have a good one and the next week an idiot. I do deal with some spine specialists now and dealt with a variety of chiropractors when I could afford it so have heard varying opinions. The problem is getting one to put anything in writing. Of course many doctors don't accept chiropractry as a legitmate science even though they deal with spines, necks, arms and legs daily. Some of the best PT exercises/stretches I still do came from chiropractors, not just PT people.

Keep an open mind and get more than one opinion if able as some therapy won't be as effective as others for each person.

Yes, four more aquatic therapy sessions to go and a follow up at the end of month with the VA spine specialists. Hopefully, I can get them to continue this therapy but hard to say. I am having to go to outsourced pool/therapy and not sure how much the VA is willing to spend on me. I feel much better after the water therapy sessions vs. land therapy exercises. The therapist today even commented how I tend to turn my hips outward and I could feel the difference in the muscles by turning them inward for more proper alignment. That's a small adjustment, but i noticed it right away. I have doubts that six water sessions will "cure" me of pain, but if it helps I'm all for continuing.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Please - need quick help! Sciatica numbness/pain is unbearable tja Arachnoiditis 25 09-30-2011 10:20 AM
Lost and need help.... robinkb Back Problems 0 08-10-2011 10:34 PM
MRI report, need help understanding it cinletharwi Back Problems 9 04-21-2011 07:40 PM
Grade 2 Spondo- When do I need to consider surgery Kelly12 Back Problems 15 05-12-2010 07:26 PM
need advice klstoneking Back Problems 5 05-12-2008 04:17 PM




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 (1119), gmak (131), SweetPeainSF (78), maltluver (71), twohands (64), pebblebeach3 (63), cheryl1213 (51), Moldova (46), ibake&pray (41), workinmom572 (40)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1177), MSJayhawk (1004), Apollo123 (903), Titchou (847), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (753), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (668), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:21 AM.



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