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Old 02-02-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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disc bulges, protrusion in cervical & lumbar, Dr disagrees with MRI?

Hello! I tried posting something similar in the MS board, due to the new doctor's suggestion of possible MRI. But I truly think the issues are with the disc injuries.

I"m having a MRI done Wednesday to "rule out" MS. I'm a 25 year old female. Here is my back story;

About a month and a half ago, I stood up out of my car and experienced an intense upper right back pain and pressure on my right chest.. The pain lasted a few days and then the pain shifted until just my right upper back/shoulder/neck/in between my shoulder blades. I was having major spasms in my back that never seemed to stop. Primary treated me for muscle spasms, gave me Flexeril & Tramadol and prescribed PT. Symptoms continue to worsen & new symptoms arrived. Numbness/tingling/burning in my right arm/hand; Major pressure at the back of my head; bad neck pain; extreme nausea; dizziness; lightheaded; fogginess; some "buzzing" in my ears/head. As of the past few weeks, my legs feel like they're going ot give out all the time. The numbness/pain/tingling is also in my right leg. Balance has always been an issue for me as well as general clumsiness/ ie/ falling up stairs, tripping over my own feet..etc. I've also noticed a stuttering issue that started in my teens and seems to gradual get worse over time. I seem to .. not be able to get the words out even though they're in my head.

I got an Ortho to order the MRI as requested by PT. MRI report started 8 broad-based disc bulges in lumbar and cervical, 1 protrusion at c2-c3. degenerative discs as well. So I was referred to the "best" pain management / spine specialist in town. Saw him today. He told me the MRI didn't show any issues.. He brought it up in front of me. He said they usually "overwrite" the MRI reports. He says he wants to do a brain MRI to test for MS and also a MRI on the braciular artery.

I guess i"M a little confused. Aren't the people writing the MRI reports professionals? Has anyone else ever had a doctor disagree with the MRI reports? Any suggestions or opinions?

 
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #2
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Re: disc bulges, protrusion in cervical & lumbar, Dr disagrees with MRI?

Did the ortho go over the MRI images with you, or just share the reports? I suspect that this pain management/spine specialist has seen lots of bulges and protusions in his career, and he thinks that your symptoms don't all correlate to the MRI images. Some of the symptoms could be caused by something else, and he is trying to be cautious and gather all the data.

As to the people who write the reports, they are doctors who are looking at images and a brief synopsis of your medical complaint. They haven't examined you, while the pain management/spine specialist is trying to correlate the MRI images to your symptoms and probably has a better perspective. And, of course, some of the description is a matter of judgement.

 
Old 02-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: disc bulges, protrusion in cervical & lumbar, Dr disagrees with MRI?

It would help if you could copy the MRI report and post it on here. Then we'd have a better idea of what issues you are facing.

Usually the radiology report includes what you could think of us the "highlights" or, the most obvious things that jump off the images. The MRI consists of dozens, if not hundreds, of slices. The radiologist picks out what appear to be the most representative examples and writes a report based on information picked up in those images. They do not list everything that is apparent in the images.

That's why any imaging is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The doctor will examine the patient, perform a basic neurological exam, take a patient history and listen to the patient describe the symptoms, and will correlate all this information with what is shown on the imaging.

I am curious what is the training of the "pain management/spine specialist"? Is he a neurosurgeon, orthopedic spine specialist, anesthesiologist or physiatrist? It is important to know his background before trying to figure out what he is implying by his comments.

Last edited by teteri66; 02-03-2012 at 09:49 AM.

 
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