I am experiencing very bad back pain so I had an MRI and see a spine specialist in a week. I have had back pain since I was about 14 years old so for about 15 years now. It seems to be worse now. Things that have been tried are physical therapy, a steroid injection (this made the pain worse), tens unit, anti inflammatories, and a back brace. My pcp gave me vicodin 5-500 and said take 1 twice a day until I see the specialist. These don't seem to take the edge off at all. I have also been on ultram which doesn't do anything at all for it. I have a dip in about the middle of my back and this is where the pain seems to start but moves down to the top of my butt. The pain in the dip feels like someone stabbing a knife through my back and into my stomach then twisting it. I also have some numbness that comes and goes in the bottom of each foot. I am going to post my MRI results in hopes that someone can give me some idea of what it means and what might happen next in the treatment of this. Any information would be much appreciated as I'm in the dark on all of this and kind of freaked out since I'm only 29 and having all these issues. Thank you in advance.
Alignment is anatomic. The paraspinous soft tissues are normal. Incidentally noted is chronic, mild ectasia of the distal thecal sac. The distal spinal cord and nerve roots of the cauda equina are normal in appearance. No bone marrow pathology is seen.
No significant abnormality is demonstrated at the T10-T11 through L3-L4 levels. There is no lumbar disc protrusion, spinal stenosis, or foraminal narrowing.
L4-L5: There is a posterior annular tear and a small, broad-based, left foraminal disc protrusion. There is mild left lateral recess narrowing. There is no nerve root displacement. There is no significant facet arthropathy. There is no spinal stenosis or foraminal narrowing.
L5-S1: There is disc degeneration and mild disc bulging. There is mild bilateral facet arthropathy. There is no spinal stenosis or significant foraminal narrowing.
The visualized upper sacrum is unremarkable.
Again thank you in advance to anyone who has any input for me.
In looking at your MRI post it looks pretty good. It does state Foraminal disc protrusion which means that the disc is not completely in position and may be putting pressure on the nerve.
Whether this is of any significance or not I am not sure.
When it talks about stenosis it talks about "narrowing" of the central canal where all the nerves run down from the head down the spine. And also the nerves will exit at various points along the spine to areas like the arms and legs etc. This seems to all be normal.
Spine issues can start at any age. Most adults that go thru an MRI will find degenerative changes in their spine that is normal and in many cases does not cause symptoms.
Overall I think your MRI looks pretty good. So not sure what is causing all your issues.
Best thing is to consult with an orthopedist or neurosurgeon for complete interpretation of the report and whats causing any symptoms that you may be experiencing. I wish I had the report that you had.
There may be a reason for all your pain but I am not sure if I am missing it from what is stated in the report. Good luck.
The Following User Says Thank You to pebblebeach3 For This Useful Post: hope0615 (11-09-2012)
Bear in mind that none of us are physicians, so keep that in mind while you are reading.
Also, remember that a MRI is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The spine specialist will correlate the findings to what he finds upon physical examination, basic neurologic exam and a history of your symptoms and how they are affecting your life.
So the MRI report does not necessarily indicate what is causing your pain. There is very little to investigate from the report. Things that are "wrong" appear to be quite minimal. There is no severe nerve compression or big disc herniation. There is minimal to no stenosis in the central canal or the neural foraminal openings....The only thing mentioned that I would think might be causing your pain is the annular tear at L4-L5. The report does not indicate whether it is small or large.
The annulus fibrosis is a tough, outer ring that runs around the perimeter of the disc, keeping the softer gel-like interior nucleus contained. When there is a combination of wear and tear, disc degeneration, etc. the outer ring can develop a tear or rip. Because there are some nerve endings in this part of the disc, a tear can be very painful.
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post: hope0615 (11-09-2012)