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Old 12-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Has been there and back

Hi eveyone. I was just thinking about the pain in my back and my legs, feet only when I get up in the morn. My MRI shows nothing of concern to the doc. so will be sent to a specialist for nerve testing. Why is it that MRI's do not show nerve damage. Any one got any ideas? I would love to hear from you. Thanks and i hope you all have a peaceful nite. As ever gerogie782. Oh and is there anyone out there in flat out pain with MRI looking good , 3 yrs. port 3 level fusion of lumbar

 
Old 12-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Has been there and back

I have had back pain for 3 years now. It started when I was working as a paramedic and one day my left leg went numb and I had excruciating pain in my lower back. After 3 years of MRI's, spinal injections and pain management my doctors began thinking I had a tumor because my pain increased and I developed leg spasms. After months of tests and very painful procedures a Discogram showed that I have a severely damaged L4-L5 disc and L5-S1 has disintegrated and bone calcifications have started to fuse my vertebra together. I will be having a fusion surgery next month. The process is long and most insurance companies have certain procedures to be followed before they will approve the more extensive/expensive procedures. The key is to never give up and always keep pushing the doctors to keep looking. Don't get comfortable treating the symptoms. Always keep looking for the cause. An MRI is a black and white picture that can show if a disc is protruding out of place but without a contrast CT they can't see the total damage to the disc. I had to go through nerve and muscle testing on my legs, I've been wearing a back brace and even had to do physical therapy. They eventually found the problem 3 years after my injury. Every test they ran on me came back normal until they did a Discogram. I've never in my life been through so much pain but it was worth it for the answer I've been searching for for so long.

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: Has been there and back

Nerves do not necessarily "look" different unless there is some physical damage to the nerve, such as when one is severed. If I understood your post, you have had a three level fusion that has not resolved your pain issues...right?

I went through a similar experience with my first back surgery, which was a PLIF at L4-L5. The surgery was a success as far as the medical community was concerned. Recovery was uneventful, but by six months, I felt just the same as I had prior to surgery...couldn't walk more than a very short distance, couldn't stand more than a minute or two, etc. MRI looked clear -- no nerve compression, etc. It took me two years to track down what was going on...after my surgeons had told me to accept the fact that this "might be as good as it is going to get." I went to pain management which just wanted to implant a neurostimulator...but I refused because I knew there was something still wrong that I felt could be fixed.

Do you only have pain when you get up in the morning?

 
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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Lightbulb Re: Has been there and back

Hi teteri66, I had a 3 level . L2-L3-L4-5. My MRI reads Without contrast 1.Disc buldge and mild facet degenerative changes at L1-L2 level above fusion. @. Moderate facet degenerative changes at L5-S1, level below fusion. #. No central canal or neuroforaminal stenosis. This was done on the 3 rd of this month. ... Question is why does it show with contrast in MRI taken on 1 19 12 it says , to the left of the spinous starting at the mid portion of the L3 vertabral body extending to the L5 is a mildly comlex fluid collection with enhancing capsule. This appears to be mildly coml\plex in portions. I am getting so confused on what these MRIs are showing. And as to your question on where my pain is. It is real sever in lowere back all the time, it rapes around to the front of me pelvic area like real bad menstral cramps which I havent had one of those in 32 yrs. it hurts to touch the inner parts and outer parts of my legs and when I sit for say 20 minutes my legs just ache so bad. when i walk for a short distants they fell weak and to the point to where they feel like they are gonna just explode shatter into pieces. My hips hurt to touch and they ache bad all the time sitting standing and laying down is real bad. I have a hard time in the mornings with the bottoms of my feet they feel like ballons ready to pop when I stand up as the morning goes on my feet feel some what better. The mid part of my back hurts while writting. So I really must go for now and I hope to hear from you . Thanks so much. As ever Georgie 782..

 
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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Re: Has been there and back

Sorry for my delay in responding. I haven't been on the board as frequently lately. I am confused about your last post. Are you asking what it means to have MRI with and without contrast? I don't know why the recent one would be done without -- usually they do the first part without contrast; then they inject the person with gadolinium, which is a contrast dye, and then do more scanning.

MRI with contrast means that the patient is given an injection, usually of gadalinium which is a type of contrast dye. It absorbs into soft tissue and makes it easier for things to stand out and be seen. Once one has hardware in the spine, a MRI is almost always given with contrast. Hardware can cause the images to blur -- something that is referred to as "artifact" -- with the contrast dye, it helps to overcome the blur and make it easier for the doctor to see what is going on. It can be administered prior to the MRI or during the MRI and is given by injection.

It sounds to me like that disc at L5-S1 may now be causing the symptoms you feel in your legs--when the facet joints develop arthritic changes and begin to break down, it can be very painful. Now that you have been immobilized from L2 down to L5, this next segment, L5-S1, is now carrying the brunt of the back's movement and it is putting a lot of additional stress on it. As a result, the facet joints are breaking down....my guess is that the reason the fluid-filled "capsule" that is noted on the MRI of 1-19-12 is not present -- fluid-filled capsules or cysts or whatever can be reabsorbed...and since it is not mentioned, I would assume that is what happened. If it were still there, I'm sure it would have been mentioned.

Did I address your question?

 
Old 12-14-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
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Lightbulb Re: Has been there and back

Hi Teteri66, you have helped in answering my question, my doc. had the order done on the mri and forgot to put in with contrast. I am hopeing to go to a neurosurgeon in a few weeks. My pmgmt. wants to go in and have my hardware taken out and or put in a stimulator and I will not do either of the 2. So I guess it is as always wait and see if and when someone can get to the bottom of the problem. If I forgot to mention in my first letter, The recent MRI also states Lamago, and seroma of the L5, and probable cyst in the right kidney. Thanks so much for writting back to me and I wish you a good day. Maybe someone else on here can add a few words . Like I said thankyou again. As ever Georgie 782. PS> Sorry for the spelling.Never have been good at it.

 
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