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  • Please Help Me Understand my MRI

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    Old 11-29-2012, 02:14 AM   #1
    okiemuddpie
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    Unhappy Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    When I ask the doctor he just tells me I wouldnt understand anyway!!
    I will not type the whole thing just the Impresion:
    [COLOR="black"]At L4-5there is broad based bulging of the annulus with middle and annular tear without focal protrusion. No significant stenosis.[/COLOR]
    [U]At L5-S1, There is annular bulging with a broad based central disc protrusion which results in moderate central stenosis. There is moderate neuroforaminal encroachment bilaterally.[/U]I dont have the MRI of my c spine but it basically said the i have a congenital fusion in several spots on my spine. I have complete herniated disc in 3 or 4 spots and moderate enlargement of my central spinal canal with leaking bone marrow. My L-spine MRI is from 2008 and the pain is much worse now then it was then. My C-spine is a couple months old and is much worse now then 3yrs ago when I had my last one. I am confussed I am in so much Pain!! could this be why? The pain is the worse around my right shoulder blade but doctor will not do an MRI for that, he said it is the least likely place to have damage. seen a neurosurgeon who said there is nothing he can do for me!!! I have to many lesions in my spine??? what does that mean? I wonder since I dont know what this means is the pain and stiffness, loss of bladder and sometimes bowels all in my head, or could this be causing the pain? I have had the Radio Frequency and have had epidural Injection as often as every month for 4 months and now every every month since 2008 I have had over 300 total, Can this be safe or causing more harm than doing good? The injections last 2-5 days then back to the same PAIN! Sorry so long Thank you, God Bless

    Last edited by okiemuddpie; 11-29-2012 at 02:18 AM. Reason: forgot information

     
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    Old 11-29-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    When a doctor says that to me, I go home and begin a search for a new one. Most doctors, at least those that have trained within the past 15+ years, are much more willing to help patients understand their test results, their symptoms and diagnoses. This paternalistic attitude that says "trust me as I make all these life-changing decisions for you" used to be typical, but is no longer encouraged.

    One of the first orthopedic spine surgeons I went to took me into a room where he reviewed imaging, put up all my sheets of film onto the lightboxes, got out his oreo cookies and proceeded to explain to me not only what was wrong with my spine, but how to look at a MRI in general. I realize most doctors do not have the time to do that, but I really appreciated it...and from then on, I became much more of an accomplice in the decision making process.

    I would suggest you make an appointment with a different spine specialist for a consultation. The first neurosurgeon may be correct in what he told you, but I would not accept it unless the same information was conveyed to me by at least one other spine specialist from a different practice. Personally, since you have seen a neurosurgeon, I would suggest looking for an orthopedic spine surgeon for a second opinion.

    First, regarding your comments about the cervical spine: it is not unusual to have cervical discs fuse together, often without the person having an inkling it is going on. It is nature's way of stabilizing the neck. The pain in your shoulderblade is most likely coming from one of these cervical discs, as the cervical spinal nerves innervate the upper part of the body, shoulders, arms and hands.

    You most likely need a new cervical MRI to learn what is now going on.

    As to the lumbar region, you have disc bulges at both L4-L5 and L5-S1. The one at L4-L5 is contained within the disc space and does not appear to be impacting on any nerve root.

    At L5-S1, the outside layer of the disc is protruding out of its space. This is causing a narrowing in the neural foramen at this level. (The foramen are little windows through which the spinal nerves exit the spine and go out to the limbs and other parts of the body.) In addition, the protrusion is pushing into the central canal (at this level, the spinal cord has ended, but the nerves have bundled together to form what is called the "cauda equina").l

    It is this pushing into the central canal that may be causing your bladder and bowel symptoms. Did you mention this to the neurosurgeon? If so, what did he say?

    Remember that members are not doctors, so always keep that in mind as you read. If I were in your shoes, I would not have any further injections, particularly steroid injections. Many doctors say one shouldn't have more than three in a six month time period. I have developed a type of early onset cataract from the steroids I had in connection with my spinal problems.
    The bigger danger is of nerve clumping, or the development of arachnoiditis.
    Since you are getting such little relief from the injections, I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point, and for this reason, I personally would not continue with any more.

    I would think that having surgery on the two lower lumbar discs might relieve some of your symptoms. I would be concerned about the loss of bladder or bowel control. This may be a symptom of "cauda equina syndrome" which usually calls for immediate attention.

    Your pain is not in your head. You have very real issues that are most likely causing the pain you are experiencing. You may need to travel a bit to find an orthopedic spine surgeon (you do not want a general orthopedic surgeon...you are looking for a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who only works on necks and backs) if you cannot find one in your area.

    I had problems that were difficult to track down. I had to see many spine surgeons before finally finding one who knew what to do to resolve my issues. We used to think we could go to one doctor and he would know the right thing to do. Things are now more complex and sometimes it takes a great deal of time, money and perseverance to find the right person to help you.

    Don't be discouraged just because one doctor didn't want to tackle your issues. He just wasn't up to the challenge.

     
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    Old 11-29-2012, 07:21 AM   #3
    pebblebeach3
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    Re: Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    I have to agree with the response to your post as to how to handle the situation.

    As to the doctor teling you that you wouldnt understand and didnt explain things I would suggest finding someone that would take the time explain things. Communication with a doctor/patient is critical. That by no means was a proper response from a doctor!!!!

    Last edited by pebblebeach3; 11-29-2012 at 07:23 AM.

     
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    Old 11-29-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
    okiemuddpie
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    Smile Re: Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pebblebeach3 View Post
    I have to agree with the response to your post as to how to handle the situation.

    As to the doctor teling you that you wouldnt understand and didnt explain things I would suggest finding someone that would take the time explain things. Communication with a doctor/patient is critical. That by no means was a proper response from a doctor!!!!
    Thank you both I in fact seen a new doctor 1 week ago and he just got up and walked out of the room while I was talking to him.. I thought are you kidding me.. I very first appoint to a doctor was a orthopedic surgeon he sent me to the doctor I just left after 6 years who was a pm doc. he got my new cervical MRI said it had gotten much worse since the last one. He sent me to the neurosurgeon who said with the problems I had and "all the lesions on my spine" there is nothing he can do for me.. The doctors go to school all that time I would think they have some desire to help people and I know with all the money my insurance and I have paid out of pocket he has probably bought a new house and over priced car, but can not give me 5 min to say here are your options and here is whats going on..Instead I get more epidural injections next month!! I cant take it anymore, not to mention 150 per injection and he has done as many as 7-8 in one session..In my state I was seeing one of the top rated pm docs people drove from 5-6 hours away to see him. He is head of PM at OU medical Center but I guess I was not worth the time..Thank you for responding to me!!

     
    Old 11-29-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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    Re: Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    Its sad that to many doctors run their practice the way you have experienced it. When I have seen things go really bad with a doctor especially when in a hospital setting I start filing charges/complains with the administration. Whether it does any good or not I doubt it but at least Ive voice my opinion on the way doctors run the show.

    I have learned the hard way if I dont like a doctor I go to the next one. Luckily I have found thru trial and error a team of doctors that I now like. And if one gets out of line then I move on.

    There are good doctors out there that will communicate with you. Its a matter of finding them Yes they are busy but you are the pateint too and have a right to their time and and to answers!!!

     
    Old 11-29-2012, 08:52 AM   #6
    georgie782
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    Re: Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    I have been reading your post this morning and I was wondering have you looked on the comp. for all neursurgeons in the area? I looked up afew in Tulsa and wow I can read alot about them. I would file complaint too on the doc. too that treated you that way. I feel so bad for you . I will keep you in my prayers and if we all pray Like they say the power of prayer can do so much. I pray for every one even people I do not know, and I believe. Please take care and stay safe.

     
    Old 12-01-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
    candrews922
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    Re: Please Help Me Understand my MRI

    Wow. Well I have DDD/spinal stenosis and all the associated nerve impingement, narrowing, of opening and canals etc. I have it in 3 levels in my neck, with osteoarthiritis and bone growth and spurs there. At my lumbar level I have DDD at L4-L5 with collapsed disc and broad bulge with ligament and bone growth from the disc not being able to hold any weight and everything around that area growing and forming bone from having to take on the displacement. My L5-S1 has an annular tear but wasn't bulging. My neck 1st showed symptoms in 2001 when I was still working, and all the pain and problems were in my shoulder on the right side. An MRI then showed I had a large bone growth on the right side at C6-C7. I went to the chiropractor since I was 14. Anyway I haven't had any surgery on my spine. I had double impingement from CTS bilateral. It was significant on the right side, due to the bone growth so I did have the carpel tunnel release surgery on my right hand back in 2007. I didn't on the left, because I already had nerve damage in both hands at a level where surgery was too late. I had burning, tingling, and numbness at a high level in the right hand, and the surgery did stop that for the most part. I have had some returning which I figure is now the neck. Your cervical spine and the nerve roots there if inflammed, like all inflammed nerves can produce muscle spasm. It is the muscles response to the inflammed nerve. The area affected can be anywhere along that nerve all the way down to the hands, and into the upper back. Especially under the shoulder blade and the muscle that attaches on the back side of the shoulder where everything joins together at the top of the blade and arm. Icing usually helps me when this gets stirred up. If you can get massage, that can help a lot also. If you have never been to a chiropractor you might want to see one. Have your MRI reports so they can look at them before any adjustments. Go to one that uses an activator to move your bones, rather than manipulation. I have had a few injections, for the cost and side effects of the steroids, it wasn't worth it to me to get them done. A TENS unit can help with muscle issues also. Sorry I couldn't give you a wonder cure. If anyone hears of one that the insurance doesn't consider experimental, I'd like to know.

     
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