View Full Version : Need answers regarding severe pain with L5 S1

03-10-2005, 07:03 AM
When went to doc the other day before my 3 ESI. he told me/ showed me that my L5 is completely black on MRI and it don't have any liquid/fluid left in it. So he couldnt really give what that really means( he does the injections) I have searched the interent past few days and drove crazy looking for possible name to this. and it has caused bulge in L4. I know this might sound crazy but does anybody have any ideas. I havnet even got referral to spine doctor yet. thank you to everybody on this board. It has been life saver. :angel:

03-10-2005, 07:16 AM
I remeber a friend of mine talkign about how stuff turned up black on her MRI like urs but I am at a loss to remeber what it is unfortunatly....but there is a name for it....I'm sorry I couldn't help more then to say no u aren't crazy......I hope u get a referal soon and good luck with it.

03-10-2005, 10:20 AM
Not really sure what name you're looking for. I have same result on my MRI. Neurosurgeon said the L5-S1 disk is completely degenerated/dehydrated. Do the steroids help you? I didn't get relief from them. How's your pain? My pain keeps getting worse, but it's all in my back, and the doctors don't seem to like that. Good luck! Believe me, I know how you feel!! :)


03-10-2005, 10:38 AM
Hi I think the blackening of the disk is called desiccation. That means the fluid is drying or dried up. I'm just searching this myself as my MRI shows desiccation. I guess it's rated by the color of the disk that shows on the MRI and the loss of signal intensity.

injured betty
03-10-2005, 10:43 AM
Technically, this 'Blackening' of the disc occurs because the disc has greatly lost its water content and become dehydrated. This 'blackening' is called disc 'Desiccation'.

Cindy in NV
03-10-2005, 12:07 PM
I have the same problem. Disc at L4-L5 is still almost full height but is black and the disc at L5-S1 is flat and black. Dr's explanation was there was no fluid in them. Also have a herniated disc at L4-L5 that is causing severe pain from my lower back and numbness down my legs into my feet. On the 18th I'm having a laser discectomy done to try and fix the herniated disc. I'm hoping it will relieve my pain. If not, it will be either a fusion or adr. I try not to think about that.

03-10-2005, 12:24 PM
I have a copy of my MRI on a CD. He showed me where the S1 & L5 had no liquid at all and are bone to bone. I am now 5 weeks out from a Fusion.
Mine caused my back to slip out of place and severe muscle spasms would hold it like that, so he had to fuse it to keep the bone from moving, I just returned from a visit with him and the spine is already fusing very well. This is the first time my back has not gone out on me at all, soon I will be able to pick up my Grandchildren again.
If you don't have a problem with the spine, that is great!!
But mine ran my life.
Good luck to you,

03-10-2005, 01:56 PM
thanks rowboat for answering..and no injections haven't helped and my pain keeps getting worse and it is all in my back also. So if you come up with something let me know and if I find out something I will let you know also. I think we are dealing with the exact same thing. Thanks KIM

03-10-2005, 03:34 PM
Hi, you should try the bone disorder board as i found a few posts with the same problem.

Hope this helps you find out whats wrong.
good luck.

Dealing in Pa.
03-13-2005, 03:06 PM
I don't know your age, but disk degeneration is normal with age. I have four disks in a row with the exact blackening on the MRI that cause me no pain. Just a normal part of aging. The dehydrated disk could have caused the bulging on the other disk you spoke of, due to lack of movement and the ability to hold weight. Hope you are well soon.

03-14-2005, 02:11 AM
Usually when a disc appears black on an MRI - It means it has lost all it's liquid properties.

When a DDD pt has an MRI it is typical for the levels involved to appear this way.

Good to know your seeing a spine specialist -
keep us posted on what he says.