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  • I need help with MRI Terminology

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    Old 07-15-2004, 01:43 PM   #1
    hayden1107
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    Red face I'm really terrified of what my future holds for me...

    Hi there.. ..

    Well I'll start off by saying I am 19 years old with a lot of lower back and leg pains. So I went through a CT Scan in February and now I've had my MRI done but I wont see my specialist for a couple of weeks because he's on vacation. So I would really like to know what my MRI results mean, and if I go through surgery, what I should be expecting before, during, and after!
    I would really appreciate all the help I can get because I am completely terrified... I hate having this problem because I am only 19 years old and I can't play with my son, or live a life with my friends, or even live any active life. It's so frustrating, because all I do is cry about it.
    I live in Canada so my health care is free so therefore if surgery will help me than I will go through with it, but I don't know if that would make a difference, but I really did wish people who had/have my problem didn't have to worry about the costs of treatment, I wouldn't want to worry about money on top of all my current problems.

    The reason why I am like this now is because I had my son on May 2nd 2002 and my car accident was May 10th 2002. I was the driver, and I was t-boned on my side by a stupid guy who doesn't know what the red light means, my car was written off, so I have had this problem for 2 years now.

    My first pain wasn't that bad and I went through accident benefits against my insurance company, so they sent me to kineseologists and different other kinds of doctors, all of them said it was my siatica and it will heal itself within a year.
    So I waited and waited, during the 2 years wait, my pain increased(left leg has numbness, tingly, soreness and back is like arthritis). Now I can't walk short/long distances, sit in one position, stand for short/long periods.
    I went down to a walk-in clinic here in winter 2003/2004, since nobody was listening, or understanding me before, those doctors decided it was time for me to go for a CT Scan. I went for that in February 2004, when those results came back, I was referred to my orthopedic surgeon, who ordered a MRI, which was done in June 2004, he also gave me 2 options, which were back surgery but taking a high risk of undergoing future back surgeries or the Cortizone shot every 3 months for the rest of life but those shots could make the pain go away, but not heal me and could worsen things. But I now have my MRI results back and it says:

    [B][I]Technique:
    A routine MRI of the lumbar spine was performed. No previous imaging available. There is some motion artifact on several of the sequences.

    At L5-S1, there is a very large central/left paracentral focal disc protrusion. The disc extends posteriorly into the canal over approximately a 1 cm distance. In transverse dimension the herniated disc fragment measures approximately 2.1 cm. There is complete effacement of the thecal sac and severe mass effect upon the traversing left S1 nerve root. There also appears to be mass effect upon the traversing right S1 nerve root.

    The remaining discs demontrate normal signal intensity and morphology. No central or neural foraminal stenosis at any other level. The lumbar vertebrae are normal aligned with normal marrow signal. I understand from the clinical history that there is a bilateral spondylolysis at L5. This is not readily apparent on the MRI. There is a mild scoliosis convex to the left.

    The conus medullaris is difficult to evaluate due to motion artifact.

    Summary:
    Very large focal disc protrusion at L5-S1 with severe mass effect upon the thecal sac and traversing nerve root. The spondylolysis that is apparently present, is occult on MRI.[/I][/B]

    When my pain starts I have to bend and twist around to stretch my back and nerve, and most of the time I feel better for a while, but the pain always came back eventually. My left leg is the worse, but now my right leg is starting with the pain, near my thighs I feel it. It was never like that before. But a couple of days ago, I ran after my son for 2 seconds, and now the upper left leg has constant ache, could I have caused more nerve damage? My reflexes are normal in the right leg, but my left foot doesn't react like its supposed to, but my knees are fine. If you have any questions that could help me through all of this, ask away! Thank You for all your help!

    Last edited by hayden1107; 07-18-2004 at 05:41 PM.

     
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    Old 07-15-2004, 04:34 PM   #2
    siberiandog
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    hi sounds like u have herniated disk at L5-S1,which also broke a piece off ,and its causing u to have pain or numbness an tinglimg in both i would assume since it pressing on your s1 sciatic nerves which everyone has one on left and one on right ,in your case its affecting both,it can be fixed and your gonna get thru this no prob ,theres lots of us to asnswer questions ok,and to give support

     
    Old 07-15-2004, 05:30 PM   #3
    carol632
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    [I][COLOR=Indigo]You have a herniated disc, of which a large portion is pressing into the spinal canal. The thecal sac is the protective covering of the spinal canal. This protrusion is also laying on the left nerve root and probably the right as well. That means those nerves are being "pinched". I would guess you have quite a bit of pain, and I suspect a surgery will be needed.
    There are more than one way to handle this, so be sure to ask the doctor about all your options. Then, take the time to get a second opinion. If the 2 doctors agree, great. If not, get a 3rd opinion and go with the dr. you feel most comfortable with.
    You are so young to have to start dealing with back problems. I hope you will stay in touch here, and ask lots of questions, and learn how to deal with your back properly.
    Hope this helped clue you in.

    Carol[/I][/COLOR]
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    Old 07-16-2004, 12:42 AM   #4
    hayden1107
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    Thank you so much for all your help. I will keep in touch with my injuries and my surgery, as well as my recovery. I am going to need all the support I can, and it seems only people who know, or have gone through what I am now, understand how bad my pain is. Now I have a web site where I can relate with other people, and now I am so happy. Thank you again!

    Right now I only feel pain in my left leg, but it seems to be starting in the right leg.. The whole cause of everything, was I was in a car accident in May 2002 (not my fault, and I was T-Boned on my side). But approximately how long it take for me to recover from surgery? My doctor would like to put me through surgery in August but I start college in September, he said he performs with surgery at least 4 times a week, and the recovery is no more than a month. I guess its really common, and technology is a lot better now, so I will be able to walk but I wont be completely active. He said just enough for me to go to school. Does this sounds right??

     
    Old 07-16-2004, 05:19 AM   #5
    mlachowicz
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    Hayden

    Hi There, and welcome to the boards!
    I could not resist sending you a reply, as today I am 1 week, 1 day post op from my L4-5, L5-S1 microdiscetomy. I am 25, a bit older then you, but can relate to the frustration of being young and in pain!
    I am assuming, and correct me if I am wrong, that you will be going in for the same surgery as I.......
    I FEEL GREAT!!!!!! Yes, the 1st week is the hardest, however, everyday I see a small improvement. I hardly take any pain meds anymore, unless I am feeling real bad. I had immediate releife from pain in both legs after surgery. That alone was amazing! I have to be honest and say that I am still experiencing numbness in my right leg... I spoke w/ my Dr. and he said totally normal as he had to move my right side nerve out of the way to get at the herniation. (Turns out I was herniated 2 times at the same level and it was really into the nerve) He says that it will subside... honestly, I couldn't care less if I have to live with it forever.... All my other leg symptoms are GONE!!!
    I wish you luck in your decision, please feel free to ask any questions... I will be more then willing to answer them based on my experience, and I am sure that everyone else will share there advice and support as well!

    ~M~

     
    Old 07-16-2004, 10:26 AM   #6
    hayden1107
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    Now does it matter where you live? Because I live in Canada, and I don't know if the doctors work differently here than anywhere else. I love hearing great things about everyone's recoveries, it helps me feel more motivated and encourages me to go through the surgery......in my head I am just repeating the words "This is common so I will be strong, I will be better, I will hold my head up high". I also love hearing about the bad parts of surgeries, because it helps me know what I can expect. I know I will no be perfect but thats okay.

     
    Old 07-17-2004, 07:16 PM   #7
    mattzbadback
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    Hello, my name is Matt I am 26 and have had 2 ruptured discs and one bulge. I had them at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1. So I can say that your M.R.I. states that you have a large herniation at the L5-S1 region, your disc is basically squished, like a balloon that has too much air in it, it also says that it is pushing on both nerve roots. That is not good. Myne was pushing on my nerve roots for 8 months. I had surgery 3 months ago and my leg is still numb from the knee down. How long have you been like this? When they test your reflexes are they normal or sometimes not there? Also, are any of your legs weaker than the other? Do you walk a lot different than before? I did before surgery and now I have to walk with a cane. One of the biggest reasons for surgery is due to neurological deficit- that is what I just asked you about. I hope that you don't have to go through the same thing that I did, just make sure that your neurosurgeon is excellent! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Good luck!!

    Matt

     
    Old 07-17-2004, 07:50 PM   #8
    hayden1107
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    Bump Bump Bump

    Last edited by hayden1107; 07-18-2004 at 05:27 PM.

     
    Old 07-19-2004, 08:37 AM   #9
    hayden1107
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    bump please

     
    Old 07-19-2004, 10:13 AM   #10
    mattzbadback
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    what does bump please mean

     
    Old 07-20-2004, 07:30 PM   #11
    TexasWildRose04
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    Re: I need help with MRI Terminology

    Hi There!

    Well Ya'll have been quite helpful so far.... Could someone please give me a little insight on what some terminology on my MRI report means? it says....................

    FINDINGS:

    There is disc desiccation and loss of disc height noted at L5-S1. The lumbar spine demonstrated good alignment. the conus medullaris appears normal and ends at L1.

    L4-5 Demonstrates minor diffuse disc buldge with facet hyperttrophy causing mild centeral canal narrowing....
    L5-S1 demonstrates a centeral disc protrusion with impingement upon the right S1 nerve root and also the left S1 nerve root... The neural foramina are patent.........

    IMPRESSION:

    1. MINOR DIFFUSE DISC BULDGE CAUSING MILD CENTERAL CANAL NARROWING AT L4-5

    2. L5-S1 DEMONSTRATES A LARGE DISC PROTRUSION EXTENDING APPROXIMATELY 9MM INTO THE SPINAL CANAL CAUSING IMPINGEMENT UPON THE RIGHT S1 NERVE ROOT AND ALSO THE LEFT S1 NERVE ROOT....


    What does all this mean? is the L4-5 thing something I am probably going to have trouble with in the future, does this mean I possibly have Disc Degeneration Disease? and of course I had the surgery for the L5-S1 disc buldge a little over a month ago, and now I am having pain again....

    Any Information ya'll can give me, would be so helpful..... I go to the Neurologist again on the 27th, so I guess I will know more then... Hopefully...

    Thanks all.

    April

     
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