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    Old 12-07-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
    jordyn45
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    MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Back pain for over 2 yrs, quite severe most of the time. Issues with sitting, standing and walking. Using a cane for the most of it recently.

    I take 1800 mg of gabapentin and have serious side effects when it comes to staying away or trying to focus seems like a blurrrrrr most times. I just want to sleep!! I also take nortripylene two pills a night to help me sleep but the pain specialist said they are to help numb the nerve endings too.

    I have been getting steroid injections for over a year and still need two more for sure into the left facet joint.

    This MRI does not state the bone spurs that are around many of the discs that previous ct scans have shown.

    I am just trying to figure out where all this pain is coming from as my dr says I should only be feeling 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. Never mind when my leg was numb and foot. They can only guess that the bone spurs are pinching nerves into my legs??? So any help with this info would be a great help. I was almost done typing and hit a button and gone last time, hope this works this time






    Alignment of the lumbar spine is satisfactory, There is no scoliosis. There is loss of the lumbar lardosis in the upper half of the lumbar spine. The vertebral body heights are maintained. Mild endplate degenerative changes are noted. There are modic type 1 marrow signal changes along the anterior aspect of the lower endplate of L3 and the anterior aspect of the upper endplate of the L4. The marrow signal in L5 is inhomogeneous. in the right side of the T12 there is an area of increased T1/T2 signal in keeping with a hemangioma.

    Desiccation of the intervertebral disc is noted. There is mild to moderate narrowing of the L3/4 disc space and moderate diffuse narrowing of the L4/5 disc space. There is a moderate narrowing of the L5/S1 disc.

    The axial images of the lumbar spine extend from lower half of the L3 to sacrum. Based on sagittal images there are no disc herniations L1/2 or L2/3. The neural foramina at both of these levels are patent.


    At L3/4 there is mild diffuse bulging of the disc annulus there is straightening of the posterior margin of the disc. There is flattening of the anterior margin of the thecal sac. CSF is maintained within the thecal sac. There is mild narrowing of the nrural foramina. The exiting L3 nerve roots focally appear to abut the facets as they exit through the nural foramina. The nerve roots are not dispaces and do not appear to be compressed.

    At L4/5 there is mild bulging of the disc annulus. There is very mild narrowing of the left lateral recess of the spinal canal. There is no displacement of the traversing nerve roots. CSF is maintained in the thecal sac. There is narrowing of the neural foramina. The disc is encroaching into the inferior recesses of the neural foramina. Neural foraminal narrowing is more marked on the left side however the exiting nerve roots do not appear to be compressed or displaced.

    At L5/S1 there are no disc herniations. Very low signal is noted in the disc in keeping with vacuum phenomenon. There is no compression of the thecal sac or traversing nerve roots. Mild facet joint degenerative changes are present on the left side. There is narrowing of the left neural foramen. The perineural fat surround the left exiting L5 nerve root is effaced but there is no definite compression or displacement of the left exiting L5 nerve root. There is no compression of the right exiting L5 nerve root.

    IMPRESSION:

    There is evidence of multilevel degenerative disc disease with narrowing of the disc spaces at L3/4, L4/5 and L5/S1 and desiccation of all of the intervertebral discs. Mild bulging of the dis annulus is noted. There are no focal disc herniations. While there is narrowing of several of the neural foramina there is no definite neural compromise,.

     
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    Old 12-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Where specifically is your pain located?

    Do you have any pain on the front of the thigh?

    The Impression part of the report sums up the issues that were found during the MRI exam. If you had to look up one term to understand your condition, it is degenerative disc disease. This is not really a disease per se, but it is a series of degenerative changes in the discs that leads to other issues, including nerve compression.

    The discs are comprised of around 90% moisture. Their purpose is to act like a shock absorber, to separate the bones of the spine. As we age, the discs begin to lose moisture and to flatten out. This is referred to as a dessication.

    This causes the bones to move closer together and ultimately results on bone sitting on bone.

    The report does not indicate specific nerve compression but since you have bone spurs on the facet joints, this may be causing some spinal nerve compression.

    Each spinal nerve carries signals of sensation and movement to a specific part of the body. For example, if the L4 spinal nerve is pinched, it can cause the big toe to go numb. If there is compression of the cervical spinal nerve 6, there could be numbness or tingling in the thumb. The lumbar spinal nerves innervate specific areas of the legs and feet.

    The finding is that while you have several lumbar disc bulges, none is severe enough to cause nerve compression, which is the most common cause of back and sciatic-type pain. I imagine this is why you are being told you shouldn't be in so much pain.

    Sounds like the steroid injections are not helping much.

    Last edited by teteri66; 12-07-2014 at 05:23 PM.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 01:26 AM   #3
    den3464
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Sorry to hear about your pain and frustration on not getting good answers. I agree with teeteri66 in that the report basically says you have degenerative discs; they are drying out (dessicated) and thinning, but there isn't any nerve compression seen.

    Basically, they are saying you have arthritis in your low back. Now that may be a cause of your pain, but there are lots of people waking around with arthritic spines who have no symptoms other than an occasional ache and/or some stiffness.

    You note that in addition to the pain, you have numbness. True numbness (i.e., you physically can't feel it when you touch it), definitely indicates your nerves are not working and are being compressed or otherwise damaged. It may be physical compression or it may be due to other reasons, including diseases like diabetes.

    Compression of the nerve down the leg can occur at the spine but it can also occur in the buttock muscles. As the sciatic nerve leaves the spine it enters the buttock and, in some people actually go through the middle of a muscle called the piriformis. If this muscle develops tension for whatever reason, it may compress the sciatic nerve and create leg pain and if bad enough, numbness . A quick and dirty way to suspect the piriformis is if the very beginning of your pain, did it come on gradually (weeks or months) or quickly (days).

    Nerve compression due to discs usually come quickly, if due to muscles, it usually is a gradually worsening condition. If you suspect the piriformis is a problem, search for "piriformis syndrome" or "piriformis stretch". This simple stretch may be very helpful for you, sometimes it helps rapidly, others it takes a week or so before you start to see some benefit.

    Another thing to consider is that nerve compression in the back may occur only in certain positions and that a lying down MRI may not show any compression simply because lying down wasn't a position that compressed the nerve. If you generally feel better lying down, but are in significant pain sitting or standing, then you might want to consider asking your doctor to order a weight-bearing MRI. Not all facilities do them, and your doctor may not even know they can be done, but a simple call the the MRI facility can get you the answer.

    If a weight bearing MRI is positive, your doctor will not only not think you're over-reacting, but will also have a much better chance at alleviating your pain with the injections, because s/he will be better able to localize where to inject. Based on your current MRI, I'm sure your doc only took an educated guess.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-08-2014 at 02:15 AM.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
    jordyn45
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    The pain of course is back pain, my legs go numb sometimes for days.
    pain is through my hips (pelvic bone and tail bone) down the sides/back of my legs (basically this is constant)and into my feet. yes there is pain in my groin area at the front of my left but it is not constantly there.
    I drove 1hr 30mins each way to get this MRI and that night when i got home i was fully flared unable to climb stairs and walk without extreme pain which lasted almost two weeks.

    I am basically tired of this pain, just received two injections into the right facet joint and have to wait until March toget left side done. i am off of work trying to get this to settle down but really my job is 85% sitting and it kills me with pain. They have gotten me a sit/stand work station but as i said in the above post i have issues with sitting, standing and walking. When i do sit, i sit forward or if on a soft couch i lean back. I need to get into a corrected posture but instantly the pressure goes into the spine cause lots of discomfort and eventually into a full flare up as i call it but i should probably be saying excruitating pain.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 06:39 AM   #5
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    My first injection into the tail bone worked but it woke up a year later. I am only allowed so much steroids to be pumped into my body within a certain time frame. So i am avoiding that one until i can get the facet joints done. All the other injections which some were in the back, hip and pelvic bone areas didn't do a thing. I received two into my right facet just over a week ago and i think that one is working because my left side is screaming now. I still however am not finding any relief in my right leg that flared on Nov 17th from the long drive (i do get out and take breaks during long drives and walk around)

    Is disc degenerative disease known to cause this anount of pain? Most days i just want to scream and cry.

    Is there anything i can do to get fluid back into these joints? My dr has written osteoarthritis down as a diagnosis as well. I do find all of this unbearable most days. I am in my 40s and really find i am too young for this to be happening.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 07:52 AM   #6
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Unfortunately the spine is not the best-designed system of the human body. If we walked on four legs, the spine would be healthier, but since we opted for a two legged posture, Gravity takes a terrible toll on the elements of the spine, particularly the intervertebral discs.

    Not only are the discs comprised mostly of moisture, but there are no blood vessels that feed and nourish them. The discs absorb whatever nourishment they get through the end plates of the vertebrae. Nutrition passes through tiny cells in the end plates into the disc. In DDD the endplates become arthritic and these cells become sclerotic and close up, which results in no nutrition getting through to the disc. So, to respond to your question, no, there is no way you can re-fill the disc once the dessication process begins. Also, I forgot to add that the aging process for the spine begins in our twenties...so, you are not "too young" for this to be happening.

    Severe DDD can be extremely painful. You will need to avoid those activities and postures that make your pain worse. I would suggest you buy a far infrared heating pad. They are more expensive than a regular one, but the heat penetrates much deeper. It won't cause anything to heal but should temporarily feel good.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 08:57 AM   #7
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Thank you, i do live with heating pads daily.. i was looking for one that has battery replacements like a tens machine so i could use it all day. Getting cold now here in Canada which i find aggravates the condition worse.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Thanks for the words.

    Last edited by moderator2; 12-08-2014 at 10:09 AM.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 03:00 PM   #9
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Sorry somehow i must have missed your post. I went out on a hike just thought i flared my back. 2-3 weeks normally and my back would feel better. Six weeks later i went back to the dr and said the pain was bad and getting worse and normally my back pain would be gone by then. Dr ordered x rays which went on to ctscans scans. Was just told no more walking up hills and that i had some bulging discs. Six months later my leg went numb, very excruitatingt pain. I had no control over my leg. Dr referred me to the surgeon, had a full body bone scan done, which showed something with knees and ankles (i can try to find the bones scan report if that helps, some of the reports mention uptake, what does uptake mean)but nothing new with the back that hasn't shown up in the previous ctscans scans.

    Nine months between ctscans and i went from mild to severe advanced DDD my family dr told me this was normal, my surgeon said this is not normal for my age.

    Laying down helps but it doesn't stop the throbbing pain in my legs. I have heating pad on me all night. And i have a full body one as well for the couch.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 05:37 PM   #10
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    From just looking at your MRI report, I would not think you had severe degenerative disc disease. The report does not indicate any specific spinal nerve compression and only slight foraminal stenosis.

    The problem when the main cause of pain is coming from DDD is that there is not a whole lot that can be done for it, other than various types of pain management. If the DDD causes an extruded disc or severe stenosis, surgery can be recommended. This can be a decompression surgery to open up space for an affected nerve or a fusion if instability is present. This is usually only pperformed when there are only one or two affected levels.

    I am afraid there are no easy fixes for your problem. Sorry you have to wait so long to see the surgeon.

     
    Old 12-08-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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    Re: MRI findings, please translate to english :)

    Severe advanced was from ctscans 2012 compared to 2013 by surgeon.

    I prefer to stay away from any means of surgery even if the day comes. Going to try hot tubs this winter to see if they help.

     
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