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  • MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

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    Old 02-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
    karlee10
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    MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    Hello. Yesterday I had my Pain Dr. Appt. and got my MRI results. My MRI, 3 years ago said Spinal Stenosis and bulged discs. This one says: "Impression: Localized Degenerative Discogenic Disease is noted in the mid Lumbar Spine with Levoscoliosis with rotation to the right side, peaks at L3. There is no compression fracture or significant malalignment.

    Postoperative changes are noted in the upper abdomen. (I had half my stomach and intestines removed for bleeding ulcers, that explains this one)

    Multiplanar, multisequence MRI of the Lumosacral Spine.

    Findings: Localized Degenerative Discogenic Disease is noted Mid to Lower Lumbar Spine. There is suggestion of narrowing of L-4 and L5 - S1 with decreased Disc signal consistent with early Degeneration.
    There is localized increased signal posterior to the posterior element at L4 - L-5 region which could be related to recent trauma or iatrogenic.
    T12-L1, L-1-L2, L2-L3, and L3-L4: There is no disc hernia, spinal stenosis, or significant narrowing of the exiting neural foramina at the aforementioned level bilaterally.
    L4-L5: Left paracenntral Disc bulge is seen with encroachment upon the left lateral recess. The left Parasagittal view #10 show encroachment and narrowing of the Proximal portion of the left exiting neural Foramina, which is less apparent at the targeted axial oblique views.
    Asymmetrical facet joint arthropathy is noted bilaterally with hypertrophy of the left Ligamentum flavum.
    L5-S1: Paracentral disc bulge is seen with encroachment upon the anterior central portion of the thecal sac and the left lateral recess.

    If someone would please tell me what this means in english, I'd very much appreciate it. My Dr. hadn't even seen it before I came in, so he hadn't taken any time to read over and consult with me about anything.
    Is there anything in this MRI that could possibly be improved with surgery??
    When my pain Dr., quickly glanced over all this, he didn't mention anything about surgery, but on my last visit, (right before this one) he asked me what I thought about surgery to correct my condition.
    Does anyone know about the Degenerative Disc Disease, if surgery is done to improve it somehow, could an unsuccessful surgery possibly cause any kind of paralysis??
    Ok, that's enough of my questions when I don't really know what I'm even asking about. Lol. So, I'll try to be patient and wait for someone to hopefully help me to understand what the findings mean. Thank you for reading this, and for this place to share things to each other. I'm very grateful.

     
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    Old 02-20-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    Karlee - i just quickly looked at this post. There is another board having to do with spinal problems - maybe someone there would know more?
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    Old 02-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #3
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    Ok. Great idea. Thank you so much!

     
    Old 02-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    I know its tough to wait, but your doctor will have the most accurate answers for you.
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    Old 02-21-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
    karlee10
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    True. And thank you for responding. I'm pretty much just asking for a general idea of what (on my MRI report) could hopefully be improved with surgery? For example, Can a Dr. perform surgery to improve this kind of Scoliosis? Can a Dr. perforom surgery to improve the Degenerative Disc Disease ever? Can a Dr. perform surgery for bulged discs?? Kate. Can you please tell me what you know about my MRI report?? Even if it''s just a couple things, that'd still be 2 more things than I knew before. Lol. I don't see my Dr. again for 4 more weeks. When I just saw him 2 days ago, he didn't even know my MRI was in my file. I had to hand him my copy that I'd just gotten from the front desk, and he was embarrassed about that, so he said we'd talk about it on March 18th.

    I've seen people put up threads asking someone to help them out with reading their MRI, and they've gotten a brief explanation. Just something to give them an idea of whats going on with their spine/back, and hopefully to give them a little less anxiety and a little more hope. And Kate, whether you can or not, I still wanna say Thank You. You help me so much in the positive ways you post on threads; Either in your replies, or when you start one of your own......Thank you and Goodnight.

     
    Old 02-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    Nope sorry I won't be of any help with MRIs (I don't have back problems so I'm not familiar with anything like that in the least). I just wanted to chime in that I know its tough to wait. I don't think they should release anything to the patient before they can follow up with their doctor as it only creates questions. Also, its possible your doctor won't be able to completely give you advise regarding surgery and may refer you for that opinion. Sorry you have a four week wait. Maybe someone else will have some ideas? Best wishes.
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    Old 02-22-2013, 09:08 PM   #7
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    . Ok. Yes, it sure is. And thank you very much for your support. Honestly, that really helps alot! I've been googling these things since I got my MRI results. The Scoliosis is pretty scary cuz I can always remember, even as a teen, back pain, and crackling and popping when I'd do my gymnastic stretches. I also have like a tumor/cyst in the middle of my back that I've had for years. There's even alot more symptoms that came up out of nowhere it seems, ever since my family had a rollover accident. I wasn't in a seatbelt and was thrown all over inside as out car rolled about 5 times.
    for months after, My entire backside and rear end was solid black and scary looking. I never really followed up with any type of care afterwards either. I had 2 babies at the time. A 6 month old, and an 18 month old. So, where was the time for that???? Well, the ending results are a back and hips that are in the shape and full of the pain that my back and hips are in now, I'm afraid. You people here really give me hope tho, and Thank God for that!

    Last edited by Administrator; 05-20-2013 at 06:37 AM.

     
    Old 03-05-2013, 06:10 AM   #8
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    Hey Karlee, Sorry it's taken me so much time to get back with you... I actually totally forgot to(Sorry).
    First off with your MRI being 3 years old the PM Dr.or any other doctor should actually get a new MRI done for you. Basically to see if any new changes have been made within you back area.

    At your L4-L5 it is saying that you have some Facet joint arthropathy: That refers to a degenerative disease that affects the joints of the spine and the disintegration of cartilage on those joints.

    Also you asked if paralysis from an unsuccessful surgery... As any doctor will tell to you with any medical procedure in the lumbar,thoracic,or crevical area.. A risk of something going wrong is always there. First off you need to trust the medical professionals you are entrusting your body with.
    Sorry I couldn't be more specific with you on some of your ailments. But make sure you have a lis of questions for your doctor when you go later this month.
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    Last edited by Administrator; 05-20-2013 at 06:40 AM.

     
    Old 03-08-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    The reporter is very wordy! Probably half the language in your report relates to the location of the issues...not the issues themselves, so don't let that frighten you. Here is the relevant part...other levels are all OK--

    First, what is degenerative disc disease? Basically it is not a disease and it is not necessarily progressive. It basically is a catch-all phrase that refers to the gradual wear and tear on the spine that comes from daily living. It helps to know a little bit about the spine's anatomy to understand this....

    The discs are soft "cushions" that separate the vertebrae (bones) that make up the spine. Since it is located between two vertebrae, it is referred to by its vertebral location, such as L4-L5 refers to the disc between the lumbar 4 and lumbar 5 vertebrae for example.

    The discs are shock absorbers for the spine, and are what allow us to bend, flex, and twist. While degenerative disc disorders can occur throughout the spine, they most commonly occur in the lower back region (lumbar) and the neck region (cervical).

    As we age, the discs tend to break down. They are mostly composed of "moisture" and as we age, the discs lose fluid, which thins the disc. This causes the space between the vertebrae to narrow, sometimes resulting in a "bone on bone" situation.

    As the space between vertebrae decreases, there is less cushioning between them, and the spine becomes unstable. The body reacts by creating bony growths(osteophytes or bone spurs), which can put pressure on the spinal cord,which results in pain and problems with nerve function.

    Tiny cracks or tears in the outer layer of the disc can also occur, forcing out the material inside the disc, causing the disc to bulge or rupture or even break into fragments. (this is referred to as a bulging disc, herniated disc, etc.)

    It is important to know that the spine begins its aging process in our 20s -- many of these issues are subtle and do not begin to cause any symptoms until later in life -- all depends on genetics, lifestyle, occupation, etc.

    L4-L5: Left paracenntral Disc bulge is seen with encroachment upon the left lateral recess. The left Parasagittal view #10 show encroachment and narrowing of the Proximal portion of the left exiting neural Foramina, which is less apparent at the targeted axial oblique views.

    Asymmetrical facet joint arthropathy is noted bilaterally with hypertrophy of the left Ligamentum flavum.

    L5-S1: Paracentral disc bulge is seen with encroachment upon the anterior central portion of the thecal sac and the left lateral recess.


    When a disc bulges, it can change shape and push out of its disc space. When this happens it can put pressure on the spinal nerves located at this particular level. This usually happens in two places: the central canal and the foramen, which are the openings located at each level where nerves exit the spine and go out to the limbs, etc. When a nerve is pressured in this way, it frequently results in symptoms of pain, numbness or even loss of movement.

    So, at L4-L5, there is a disc bulge that is pushing out toward the left side, into a little canal that connects the disc area to the foramina.(called lateral recess) When this happens, it results in a narrowing of the space...thus resulting in less room for the nerves....

    A similar thing is happening at the next level down, L5-S1, only in this case, the disc bulge is more centrally located. Instead of taking up foraminal space as the L4-L5 one does, it is pushing into the thecal sac...which is the membrane that encloses the nerves that run down the central canal.

    So basically it is the same thing happening...just one is narrowing the foramen and the other, the central canal.

    For all the wordiness of the report, the writer does not indicate to what extent the discs are bulging, so it is impossible to guess "how bad" this is. As we age, any of our MRIs would reveal some disc bulging...it is a part of aging. The only difference is that sometimes it causes pains and other times it does not!!

    The facet joint arthropathy at L4-L5 is an indication of some arthritic-type changes in the joints at this level...a common finding with DDD...and again, a normal part of the spine's aging process.

    Regarding the levoscoliosis, you may have had this all your life, or it may be a new symptom. When the spine begins to develop DDD, the body naturally fits to retain stability. This can result in changes in muscles and soft tissue that contract to hold the body upright. This process can actually pull the spine out of proper structural alignment. Again, the report does not indicate to what extent there is a curve off to the left (levo).

    Regarding your question about paralysis...the spinal cord terminates around the lumbar 1 vertebral segment. Problems above this level, in the thoracic or cervical spine are much more likely to result in paralysis if something were to go wrong, or if the issue is severe. In the lumbar area, all the nerves twist together to form the cauda equina. When it is encroached upon, as is the case for you at L5-S1, it can result in pain, loss of muscle function as in "drop foot" or numbness, but very infrequently results in actual paralysis. Also the nerves in the lumbar area only affect the lower limbs, nothing above the waist.

    Any MRI older than six months is considered too old to be of much use. So you probably should have a new one done. Your issues can probably be addressed through conservative treatments such as physical therapy (with a PT who is very experienced with spinal problems), oral medications for pain and inflammation, and possibly a series of epidural steroid injections. By strengthening the core and back muscles, it can help to better support the spine and keep you more comfortable.

    You might want to check out the back board for more information about DDD.

    Last edited by teteri66; 03-08-2013 at 07:17 AM.

     
    Old 05-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #10
    karlee10
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    Thank you for those responses. Very helpful! Actually, I myself am too wordy, it seems. Haha. What I meant to say is that THIS is the MRI that was done about a month ago. The prior one that this PM Dr. had to go by was done 3 years ago, so, "a wordy MRI for a wordy patient" Haha. I DO understand it alot better now. My MRI 3 years ago said I have "Spinal Stenosis" and THIS one last month didn't even mention that as far as I can tell. I understand it all alot better now, between this and my PM Dr. explaining some more to me about it all. Well I best wrap it up or I'll be doing the same thing again......being too wordy. Thank you again, PM friends.

     
    Old 05-19-2013, 10:01 PM   #11
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    Re: MRI results. Not a clue what this means!

    I too @ times get to be really "Wordy" as well. I have seen where I just type, type & go on to a different subject as well. Just take it all in stride. No problem here.

    I am sure the stenosis is still there. It really depends from radiologists to radiologists who is reading them. Your best bet is to have your Ortho or Neuro or PM doctors take a look for them selves. I had a Neurological doctor just read the report & just glance at the MRI itself.... The moron dictated that he believes that is was possible Carpal Tunnel. Boy did my wife want to strangle that guy. She made the comment to me while he was in there "Does he need my glasses? Or what. I can see it myself" Well needless to say I left the office never to return. I also make points to tell every Dr. I see that this guy stated these things & have it in black & white!

    See there I am rambling on & getting wordy myself.

    It seems that you like your PM doctor as well. I am in the same boat with mine. I feel that I can ask him questions & he will give me honest answers. He is also the one who after 3 visits sent me to Louisville, Ky., basically 120 miles away to get some fresh eyes on my issues. Boy am I glad for that.

    I do wish you the best & hope you get some kind of relief very soon.
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