It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board

understanding my MRI


Post New Thread   Reply Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-10-2018, 04:24 PM   #1
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
understanding my MRI

I have had chronic back pain for more years than I can remember. I have done injections, chiropractic, massages and in the last 3 months it has gotten to a level the pain is 10 plus, every night when I go to bed I wake up in AGONY. I can't hardly turn because of the pain on the left lower back. When I get up it, at times takes 45 minutes to be able to walk. i can't hardly bend and wash when showering, and to be able to wipe myself is awful. I finally went to the doctor and had an MRI of my lumbar.

L1-2 UNREMARKABLE

L2-3 MILD BILATERAL FACET ARTHROPATHY WITHOUT STENOSIS

L3-4 BILATERAL FACET ARTHROPOTHY WITH SLIGHT MASS-EFFECT ON THE POSTEROLATERAL ASPECTS OF THE THECAL SAC MINIMAL CANAL STENOSIS NEURAL FORAMINA ARE PATENT

L4-5 MINIMAL BROAD-BASED DISC BULGE SUBTLE T2 SIGNAL HYPERINTENSITY POSTERIORLY LIKELY REPRESENTS A SMALL ANNULAR TEAR BILATERAL FACET ARTHROPOTHY AND LIGAMENT FLAVUM HYPEROPHY WITH MINIMAL CANAL STENOSIS NEURAL FORAMINS ARE PATENT

L5-S1 SMALL CENTRAL DISC PROTRUSION MEASURING 2 MM ANTERIOR TO POSTERIOR NO SIGNIFICANT STENOSIS

can anyone enlighten me?

Last edited by welch3; 08-10-2018 at 04:39 PM.

 
Reply With Quote
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-24-2018, 08:13 AM   #2
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

Welcome to the board. Sorry no one responded to your post. I often reply to the posts regarding MRI reports but I have been traveling and not paying much attention lately to the board. I hope you have seen the doctor who ordered the MRI by now, but just in case, here are a few thoughts.

I think what is causing most of your discomfort can be boiled down to one word - arthritis...Spondylarthropathy.

The facet joints are small joints located at each vertebral level. They allow us to bend and twist within the spinal column. When the discs begin to dry out as they do when we age, it sets into motion a cascading series of events that cause the joints to enlarge and, in some cases, to form bone spurs.

The term "stenosis" refers to narrowing. It occurs in the spine in two locations, the central canal and in the neuroforamina. The foraminal opening is a small opening located at each vertebra that allows the spinal nerves to exit the spine to go out to the part of the body it innervates. This opening can become blocked by tissue that doesn't belong there (like a bulging disc), by bony overgrowth (bone spurs) etc. When this happens, there is not enough room for the nerve to function normally and the result is pain, tingling, numbness.

Terms to know: patent means normal or OK...and the following adjectives are used as a shorthand "ratings" to indicate "how bad" an issue is in a spinal MRI...minimal, mild, moderate and severe.

So there is some spinal arthritis at L2-L5. The disc at L4-5 is bulging and probably has a small annular tear, which is a tear in the outer layer. It is pushing into the foremen causing a bit of narrowing in the central canal.

At L5-S1 the disc matter is pushing out of the disc, out of the disc space and measuring 2mm but it is not causing stenosis in either the central canal or the foramina.

Unfortunately not much can be done for the arthropathy. Sometimes a course of physical therapy is ordered to strengthen the core and back and to teach good back "hygiene": posture, etc.

The disc bulges are not sufficiently large to cause nerve compression, and therefore, do not require surgery!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 09:10 AM   #3
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

thank you for taking the time to explain. I don't feel the pain so much in my spine but to the left lower back. I can feel at least 2 egg sized mushy, somewhat moveable, lumps UNDER the skin that's where the pain seems to be. I just can't imagine arthritis that painful or that I have to accept that as something I have to live with at 54 that would be a sad existence.

Last edited by welch3; 08-24-2018 at 09:17 AM.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 03:33 PM   #4
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

There is nothing in the report to indicate why you would have pain on the left side. I can't imagine what the two mushy lumps are that you mention. Where specifically are they located? What type of pain do you get when pushing on them and where is it located?

Have you shown these to your doctor?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 03:55 PM   #5
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

Sorry -- duplicate post.

Last edited by teteri66; 08-24-2018 at 03:56 PM.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 04:08 PM   #6
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

[QUOTE=teteri66;5487709]There is nothing in the report to indicate why you would have pain on the left side. I can't imagine what the two mushy lumps are that you mention. Where specifically are they located? What type of pain do you get when pushing on them and where is it located?

Have you shown these to your doctor?[/QUOTE]

no, I just thought they were fat lumps they don't hurt when i press them but i feel shooting pain underneath of them. EVERY night of my life I wake up in pain in the lower left side of my back down behind my knee. Sometimes my feet almost come out underneath of me or when I stand I feel such pressure build up in my lower middle back i have to stand there for a minute before walking

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 06:22 PM   #7
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

Do you have pain that radiates down the back of your leg or is there pain behind the knee only?

Is the pain in the left side where a pants waistband would hit or in the buttocks?

What has the doctor said is the source of your pain, if anything?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 06:46 PM   #8
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

lower than the waist right at the top of the buttocks between the spine and left hip kind of in the middle... usually deep pain there to the knee, deep into the thigh.
throbbing pain. several times a week, when I first get up the pain LASTS for 20 to 45 minutes I have to walk, I can't put all of my weight on my left foot because the pain shoots all the way down and feels like my legs will go out from under me and has a time or two. Its not like that every morning though. But the pain at bedtime is every night

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 06:56 PM   #9
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

I have been referred to a neurosurgeon, but we only have two so haven't heard from anyone. I am not on pain meds and don't want to be i just want answers and maybe some relief. I had neck surgery in 2008 but after a year and i didn't fuse the dr ordered a ct with contrast and said the MRI didn't show it but the CT did. I had OPLL so he did a second surgery in 2009 my neck is great from c1 to t2 which is where I have a cage etc....

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 07:25 PM   #10
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

Pain that is worse in the morning very often stems from arthritic changes.

Do you have any orthopedic spine surgeons in your area? I can tell you from seeing many spine surgeons that it will be a challenge to get one interested in your case unless the actual MRI images reveal much more than the report indicates. Without an indication of nerve compression and/or instability, there is no need for surgery...and since surgeons exist to operate, they will be at a loss as to how to help you.

Last edited by teteri66; 08-24-2018 at 07:26 PM.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 07:45 PM   #11
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

I am at loss too. The pain is real and through out the years it has progressed. Something isn't right I just have to find a dr interested in getting to the bottom of it. Years ago my husband was diagnosed with having a stroke after almost a year later he started slurring and his face would draw up some his neurologist said he was still recovering from his stroke. Keep in mind he didn't slur when he had THE STROKE and this was almost a year later. No test was he going to do and I thought NO something isn't right. I got him into a different neurologist he spent over 45 minutes talking to us and listening he said im not going to say it wasn't a stroke but I suspect myasthenia gravis and performed ALOT of tests. That's what it was ... not a stroke some just don't want to get to the bottom of it. SAD

Last edited by welch3; 08-24-2018 at 07:48 PM.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2018, 10:19 PM   #12
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

In my experience, some spine surgeons aren't able to get to the bottom....some just don't think out of the box. They go for the obvious and when your symptoms don't fall into the typical pattern and it can't be seen on MRI, they don't know where to look further!

Maybe you will need to find someone out of the traditional western medicine orbit. If you could find a physical therapist/bodywork type therapist who specializes in orthopedic issues, it might be useful...someone ho is more into structural alignment, fascia, etc.

I am empathetic to your situation, having gone through similar frustrations with a variety of specialists for several years.

How is your husband doing? I have a friend I met on this board who was diagnosed with MG a number of years ago. She lives near Tampa.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2018, 02:29 AM   #13
welch3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texarkana, AR
Posts: 8
welch3 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

you have been such a big help, with great suggestions. Thank you!!! My husband has his good days and bad days. 5 years after being diagnosed he had to retire from his job because of symptoms. They had put him on a new mg medicine last year but it shot his liver enzymes THROUGH the roof, which put him in the hospital so he is unable to take any medicine to help with the symptoms. He has other medical issues as well. Thank you again for listening and suggesting. Its 3:27 a.m. and im awake because of my pain. Like clock work. I dread bedtime anymore.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2018, 10:12 AM   #14
teteri66
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,056
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: understanding my MRI

Is your pain worse the longer you stay in bed? Can you say what activities make it better or worse?

You have to keep in mind that all my comments are based on what is in the MRI report. There may be things visible in the images that would provide more information. When I began my journey I relied on my internist to handle my care. He "read" my MRI and told me that my spine was fairly normal for someone my age...it showed some wear and tear but there was nothing major going on. He ordered a series of epidural steroid injections (ESI). When my sciatic pain continued to worsen and I kept complaining to him, he finally agreed to send me to a spine surgeon. (Mainly to get me to hut up I think!). By now this had been going on for over 14 months, during which time I was told that everything was fine.

Imagine my shock when the spine surgeon, after glancing at my MRI for about 30 seconds, tells me I have spondylolisthesis but just to confirm, sends me across the hall for a flexion/extension xray. It is confirmed and I am told that while it is a smallish spondylolisthesis, it is nevertheless causing all my symptoms and the only way to address it is with a spinal fusion. Within a blink, I go from thinking my spine is OK for my age to needing what I perceive to be the most major spine surgery!

The surgeon told me the timing of the surgery and the decision to have it were up to me. When the pain go on much, I would get it done.

I'm not saying there is anything going on with you that the radiologist failed to notice...but when you continue to have unexplained pain, sometimes you have to take things into your own hands. It can be very frustrating and involve countless trips to a variety of doctors, specialists, practioners.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply Reply




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:13 PM.





2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!