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Misread MRI

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Lower Back Pain
wow , what a sight, I thought I was going crazy till I came across this sight, last Feb I was lifting oxygen tanks into a nursing home when I felt sharp pain , my pain was in what felt my hip area, went to a hip orthorpedic he ordered a MRI and would have the spine Dr review it because he saw nothing wrong with my hip--the spine Dr told me my back was perfect and sent me home , 12 weeks I suffered--finally I had the group that did the MRI call the Dr and read back the results which were, broad base budge L4-L5 with a L5 nerve infringment , and a mild L5-S1 herniation-the spine dr called me back and told me he missed it on the MRI and wanted to sch a spinal fusion on the phone without an examination-I told him(don't you try conservative measures first so to make a long story short , I had two more opinions they both felt i was non surgical , but do PT, shots and pain management, its 11 months and I still hurts alot ,
I can only sit and stand for short spells-and go to bed everynight thinking this is just a nightmare and when i wake up it will be gone



  • I'm glad the cause of the pain was figured out, this is the first time I heard about an MRI being misread here. I couldn't believe that the spine doctor wanted to fuse you without an exam. They don't rely on just MRI's alone, the exam results must correlate with the imaging. What do you take to manage your pain, and will you consider surgery if there is nerve involvement? Oh, by the way, welcome to SH :H and thank you for sharing your story with us :)
  • Thank you for your reply, it is hard to measure pain , but we all Know we are always in pain--I am taking Tramadoll and he recently gave me Lidodem patches, they both help to a small degree, my improvments come in months not weeks and they are small, but i would rather have it heal on it,s own rather to risk surgery, A friend of mine is in a cycle of one surgery after another and is only 55--I told him to try PT out , walk a mile a day and give it a year b/4 you consider another surgery--he is having more pain from surgery than he did b/4 susrgery, so I guess it scares me, the % of spinal success is low,although I do read some success stories on this site- my nerve was compressed but I am getting relief as time passes,


  • im sorry to hear that your experience with doctors has been less than great. i had a similar experience. i went to a walk in clinic with weird feelings in my legs and had xrays and mri's done and he told me i had DDD in my entire back and that 2 of my vertebrae were slightly fused together. but in reality only my lower back had DDD and the l5 s1 nerve roots are fused together. but anywho, my md is suggesting surgery to me as well not sure what kind just had another mri done today to determine the next course of action. but im considering it not only because of severe back pain but also because half my problem is some pretty serious nerve issues with my right leg. have you ever had your leg and toes move on thier own. its a very odd and not so good feeling. but it does freak out my husband which makes me laugh. gotta find humor in it somewhere. but i dont want to risk permanent nerve damage that can occur from putting of surgery. im glad to hear that slowly but surely you are feeling better. ive been going through this for about a year and just keeps getting worse. i cant clean my room and im in college and going to class hurts like crazy. im too young to feel like this. and every doctor i see tells me that too.

    i wish you the best of luck!!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    MRI reports and readings can be interpreted differently. No two eyes will see the same thing. That is why it is so important to get a second opinion regarding your MRI
    I have heard of stories when a patient relies on one doctor's reading and it turned out surgery was never required.

    Even take this a step further. If Doctor A has one reading and Doctor B has a different reading, then you need to see
    Doctor C to get another reading. You WANT to make sure that there is some agreement as to the problem
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
    edited 09/07/2016 - 1:37 AM
    Hi rickso

    Your story has a familiar ring. My MRI was "somewhat" misread initially, but I opted for laser surgery to correct bulging disks at L 3&4 , L 4&5 using percutaneous Laser disectomy and I had facet thermal ablation between L5 and S1 as well. Prior to the surgery the Docs at the clinic I went to had the MRI correctly figured out.

    That was two weeks ago and I feel fine.

    The notion that any and all surgery should only be considered as a last resort, after years of alternative treatments have been tried and much pain endured, is flawed.  /back-pain/guide/back-pain-surgery

    I don't think we hear enough about the thousands of "happy ending" surgeries people have annually, nor do we hear enough that years of pain enduring and the nerve damage that accompanies it can result in less than stellar results when we finally do turn to the surgeons for help.

    I put up with my pain for nearly 6 years before doing something about it. I got away with it it seems but the delay was not a smart strategy.
  • I had three opinions on my back, all I thought That I pulled a ligiment, the first Dr wanted a spinal fusion, I said (no Way)
    The second Dr said ,(I have seen worse) just get a nerve block
    the third opinion was the same ,just pain management
    if you are looking at surgery, ,maybe a second opinion,unless you really feel good about this Dr-
    ask about recuperation time , and the % success rate with this type of operation
    The real good thing for you is that your young-and in a few years or less this will be a fading memory
    but just ask alot of questions

    Good Luck
  • Hey Mark
    Glad to hear your doing well.I had Laser Sugery.I had a Lamminotomy/Foraminotomy nerve root Decompression at the left L4/5 level.
    Percutaneous Laser Discectomy,left L3/4 L4/5.
    And Destruction by Thermal Ablations Bilateral L3/4,right L4/5 and Bilateral L5/S1.
    Then a postop Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection.
    It's been seven weeks and I feel worse now than before the surgery.I had it done in the Sunshine state.If anyone else has had this type surgery please let me know how it turned out.
    Also has anyone heard of Stem Cell Disc Replacement. They use Stem Cells from the patient.
    I'm new to the form.Thanks... Five years of back pain.
    DDD L3/4 4/5 Bulging Herniated Disc Annular Tear
  • Dear Rick. Please please...just don't get JUST another Doctor's opinion. Research and get the BEST MAN (DOCTOR) for the job! I've been to hell and back with a poor diagnosis. I had 2 problems... two dead discs and two facet joint fractures. Do whatever you have to do to go to the best Dr. After 7 years of horrific pain, drugs, surgeries, heart attacks, gerd, diverticulitis attacks, Achalasia and loss of friends and family, you'll realize that a injured back can change and possible shorten your life.

    Feel free to email me. Mike
  • Mikey66MMikey66 Marysville, caPosts: 5
    I had like three mri done after surgery2015 into 2016. The surgeon and regulations doctor said was good no problem.  In 3-12-16  I felt like a pop on my rt shoulder blade. It swelled up and I had a lots of pain. I went to er clinic  the doctor said it was a pulled muscle and to put ice and take pain meds, it had nothing to do with the back fusion I had. From there in tworking months my doctor sent for mri lumbar upper back. The results came back , no problems fusion and Hardware look good. From there I saw the surgeon and he had mri so done, all was OK the report said. On 8-31-16 they did test on back and found I had a screw loose and hard ware had faild. So I ordered the past and present films they all show when hardware failed. The doctor and surgeon never looked at film just read report.  So when I saw that I can see very clear all the damage I had they all said I don't know why you have so much pain. But now they know and I need surgery like rt now. Is this fair. I think it cut threw muscle and tendons when the hardware failed.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    This is a very old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I am closing it.

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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