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Shouldn't we have been told???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
My 17 year old son had L4-L5 diskectomy / laminectomy in January. He still has the sciatic pain, they think from scar tissue. We recently got the results from his EMG, abnormal showing mild irritation.

I just got the reports from his CT Scan and X Ray. The neuro, on the phone, told us that they were "fine." But, she didn't mention the conclusions of the reports and I don't know how significant they are.

CT scan says that there is a central disc hernia at the L5-S1 joint. It also says that there is sac compression at the S1 junction, but no nerve root compression.

X ray just says that there is narrowing space, which we already knew.

Does this central disc herniation mean that he's on his way to more of the same, or maybe even new pain????? Oh, this is frustrating to say the least!




  • I'm so sorry to hear that your son is having these problems. He is so young to be experiencing this. I see he's wearing a football jersey. Did he injure himself playing football? Our mascot for my school (now my kids' school) is the eagles. Do you live in NY?

    It is so difficult to deal with back problems but even harder when you are a teenager. You want to be able to hang out with your friends and do the things they are doing but can't cuz of pain or fear of causing pain.

    When I was a teen and also in my twenties, I still did all the things I probably shouldn't even though I knew it would cause me pain. I didn't want to miss out on all the fun lol. I finally came to the realization that I couldn't slam dance, wrestle around with my friends, sand volleyball and a bunch of other crazy things :O)

    You are a very caring and loving mother to join SH to find answers, support and/or understanding of your son's condition. I pray that this is not a sign of more things to come for him. Did they test the L5/S1 before they did the surgery on the discs above? What are they planning on doing for the nerve pain he is feeling. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, comments, concerns or just need someone to chat with. It must be heartbreaking to see your son in so much pain.
  • Sorry for your son's problems. I saw you other posts too. It is important to figure out if S1 herniation was before the surgery (old MRI should show it even if report does not mention it). You can look at the disk yourself (if you have it). I know that you are not a doctor but herniation is very visible on MRI even to an untrained eye.
    If the herniation was present, yes, you should have been informed. I just saw a doctor (surgeon #3). He did not wanted to operate on my l4/l5 partially because I have a little herniation at L5/S1. He said that my symptoms might improve but he is not sure which herniation is more responsible for some pains that I have. Surgeon #2 mentioned this smaller herniation too.
    If the herniation was not present before surgery than it is a complication from a surgery (1 percent or so re-herniate this or neiboring disk). Sorry about that.
  • Take a look at this website. Part way down the page is a good description of the thecal sac.


    When the thecal sac is compressed, it results in the same type symptoms you'd feel with nerve compression. Think of the thecal sac as a garden hose that runs through most of the length of the spine and contains nerve roots and the spinal fluid. The bulge from the disc is pushing into the side of the thecal sac. This in turn displaces whatever is contained in the sac at this point. The end result is that the nerve is being irritated and may be inflamed, which results in the symptoms your son is experiencing.

    Perhaps the neurosurgeon did not feel the bulge was of sufficient size to be making much of a difference, and that's why she did not mention it to you.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    a favor and not post to the effect that almost anyone can spot a herniated disc on a MRI.
    We have a medical policy here to NOT start to diagnose or tell others what their MRI Images or Report indicate.
    I know you didn't respond based on this person's MRI, but in general. Spotting a herniated disc on a MRI is not so simple a task. That is why many times, different doctors may have different views of MRI Images and Reports.
    In fairness to all our members, I would appreciate holding back regarding what a MRI image says and if it is easy or difficult to read.
    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
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