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Horrible back pain, getting worse all the time

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis

This is my first time posting here but I am looking for some assistance. I have had a bad back for a long time. I am 39 yr old female with a long history of health problems. At age 28 I had a cervical fusion at C-5/c-6 and also was diagnosed with scoliosis and cervical cancer. I know it isnt related but thought that giving my history may help with questions I have. I also have an atrial septal aneurysm which should have nothing to do with anything on here. Anyway since the fusion I have had two MRI's. One was about 2 years ago which showed two herniated discs at t-11/12 and l-5/s-1. Well I am the type of person that does not visit the doctor unless I am dying. I finally went back to the doctor because the pain I was having was bringing me to my knees. I had a bone density done which showed that I have bone loss in my back, according to the doctor, osteopenia. Pain that hurt when I took a step, pain in my lower abdomen and on the iliac crest area. Not sciatica pain but different. Now please take into consideration that over the past few years before this recent exacerbation I have been having problems with walking/balance. When I would get up from lying I would have to hold on to the walls. Not too bad of pain, just balance wise. I also have a hard time urinating in the morning. It takes forever and it will even stop. Below I will post my most recent MRI results in hopes of helping me answer some questions. I am usure if the issues may be causing the urination problems and the balance problems. It for sure could relate to my hysterectomy. I guess scoliosis could too. Could someone please give me some layman terms please.

Findings: Loss of height desiccation and focal abnormality at t-11-12. Remainder of the discs show normal height and hydration. Vertebre show normal height, signal and alignment. No compressions or spondylolithesis is seen. Cauda equna, nonus medullaris and filum terminale are normal. Prevertebral and paraspinal soft tissues are satisfactory.

At the level of the disk spaces we note the follow:

T-11-T-12 Besides asymmetric bulge towards the left there is a small focal protrusion towards the left with mild encroachment of the intervertebral foramina. No nerve root compression is seen. No central stenosis.

T-12-L1: Negative
L1-L2 : Minimal facet artropathy
L2-L3: Facet artropathy with free fluid in the facets
L-3-L4: Facet artropathy. No bulge or focal herniations are seen.
L4-l5: Minimal bulge facet artropathy and mild lateral recess norrowing. Severe hypertrophic changes in the ligamentum flava with free fluid in the facets.
L5-S1: Asymmetric bulge towards towards the left with mild narrowing of intervertebral foramina on the left side


Small protrusion towards the left at T11-12. Asymmetric bulge towards the left at l5-S1 with mild narroing of the intervertebral foramina
Severe facet artropathy toward the lumbar spine.


  • Hello and welcome to Spine-Health!

    I'm sorry you are experiencing problems again, but you should probably buck up and get back in to see the doctor. You didn't say how long ago that was taken, and I have no clue how to read it, so all I really noticed was "small", "mild" and "minimal", which are, for many, good words. However, there could be other things to take into consideration, which is why we are not qualified to read it. Also, if it is an old MRI, things can change. Sometimes they get better, sometimes they stay the same, and sometimes they get worse. So, again, I would urge you to talk to your doctor about your new symptoms, and continuing problems you are having.

    Every time I get a report, I drive myself crazy ~X( trying to figure it out, but it is NEVER what I expect it to be when I get to the doctor. :$

    Again, welcome, I wish you the best, and don't wait till you can't move to call your doctor!

  • im sorry you have had so much trouble. i too have had health problems my entire adult life. somehow i've fought thru it and am into my old age.
    i do want to warn you that urinary problems caused by pressure in the lumbar region can be considered a necessity for spinal surgery even emergency surgery. the scan shows severe changes to a ligament that is very close to the spinal nerves and connects to the facet joints. report states that there is severe facet arthritis which can cause pressure on spinal nerves. i cant tell you whether thats the major problem but i would quickly get an evaluation from a spinal surgeon. two opinions or more would be appropriate but dont stall it might be serious. i had troubles like you and i went to the emergency room. i was operated on the next day and i have had no urinary problems since.
    i do wish you some luck and please keep us posted on how you make out
  • here's a little info on the urinary problem.
  • Thank you all for your help. This MRI is very recent. I had some blood tests drawn and am awaiting the results. My doctor wants me to get steroid injections but I have had them and they have never worked. I am not sure what the next step is that she will suggest. I'll keep you posted. Thanks much
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you have found a direction to go in.. :D good luck and keep us informed! =D> Jenny :)
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