Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Help with MRI, does it look differant to you?

Amanda S YanisAAmanda S Yanis Posts: 124
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Chronic Pain
SO my neuro sent me for another Mri Yesterday. I don't have the results yet, I don't go back until Feb. 11, but they did give me a disc with the images on it. So I thought I would post it here and see what everyone thinks of it.


To me it looks like the L4-L5 disc has gotten worse. In fact it looks like the bottome three to me look really bad. I've spent the past night online trying to figure out how to read this, and I still don't know how to tell where the bone spurs are either!


  • Amanda,

    Obviously I am not a doctor, will never be, but ouch! That disk is on the cord (to me) and the disks above and below...I was told "dark gray to black" not good. I hope your hear some definite interpretations with your NS. If it were mine, I would at least be happy in my brain that there *is* something going on! Let us know what they find in the report!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I wish my spine lined up as nicely as yours! I would agree that L4-5 looks pretty ugly and L5-S1 also appears to be on its way.

    I sent you a PM....Gwennie
  • Well I'll try to make a long story short here. First of all the Mri in my siggie is my last one from Feb. '09, that is what I was comparing the picture too. I just wanted to see if the reading from the last Mri matched up with the MRI from yesterday. I just was kinda hopeing someone could confirm what I saw in the MRI I guess. To me it looks like a huge herniation in L4-L5, but it could be small for all I know. Just hoping someone here could tell me I guess.
    I understand that nobody here is a dr. and I'm sorry if I wasn't supposed to ask this question here.

    Michael- I couldn't tell if your reply was sarcastic or not? It could just be that I'm really tired and had a bad day though, sorry if I'm wrong. I did actually have a NS tell me that he would do a three level fusion, but he really didn't want to. He told me I really needed to lose some weight first though. So I told him I would wait a couple months then get back to him so I could try to lose some weight, meanwhile I got a second, and third opinion, and they said that they wouldn't touch me because a three level fusion has a bad success rate and would just lead to more surgeries in my future. I do believe that the fact that I'm only 29 has alot to do with that too. Now I'm just hoping that the neuro I'm seeing will lead me in the right direction because I have no idea what to do!

    Thank for all the advice!
  • I'm with Gwennie, I'd love to have an MRI that looked like that!

    Have you read the articles on this site about DJD and herniated disks? I found them really helpful!
  • small herniation?

    if thats small i'd hate to see big herniation.

  • I dunno. I still can't see the bone spurs, and I've spent hours online trying to find out how to spot them. I also have no idea on how to find out if that is a big herniation or not. All I know is that I hurt and am pretty much bedridden, but there has yet to be a dr. that will do anything besides give me medicine or tell me I need a 'magical' injection that will fix me. Ah well.
  • The thing about herniations is that the pain is usually (that of course doesn't mean always) not permanent- once the body kind of becomes used to it, and the inflammation subsides, the pain subsides.

    Have you done physical therapy? I'm pretty sure that's the gold standard treatment.
  • Well thanks for the response I think. I'll try not to take it personal that you guessed THAT to be my weight!! I actually weight about 230 right now. I have lost close to 30lbs since that dr. told me to lose weight back in August. I have actually somehow been losing the weight without trying. Which I do think is amazing after all the sweets I ate during the holidays ;) I don't snack at all during the day, in fact I'm lucky to eat at all. I noticed that once I went up to the 50 mcg/hr fentanyl patch that I couldn't eat as much as before. I went from eating three tacos at dinner to barely eating one for example.
    I'm not sure how much weight that dr. wanted me to lose. My friend that went with me asked him how much I should lose, and he responded with "alot". Then he asked me if I wanted to schedule the surgery for the next month or wait for a second opinion. It was almost as if he forgot what he had told me from one moment to the next! That is why I won't go back to him!
    I did manage to get on our stationary bike for 3 whole minutes today!! LOL that sounds so horrible, but it is a tremendous step for me. The last time I got on in back in Sept. I wound up in the Er that night for stomach pain that they thought was my appendix, but it ended up being an ovarian cyst that had burst. OMG that hurt like Heck and I was alot of pain meds for my back when it happened. I thought I was gonna die, it hurt so bad. So I have been scared to do anything really physical since then, especially since I have more cysts that could burst! It's like a never ending battle for me I swear.

    So just to get it straight, the things that I think are a herniation, are what you say are the bone spurs? That would be why I can't see them I guess!

    Well I must go now, I am baking a cake, and cookies that are calling my name! Oh and a cheesecake, and a Big ice cream sundae also! J/k of course :)
  • I'm with some of the others here - I'd love to go back to the time when my MRI's looked that "good."

    There's obviously a disc herniation that can easily explain any pain you're having, but I don't think the discs above and below that herniation are that bad. With that MRI, I seriously doubt I'd be jumping anywhere near a 3-level fusion. A discectomy - definitely. A single level fusion - maybe.

    Of course, with those choices comes the requirement to honor your body and acknowledge that you have to make changes in your life. That's often the hardest lesson to learn.
  • Well Michael, after reading some of your posts from the past, I thought you had motivated me to get out of bed and start doing things again. Well you, and some home videos I watched last night from about a year ago when my house was clean! I had such big plans for today, then it all went downhill. First of all my husband got me a job at his warehouse being a cleaning lady. Which at first sounded good, as I can work 2 hours/day whenever I want and if I need to rest, they dont' care. It is really laid back there. Then hubby told me I would just be cleaning the bathrooms and office. That kinda gives me a bad feeling to know I will be cleaning toilets for $9/hour. But I think what bothers me the most is that I have to work so my husband can eat out for lunch every day and we as a family can eat out once a week. I would be lucky to bring home $70/week, and that is for work that I can hardly do in my own home!I think it just bothers me that my husband really wants me to go back to work when I don't feel like I'm ready too, nor do I feel like I really need to. He can work overtime any time he wants pretty much and in 4 hours make what I wold make in an entire week.
    I've really been considering leaving him anyways, and this situation has almost sent me over the edge with him. I'm not being supported anyways, why not live on my own. Of course the kids is what makes me stay. Especially since he has told me he would take the kids away from me and prove me unfit. He says that because of the meds I'm on and the fact that I've applied for SSDI. His theory is that if I'm disabled and not able to work, then how can I take care of the kids, especially our 5 year old who is autistic and is too big for me to handle when he has his fits.
    I need a plan though. A plan on how to leave. I need money, and a place to go. Thankfully I am in charge of our finaces, and I know my family would help out if needed. The problem right now is we have a water main leak and I have to take all the money I have from my grandma to pay for that. Unfortunatly that was always the money I was going to use to get away. And considering the house is completly in my name, I must get that fixed.

    Okay enough of all that. I've just had a very bad day here and needed to vent. I have a dr. appt this afternoon with my family dr. so I need to get ready to go to that. Then I think I will come home and clean my house until I can no longer. Hopefully that will make me feel a bit better to be in a clean house!

    Thanks to anyone who listened to this mess. I didn't intend to post all that, it just kept coming. I really wanted this to be a positive post on how Michael had inspired me to get out of bed and do something.
  • That looks very big and very painful to me!
  • called Chiroeek.com or you can google it. I explains MRI'S pretty good I think. It might be worth looking at for more info on your MRI. Let me know what happens.
  • Real fast update. I went to my dr. and she printed out the MRI report for me. I'll let u guys know exactly what it says when I have more time. But she did say that my neuro will probably want me to have surgery to shave of the bad disc. So I'm kinda relieved to hear that there is finally something there that explains my pain!!

    I'll be back after dinner to update more! :)
  • That image looks awful. Most likely, that image probably doesn't tell the entire story. Your MRI is made up of 100's of images that tell the complete picture. This is why its hard to judge someones condition on just 1 image out of a hundred+ and we should leave the interpretations to the experts. Your L3/L4 and L4/L5 discs definitely look gray which usually indicates DDD. Hopefully, you can get by with a MicroD. If you manage to get away with a MicroD, be sure to give that disc a good 6 months to fully scar over before you push it. No matter what happens, you're going to have to start taking care of that back to prolong any further damage. I'm hoping you can avoid a fusion surgery.


    Note: To those that wish to compare your MRI to Amanda's, stop. Unless you have all her images, you can not make a fair comparison. It's not a contest to see who is worse.
  • She has good, healthy bones all in the right places. Of course I'm not minimizing her pain, but she needs to look at the positive and not the negative. She still has good space between vertebrae and will likely find some relief through PT, surgery, and time.

    I think that's a good thing. And, sorry, but if she offered me her spine, complete with that herniated disk, I'd take it in a second :) That is meant to give her some sense of hope and that things aren't as bad as they might feel!
  • Well I go to my neurologist in a couple hours. I'm so nervous because I'm afraid he'll do nothing for me. Plus I have to go by myself which really makes me nervous because I know I will forget something.

    Last night was a very bad night. My leg was hurting me so bad I was crying out in pain all night. Then on my other side I have a huge sore spot from where my last fentanyl patch was. I felt like my side was on fire!! Last time I picked up my meds from the pharmacy, they gave me a differant brand of patches than what I have had, and I hate them!! I think they are Sandoz?? I just know that I hate them and hope I never get stuck with them again.

    So I'm in lots of pain, I'm dead tired, and I have to drive myself the 30 minutes to the dr. This may make for an interesting day.

    I'll update when I get home. Wish me luck!
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.