Due to a "ring of fire" feeling around my rib cage level with the bottom of the breast bone, and too pain in the lower back, weakness in the front of my thighs, pain along my knees etc., my NS set me up for an MRI to cover both regions. Okay, here was the results: (trimmed down)
Thoracic: "MULTILEVEL DEGENERATIVE THORACIC FACET ARTHROSIS" I take that to be arthritis? I also have 2 black disks in there (T8/9 and T9/10 - but no mention on the report?)
Lumbar: L2-3 SMALL DISC PROTRUSION EXTENDING INTO THE RIGHT ANTERIOR/INFERIOR FORAMINAL RECESS AND RESULTING IN MILD CROWDING OF THE TRANSFORAMINAL RIGHT L2 NERVE ROOT. THERE IS FLATTENING OF THE THECAL SAC WITH SLIGHT CROWDING OF THE INTRATHECAL PORTION OF THE RIGHT L3 NERVE ROOT.
L3-4 SMALL RIGHT FORAMINAL DISC PROTRUSION EXTENDING INTO THE RIGHT INFERIOR FORAMINAL RECESS AND RESULTING IN SLIGHT CROWDING OF THE TRANSFORAMINAL RIGHT L3 NERVE ROOT.
Final: MULTILEVEL LUMBAR FACET ARTHROSIS. (Arthritis?)
Okay, so my "ring of fire" still isn't identified as a cause from what I read here - grrrrr!
This radiologist mixes "herniation & protrusion" for his reports. My history - "small" herniations/protrusions have been a nerve affected issue for me causing all manner of problems as though the dang things were bigger! I guess the disk material just hits the right spots!
The big issue I have with the lumbar MRI portion is this. I went there with the understanding that the Thoracic was going to be in the tube since that area is fairly rigid, and therefore no real difference that way verses "stand up" for the MRI, and the Lumbar study would be done in the Stand Up MRI machine. As is my usual in the dang tube, I fell asleep. When I was woken up, I found that they also did the lumbar in the tube! I had a fitness for duty exam back in December (before I had symptomatic issues on the lower back), and he identified due to "hyperactive" responses to reflex testing, I had most likely nerve impingement in the L2/3/4 region - wow I'm now impressed! He hit it! Okay, my NS pretty well feels the same after he digs a bit on my exam after that. Okay, the reason *I* wanted this under load was two-fold.
I don't "hurt" or have numbness when I lay down. I when standing still (supposed proper posture) for more than a few minutes - feet go numb (3 middle toes / top and bottom), stay that way and my outer heals hurt! Pain in the lower back center and to the right slightly, buttocks but on the outer area, and at times down to the knees; sitting for more than about 15 minutes, low back pain again, right side or bilateral - top of the thighs feel weird. Okay weird, define - very tired, internal tingly feeling? Weak, but work? Told ya, weird! If I walk "regular" pace, discomfort to pain in the back still, but feet don't numb. If I go shopping, can handle going in, but within 15 minutes I start hurting badly in the lower back and feet start going numb. If I lean on a waist level counter, helps a lot! Getting in and out of the car, I have to turn both legs sideways to get out, as if I "twist the normal" way to get out, lightning pain down the legs to the knee or inner ankles?
Depending what my NS says, I may ask for a new MRI for the standing position, as I think more is going on than is shown when I lay down for these! The toes DON'T match the Dermatome map, but everything else seems to. Yeah, I know there can be overlap, but the 3 middle toes? That much overlap? My nightmare is that I am going to have to start the old "conservative" treatment roller coaster ride again! Shots, PT, message etc. But the other nightmare, more surgery? Grrr...
Many of you know me, and while I have things happening (I signed the wrong spine warranty or something! (G)) I bounce back pretty well. Well, it took me 3 days to even be able to write about this, as between the crappy Thoracic, the "protrusion/hernia" dudes down below, and my neck still with issues. Is it gonna chill out as I get older? Sorry to lay this looooonnnngggg post, but I guess for once I needed to get this out. :-) Thanks for listening!!
Oh "mental prep" for me. If this ends up on the surgery side, I guess this would be 2 level? Thanks guys - fingers crossed that more stuff doesn't fail! (G)
PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.