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3.5 hour MRI

Humble_PieHHumble_Pie Posts: 75
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Chronic Pain
Wow. I can honestly say I don't want to do that again. Anyhow, I have been having new problems with my lower back and legs since my fusion in August. Since I have had 2 fusions up in my neck, my neuro decided to play it safe and get full scans of cervical and lumbar spines with and without contrast as well as extension x-rays (is that right?). Anyway, I got them back today and thought I'd post the results. I'm hoping we have some people on here who understand all the terminology and can inform me in normal people terms what I'm looking at here.


1. Relative spinal stenosis is present at L4 - L5 with broad based disk protrusion impinging on the anterior dural sac and both neural foramina, right greater than left.
2. Central disk bulge or protrusion L5-S1. (Can I have a disk bulge when I've had a fusion at L5-S1?)
3. Status post status post anterior fusion L4-S1.

1. Stable anterior fusion L4-L5 and L5-S1.
2. Osteoarthritis posterior zygapophyseal joints L3-S1.
3. Mild disk space narrowing at L3-L4.
4. Otherwise normal lumbar sacral spine.


1. Status post fusion C4-C5, and C6-C7.
2. Disk protrusion at C3-C4, and C6-C7.
3. Disk protrusion at C3-C4 and C5-C6 levels with impingement on the anterior dural sac, anterior spinal cord, and impingement on both neural foramina.

Anyhow, this is what came up new. I have a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders but it is controllable. I have a lot of pain in my lower back right in the center about the belt line. I'm losing feeling in my legs on the outsides of both down the calves and the outsides of both feet. My 7 year old daughter was playing 1 night and just hit me right square in the back about belt high and I literlly dropped like a bag of rocks. I didn't feel anything from the waist down for about 15 seconds and it scared the crap out of me. Nothing new since other than the legs are getting very weak again and I'm having trouble walking, standing, and sitting for any length of time. It just feels like something isn't right. I'm sure many of you understand that statement. I went in to the doc and got the scans. Is there anything there overly worrisome?



  • Yes you can still have bulging discs after fusion. I just had a MRI that showed this at my L4/5 fusion. I had an ESI a couple of days ago and the right leg nerve pain I had has gone for now, yea!! Maybe they will suggest the same treatment for you. I may need a laminectomy in the near future to free up the foramen from bony overgrowth at L4/5.

    Best wishes,

  • Yes, you can still have a herniation on a level if the disc was left in place (no interbody fusion) and they fused you from the back. Check out the SH video for an example of a fusion without removing the disc. From my understanding, this is a very rare surgery for the neck.

  • Interesting. All my surgeries have been done from the front.
  • You can still have a disc bulge unless you had an "interbody" fusion. Its supposed to be harder to bulge or herniate the disc because the fusion area is stable and does not bend.
  • My doc explained to me today how you can still have a bulge. Interesting but you'd still think that wouldn't be good to leave a large disk bulge. I would think that could cause problems.

    Anyway, they told me things looked alright and they are sending me over to a rehabilitation specialist at the spine institute to recommend a long-term therapy program. Does this sound like a valid next step? They claim that my nerves don't look impinged and that the fusion looks stable so there's nothing for them to do. I am planning to go but I just want to make sure these guys aren't just pushing me off onto somebody else because they are afraid I will sue or something if they admit a screw up. I'm not like that. I just want to get better.
    The fact that I have incredible pain along my belt line in my back as well as moderate to high pain down my legs with major leg weakness, hardly any feeling down the outside portion of my legs and absolutely no strength in my hamstrings and calves. I also have huge, painful knots / charlie horses in my hamstrings and calves that are absolutely excruciating. My neck still has a lot of pain as well but its not not causing nearly as many problems as my lower back so I'm just trying to focus on my lower back for now.
    Another thing that really sucks is the fact that I need to have the toe nails on both my big toes removed due to the fact that the way I put weight on my feet since the surgery has caused the outside portion of my toenails to cut almost completely through my toes. They are incredibly painful and never stop bleeding.
    Anyway, I was just wondering if there are some questions I should be asking or if I should just go over to this new doctor to get checked out?
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