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I'm confused

AzgirlAAzgirl Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had a MRI a few months ago & my pcp had his nurse call me & tell me that it showed narrowing of the spine. I asked if that was narrowing of the space between the vertebras due to DDD, or of the spine itself. She said it was all in the same family & that was all the dr. told her to tell me. I saw a physician's assistant last week & asked if that narrowing meant spinal stenosis, & she said yes, & told me that my record also showed 2 protruding discs. Now today I saw a reumy for the first time & he said that I don't have a diagnosis of spinal stenosis & that I certainly have back issues with osteoarthritis etc., but that fibro is the worst of my problems. Anyway, I'm not sure whether I have spinal stenosis or not!


  • I'm totally guessing here, but it's been my experience that when someone speaks of a narrowing on a MRI, they are usually referring to a narrowing of the central canal...but, really, that is stenosis....

    I've never heard someone refer to a narrowing between the vertebrae. They usually talk about the disc specifically..like disc desiccation, where the disc looks darker or black on the MRI due to loss of moisture content.... You can have stenosis either in the main or central canal, or it can occur in the foramina.

    I would suggest you call the facility where you had the MRI performed and ask for a copy of the radiology report. It is a good idea to start a file and to get a copy of any tests, procedures, etc. to keep for your own personal records. Your doctor should be giving you more information on the test, in my opinion!

    This website has many excellent articles and videos in addition to the forum. If you want to read up on stenosis and DDD, here's a link:


  • Thank you Gwennie 17, for your prompt reply. I will definitely check out the links you listed. I'm not sure I can get a copy of my mri report because it was done at a small hospital in a satalite unit from a larger hospital, but I'm to see the physician's assistant tomorrow, & I'll see what info I can get out of her. Otherwise I'll press my Dr. when I next have to get my pain meds refilled. I'm new to this site, but it's a great site. Thank You, Azgirl
  • Your doctor should have a copy of it and it should be in your file. Maybe the PA will photo-copy it for you.
    It's worth asking....she might do it for you. Otherwise, you could ask her more specific questions.

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