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What does "post-surgical changes" mean?

BrihtwulfBrihtwulf Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:43 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I recently had an increase in my lower back pain, and in a different location from my fusion (L5-S1), which was about 9 months ago. I've been getting sharp pain in my tailbone, and radiating pain in my buttocks, occasionally down the back of my left leg. So, my doctor ordered an MRI.

The nurse relayed the results to me (which can be frustrating when the nurse doesn't understand the results she's reading), and said that my doctor wanted me to undergo more physical therapy. She said that the main statement on the report was that the MRI showed "post-surgical changes". When I asked exactly what that meant, she didn't know. She just said, "I think it means they're pointing out that you had a fusion surgery."

I'm going to make an appointment to follow up with my physician anyway (because I've been having post-urination leakage), but I thought maybe someone here might know what that "post-surgical changes" actually refers to... Anyone have some insight?



  • When I have that term on my MRIs, it is usually describing the space between L4 and L5 where my disc was previously, where I now have a cage. I believe it is a radiologist's short-hand for noting the changes that are present as a result of surgery, rather than something your body has produced itself, such as a bone spur, etc.
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