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Hello, Advice please and explanation of Dr's notes

PurplemintPPurplemint Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello. I have come here looking for some answers and hopefully a translation of the consultants letter. None of it makes much sense to me.

I have suffered on and off with my back for a good few years, usually the pain goes away after a cpl weeks but last year needed physio for a few weeks and then was ok. Since christmas I have had severe lower back pain and have been taking codeine and paracetamol everyday. It has gradually got worse and I am now getting shooting pains down my legs and into my foot.

The doctors letter says tense para spinal muscles Straight leg raise was positive on right side 60% with a positive stretch test. Decreased power in the ankle to dorsiflexion and to the exterior hallicus longus which was 4/5. There was sensory loss on right side at L4/L5/S1 dermatomes. Knee reflexes were normal however ankle reflexes absent on right side.

An MRI is booked and I am to start on Pregabalin meds. Can anyone please tell me what the doctors notes mean in normal language please?


  • Hi there,
    Welcome to Spine Health. I am so sorry you are having such pain.

    Unfortunately I, as most on this site, am not qualified to decifer your doctors notes and so won't try. From the symptoms you describe and what your doctors notes read I can tell you is it sounds like you are on the right track. You have sought medical treatment and are on your way to an MRI. It's a good start. The MRI will hopefully give them a better picture of what is going on.

    This road you are about to travel can be long. No doubt about it. It can be frustrating and as you already know the pain is no picnic. That's where we come in.

    Take a good look around. Not only are these forums a great place to find answers to so many of your questions and fears but they are a great place to vent. Just keep in mind that your doctors are your best place for medical advice. As you begin getting diagnosis and suggestions for different forms of treatment take advantage of all the great links you will find right here on Spine Health.

    Welcome and please keep us posted.
  • Sounds like your doctor has given you a thorough neurological exam, which has indicated some abnormalities on your right side. Good to hear your next step is an MRI. If you google neurological exam, you will find some interesting information.

    Best wishes,

  • hi and welcome the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you stopped by.. getting a diagnosis is only the beginning of getting yourself to feeling better.. i hope you find spending some time on the forum helps as well. finding like minded individuals can often make you feel less isolated and the road less long! please stop by anytime! good luck and i hope you are feeling better soon! Jenny :)
  • I have similar issues with my Left ankle with no reflex and decreased power in my left leg. Hopefully the Lyrica helps you as it did with my leg and foot pain. Although now I found Cymbalta and the injections have helped with the tingling and nerve pain and weakness. I haven't had surgery so hoping time will be able to help heal as well as Physiotherapy and other treatments given to me by my Dr. but have received 3 opinions so far by Neurosurgeon and Orthosurgeons. Was it the Neurologist who did the physical assessment? Hopefully your MRI will show what's going on and your Dr. will let you know your diagnosis. We'll be here for you during this time and support you in any way we can. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • ok. so I am not a doctor, but i am in the medical field and helped with exams like this so i will do my best to translate this for you. But remember i AM NOT a doctor. for a completely accurate report, you should ask your doctor to explain it. he will also know what he feels needs to be done now that he has these findings.

    Middle section of this post deleted with agreement from
    the member

    Either way, you are in pain and it sucks. I had similar symptoms on my left side. i saw a chiropractor and it helped for years. But my condition wasn't something that could be managed forever unfortunately.

    I hope all goes well and you get some answers soon if you haven't already!
  • Please be careful when trying to help out others, especially when it comes to interpretation of any images, notes or slides. It is Spine Health policy to have members refrain from doing interpretations, regardless of their background (medical or not), so as to avoid creating confusion, creating the environment for a mis-informed decision that causes further grief and pain.

    It is not that the effort goes unappreciated, but in these cases, it is so easy to provide misleading information (not intentionally) that winds up causing a person to make a decision about their care, without the benefit of a trained, experienced and hands on doctor/exam.

    Best of luck

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    posting medical details to the degree you did. To many others, those words come off as if you were a medical expert.

    Thank you
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I re read my post and it does sound way to much like im giving medical advise. I was just stating from my own experience, but i wrote it very badly. I can figure out how to edit or delete the post. I am trying though. I was just trying to help, and i promise not to do this again. again, this is all just from my experience getting exams and observing them, not through any special training. do not by any means consider it medical advise or completely accurate. I am very sorry.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    I personally want to thank you and I know my team thanks you for your understanding of this situation.

    And for you to publicly make that last post, that says a lot about your character and integrity.

    Thank you
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Same here. Thanks Jade, classy move on your part.

  • I'm still confused about the medical advice warning. Didn't she preface her interpretation very clearly? Quoted below:

    "ok. so I am not a doctor... But remember i AM NOT a doctor. for a completely accurate report, you should ask your doctor to explain it. he will also know what he feels needs to be done now that he has these findings."

    I think this whole issue about medical advice, and what is allowed to be said and what isn't, seems a little hazy to me. Several posts toward the top of this thread also offered interpretation and advice, but those were let alone.

    Perhaps the problem lies with the people requesting medical advice on this forum more so than someone responding with the best of intentions to help? Maybe the rules should be stated such that posts that are seeking specific medical advice should not be allowed. Wouldn't that nip this in the bud?

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    is almost always mandatory anytime you start in with medical information. That alone is not enough.

    We spoke with Jade and as you can see , she understood what we were talking about. As I posted before, I thank her for her follow on post.

    Now, back....

    We have carefully instructed everyone that when they start to provide medical information, be extremely careful on the wording. Being an online site, you never know exactly what the meaning or emphasis in the words that are being posted. Some members have taken words as being formal medical advice and acted upon that. There is where the danger lies.

    A good percentage of members today, either put a statement in their signature line or state up front about not being a doctor and the information they provide is based on personal experiences only. That is so very important.

    But beyond that, when any member posts things as if they were a doctor, a medical professional, or copying/pasting medical information from journals, problems can surface.

    One of the forum rules specifically states:

    You agree not to post information that is considered to be formal medical advice.
    All information provided by members must clearly state that the information you provided is based
    on personal experience and is not formal medical advice.

    I do not believe we need to tell members not to ask. Many members ask for advice and it is easy to provide some information and stay within the rules.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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