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What will MRI show in my situation?

First post so hope I do it right.
Last year I herniated a disc in my back and had a microdisectomy. Thought all was fine until I pulled my back again at the gym. A few days rest and all was good again...until suddenly I had a day of horrific pain in my back - walking was not an option! Following that a few days later i lost feeling in my other foot and leg with less movement possible - a quick visit to emergency GP and he referred me striaght back to my surgeon who suspects i have reherniated the disc affecting my L5. He has ordered an MRI scan for me which I am still waiting for.

My surgeon wasnt the most helpful last time i went through this - took alot to prove how much pain i was in. Anyway...pain is far less today which is good thing. However, i dont want my surgeon to brush me off as the pain was REALLY bad last week etc and i live in fear when i wake up each morning whether my toes, foot, leg will be there!

Will an MRI still show herniation if there was one even though little to no pain now?

I don't want him to brush me off again as I know my body and know that something isnt right - losing sensation and movement in foot it not normal right?!

Thanks for any help or advice offered.
UM x


  • First off, welcome to Spine-Health!!! There is a search box at the top of the web page that might be of help.

    As to hernia's and MRI. Some hernia's shrink back in on their own, others stay out. It is hard to say if your pain goes away or is decreased if one will show. I know I have one level that apparently at some time *did* herniate, but didn't bother me. On some of the axial views, you could see the ragged edge on it. A radiologist should be able to see if there is any issues within a disk - I would hope! Please let us know what you find out.

    Remember, not all back/neck pain is disk related. There are a lot of ligaments and muscles that run along the spine, and one of them may have been pulled or torn slightly causing pain. Lets hope that is all that is going on. I know, "hernia" is forefront in your thoughts - understandable. Try to relax and wait until the doctor can sort it out. Please keep us posted. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hiya, Welcome to Spine Health >:D< Sorry that you have had this pain :? An Mri shows soft tissue , so you should get some answers from that scan :D My doctor could not stress enough to me, that once theres is a weakness in your back :? , then there may always be one :S , (depending on the problem you have) So with the weakness there you must look after your back :? . I see my doctor every 4 weeks at the moment and every time i go there , he says the same thing to me :T , Good luck and let us know how you get on >:D<

    Angie xx
  • Thanks for your replies and advice.

    Pain is so much better now and most feeling and movement is back to normal - just lingering fuzzyness/pins and needles.

    I just don't want the MRI to suddenly be clear and the surgeon say goodbye to me again only to wake the next morning in agony again.

    My microdiscectomy was due to bad herniation at L5 which went bad very fast indeed - with severe symptoms. Although the M/D sorted most of the issues out I have never felt complelty back to normal if you know what I mean. Achy back alot, weak leg muscle, heavy feeling and it is very easy to over do it so I do take care of myself. (Hence going to the gym which has, sods law, caused this new batch of symptoms!

    Ah well..time will tell.

    Thanks again for replies. And sorry I am rambling again...just nice to get it out especially to people who understand the pain (physical and emotional) that comes as part of the parcel of backpain!

  • Herniations don't come and go overnight. Yes, they do sometimes heal, but over months, not days. Talk to your doctor about your fears, I am sure he will allay them!
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