Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

MRI results

scotonesscotone Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello. I am new to the forum, but I think that this may become my new home. I have been having problems with my back for about a year now. I started seeing my GP for back pain approx. 4 months ago. I was ata first experiencing lower back/hip pain that over time moved down my leg to my foot. After a few weeks of this pain, my toes and parts of my leg started to loose feeling. I have been to Physical therapy, and after a couple months of a whole lot of stretching and very little improvement, I requested a MRI and the doctor agreed that we should take a look dueto the feeling loss. This is what the letter said that I recieved from my GP-

Mr. KovacsYour MRI shows disc disease at the L4-5 level with severe narrowing of the spinal canal. For this reason I think it would be reasonable to be evaluated by neurosurgery. Here are the details about the referral and making the appointment: YOU HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO THE NEUROSURGERY DEPARTMENT.

Can anyone out there help me put this into plain english, and let me know how severe this might be? I have been told everything from- "keep stretching and it will get better on it's own..... to-- you are going to need surgery or face possible paralyzation below the waist in the future due to the narrowing of the spinal canal. Can anyone help me make sense of this and calm down a little bit?

Thanks in advance!!!!


  • Hi there,

    None of us are doctors so we can't really translate. I think your GP has done the right thing to refer you over to a Fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine specialist or Neurosurgeon.

    I had back issues and went straight to a back doctor but some insurance co's require you get a referral so this is what your GP is doing. He knows he is not a specialist.

    I would meet with the neurosurgeon or Orthopedic spine surgeon. Just becuase they are surgeon's doesn't mean surgery. As a matter of fact, I will be surprised if that is the 'first line of defense'.

    Many people have degenerative disc disease, it's not uncommon. However, the specialist can better follow your symptoms and check leg strength, numbness, etc. to know how the MRI and what you are feeling interrelate.

    You may have an inflammation as a result and/or narrowing of a particular level that is putting some pressure on your sciatic nerve but your doctor will help you understand.

    The key I've found is that the MRI is not the entire story. It just is one piece of the story.

    Let us know how the appointment goes and we can help you navigate with the right questions from there.
  • Sorry to hear you need to see a Neurosurgeon. Here's a link of what to ask the Surgeon http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/preparing-meet-a-spine-surgeon-or-spine-specialist

    We can't interpret MRI's as we aren't Drs. but well will be able to support you through your treatment and surgery if needed. Anything severe on your MRI has to be sorted out by a Neurosurgeon or Orthosurgeon. 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
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. There are a lot of articles and videos around this site that can be very helpful in getting information regarding what you're going through. And the members of the forum are very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. I'm glad you found us, although sorry you're going through spine problems.

    DNice is right - when your situation has gone past what your GP can handle, they will refer you to someone who knows more about what's happening. I think most of us have had this happen when we first began on our spiney journeys.

    It's also correct that just because you're seeing surgeon, it doesn't necessarily mean surgery. There are a lot of conservative treatments that they usually try first to see if they will help. Surgery is always the very last resort. But beginning with the surgeon is best because they can follow your progress throughout all of the treatment and order further treatment if needed.

    I'm anxious to hear what the neuro says so please keep us posted.

    Take care,
  • Thanks for the responses, they do make me feel a bit more at ease. I called to set up the appointment today, they said that the soonest that they could see me was December 21st, and I would be seen by a Physicians assistant, but a Neuro specialist would be on hand to help read the MRI. I got VERY uneasy about this for some reason, and "backed out" so to speak for the moment. I want to contact my GP to see if there might be somewhere else for him to refer me to. I am currently using a Kaiser phacility, but I am employed at the University of Colorado Hospital in the Pharmacy dept. and might want to try seeing someone at the hospital where I work if possible. There are also alot of different study groups that might also be available to me. Thanks again, and I will keep everyone here posted.

  • Update.

    I called my doctor yesterday morning and told him that we had to do something, 'cause I can't take the pain anymore, and can't wait until the 23rd to get my MRI read. He gave me a couple of numbers to call, and I finally got ahold of someone in scheduling that had just gotten off of the phone with someone cancelling an appointment for tomorrow@ 10:00 (Tues.). Hopefully everything goes well, and I will keep y'all posted to let you know what is up. I am also going to get a copy of my MRI to get some other opinions.

  • Good for you for listening to your body and calling to see about a sooner appointment!Wanted to wish you all the best at your appointment today, please keep us updated on how everything goes.
    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
Sign In or Register to comment.