Hi all - just wanted to post about my positional MRI, which I just got the results for. Thought it might interest some, and I'm not really sure what any of it means in the long run (I have to see a Dr, yet, to have it analyzed for me), but if anyone has any comments/feedback, it would also be appreciated.
A positional MRI, is where, instead of lying down, you are usually either seated, standing or in a flexed position while having the MRI. The purpose is to have some sort of "weight bearing" going on when the image is taken, as that is when many people experience the most pain. The criticism of these MRI's is that the image is weaker/less detailed than a "lying down" MRI.
I have a bulge, tear and DDD at L4-L5 - my pain is primarily in the spine; I have some pain radiating down my leg, but I do not have any "nerve" symptoms (no numbness/tingling or motor loss). My pain is, however, crippling, and I have been on disability for the past four years. The pathology is only at L4-L5 - all other discs look fine on the usual MRI. I have had 4 regular MRI's over the past four years.
I had a discogram two years ago, but it was negative. Because of the ambiguity of where the pain generator is, surgeons generally don't want to operate on me, so I have not had any surgery.
So - although they're difficult to find, I finally found a "positional MRI" - right in my neighborhood! (here in NYC). I had it about 2 weeks ago, and just got the results. Basically it states that all the discs in my lumbar spine (from S1-L5 up) have bulges, and again, that L4-L5 has the bulge and DDD. I will show these results to my pain management Dr when I see him next (my PM Dr is my MAIN dr), and then maybe get a referral to a surgeon to see what they have to say.
Anyway - the main point is that the regular MRI only showed damage at L4-L5, but the positional MRI showed damage all the discs in the lumbar spine (L5-S1, L4-L5, L3-L4, L2-L3, L1-L2).