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PurpleThistlePPurpleThistle Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello, I have posted in these forums before however it was years ago-I had to recreate my account it had been so long. Anyway, getting to the point-I will give a little background summary first I suppose.

About exactly 2 years ago(when I was 23) I got a microdisectomy on my L5-S1 for a large protrusion, herniated disc, that was causing severe sciatica and a large loss of flexibility, movement, and comfort.

The surgery was as successful as I imagined it could be, and my quality of life has much improved. However recently, within the last few months, I was having minor sciatic issues again. When I say minor, I mean in comparison to the previous pain.

I went to the DR who did my surgery, and I ended up getting a new MRI with contrast.

Today I had my MRI results, and of course after I received the results and left the doctor, I realized I was still really unsure of what he told me?

He said that the disc that the surgery was done on, is actually an old disc from when I was a kid? He claimed it is completely dried out, and that could be the reason I am so prone to back pain.

I'm still really confused as to what he told me, and don't really get it.

I have a picture of my MRI-I would really like to post it to show anyone who can give me better answers, I just do not know how to post a picture! Any help with that would be greatly appreciated, and I sure would shed more light into answers of questions I am confused of. Thank you!!


  • I have several of those ugly diseased disc.

    They are very common (looks like DDD).

    We are not supposed to comment much about MRI results. What did he say about any future surgery? Is there another view of the disc - axial view? It will show more of the "good stuff" ie what is hanging out or pressing on etc....

    You can get a copy of the mri report (just go to the place where you got the mri) you should have it for your records any way.

    Feel better,

  • is really qualified to read an MRI here. What did your doctor have to say? What did he/she recommend? It looks as though you've lost most of your disk space. I had a micro-d before having my fusion, but the relief I got only lasted about six months.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Welcome back Purple Thistle, though sorry you had to find your way back here.

    Julia and Tony are correct, nobody is allowed to comment on MRIs here, because none of us are professionals, and could make a mistake. The best person to ask would be your doctor at your next appointment. Maybe you could call and ask for a confirmation of what he said, or get another appointment quickly. A good suggestion would be to write all your questions down on paper and bring it with you, so that you don't forget while you're there.

    Good luck, and hope that the doctor gave you a plan of action to help you manage your pain.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • thought we are not allowed to comment on other MRI/CT scan just in case we get it wrong ..my MRI looks like that too /and part of my condition is DDD .lets face it folks the regulars have seen enough MRI scan to be able to read one fairly accurately and understand the lingo .BUT we also have the unenviable task of having to live with what those medical photos say {PAIN} ! there looks like 2 disc with crap hanging out of them {L5L4} L5 LOOKS dried out this is only my opinion based on my own MRI so don't take as gospel!
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I am not commenting on you MRI but just the term "drying out" .... It is also referred to as desication as in my case that I am referring to.

    For some reason ... previous rupture, disectomy, repair, age, etc. Our disc's that should be fluid filled "shock absorbers" lose there internal fluids .... it is at that point it can become a bone on bone situation and cause a dump load of pain.

    The typcal treatment would be an fusion with the use of your own hip bone or a cadaver implant to maintain the disk space and an anterior Front plate (and some times posterior rods) to lock it all in place till the vertabrea above and below growing into the implant resulting in a solid fusion.
    Sometimes a cage our corpectomy is additionally performed.

    This is based on my experience only an you can refer to this thread of mine for some additional comparisions and stories of my experience.


    The lack of the bright white between the vertabrea is the suggestion of desication - dehydration .... in my case as presented.

    Keep us posted on how things progress ... and God bless,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Thanks for all the input everyone, I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to post my results. Sorry for not reading up on the rules before doing so. I have already had my doctor give me the results, so I am not necessarily looking for a diagnosis so much rather as just what others thoughts are. Just some input from folks like yourselves who have experienced the same or similar-nice to hear others and what others see in my MRI possibly in comparison to others. . . or maybe shed light on what my doctor did say-like I said I always find myself thinking of questions after I leave the doctor, and it's not easy to just call him and ask them again without making another appointment that is a month down the line just for him to explain more of what he said in a manner I could understand. He basically said theres nothing he can really offer but nsaids and cortizone shots, or steroids-and worst comes to worst full disc replacement. I appreciate the understanding and experience from those out there! Thanks for the responses, sometimes it's hard to find common ground on these types of issues out here in the real world! :)
  • I suggest that you get yourself a second opinion just to help your self understand your condition and your options.

    If he says disc replacement then you should also be a candidate for a fusion (not saying one is better than the other) but it is an option that you should be able to research along with the ADR. Some doctors may not think you are an ADR candidate it is a good idea (IMHO)to find out why or why not....

    Hang in there :)

  • We love to look at pictures...it looks like it could be painful. The axial view, as Julie mentioned, is very useful in determining where the pain is coming from.

    So he said it was dried out...what does he want to do about it??? Another opinion would not hurt it you can do that.

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