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MRI is backwards??? HELP

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
MRI Report Reads as follows:

L4-L5: There are postoperative changes on the left which includes partial diskectomy and hemilaminectomy without recurrent disc herniation, central stenosis or exiting nerve root impingment. (S/P 2005 L4/5 surgery, completely resolved all pain until 1 year ago)

L5-S1: There is disc disiccation, loss of disc height and diffuse disc buldging with a new RIGHT paracentral/for,inal herniation encroaching upon the RIGHT S1 nerve root and RIGHT exiting L5 nerve root without compression or central stenosis. There is mild bilateral facet arthrosis.
Had an EMG on Monday: Doctor says all normal, pain is not coming from my back!

Pain:...LEFT Buttock pain, deep with radiation to LEFT back of thigh to LEFT calf to LEFT heel. Feels like someone is sticking a knife in my heel when I walk. I am able to walk 2 stores to shop but the time I get to the 3rd, I have to use the motorized wheelchair because the pain in my leg is so bad!! Back pain is deep and no where near what it was 6 years ago.

Anyone EVER have this or hear of opposite herniation from side of pain??
What test should I be asking for next?
Surgeon said if I had the symptoms on the RIGHT with an MRI like that he would take me to the OR for decompression but he wont because my symptoms are on the LEFT and the left is clean!!!
Not sure how long I can last with this pain!!!


  • Welcome to Spine Health >:D<

    First of all the pain is not in your head.... EMG's are very subjective and not a good tool for a solid diagnosis. The right or wrong tech can make the test look positive or negative so don't be alarmed. MRI's are known for missing a lot. What was the date of your MRI? What was the date of the EMG?

    I can only tell you if my NS or PM told me that my pain is not coming from my spine I would be very close to firing them on spot. Luckily my NS actually looks at my MRI's and doesn't take the word of anyone but me :)

    What kind of MD did the EMG? My thoughts would be to get a second opinion. Your MRI does indicate you have some issues, the fact that you are having pain on one side and the HNP is on the other isn't that crazy. I had similar issues when I found out that I have severe retrololisthsis (backward slippage) at L5/S1. Have you been checked for instability? Flexion Extension x-rays? CT Scan? Have you had any pain blocks?

    Please get a second opinion. I am almost certain things will start coming together if you get the right set of eyes on your issues.

    Feel Better,

  • What was the date of your MRI?
    2 weeks ago
    What was the date of the EMG?
    this past Monday
    What kind of MD did the EMG?
    Have you been checked for instability? Flexion Extension x-rays? CT Scan? Have you had any pain blocks?
    No, I haven't been checked for any of that..I did have some blocks after my surgery to clear up so unresolved pain but that was 5 years ago and different pain.

    Thank you for your input, I am at a loss. I hate the idea of a second opinion, I love my Surgeon and hate to think he would not be telling me everything or doing what I need done!!..
  • I had a herniated right side L5-S1 impinging on the l5 exiting nerve and had and still have left sided sciatica and still have the same symptoms but now I have lumbar DDD throughout lumbar spine. My herniated disc is healed or was not seen on the MRI 15 months after but still over 3-1/2 years have same symptoms and going for another MRI in 10 days.

    I heard Drs in my case were reluctant to do surgery due to crossed nerves. Get more opinions and a discogram. I was refused all this also. Also your Surgeon won't know if you get another opinion and even so I'm sure he would expect you to get another opinion at least one or two. 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
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