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

multiple tears in three disks

chuckiecchuckie Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am posting my comments in reguards to the painful experience I've been having for a year. Last year 7/20/2011, I had an MRI that showed a new bulging disk at L4-5. I also have 3 other bulging disks at L2-3, L3-4, L5-S1. OK, so last Friday I had a new MRI 4/20/12. This MRI was done at a different facility. The new findings were a tear in L2-3disc dehydration with annular bulging and central annular tear effacing the thecal sac. L3-4. ddd with space narrowing. annular bulging with central snnular tear effacing the thecal sac. L4-5 ddd withdisc space narrowing. annular bulge with shallow protuding disc effacing the thecal sac. mild narrowing of centralcanal and neural canal. L5-S1 ddd with disc space narrowing, ddd endplatechanges and endplate spurring. some bulging of annulus with central annular tear.
So, within a year my back has gotten progressively worse. I wonder if I had the 3 tears a year ago, but was not able to be picked up on my MRI. I've read that the MRIs do not always pick up tears. I'm am greatful to have received my recent MRI to explain the increased pain in my back and leg that I have been experiencing in the past year. I hope doctor can do something surgically for me at the point as I've had tried epidurals, chiropractor, PT, aqua therapy, and all have increased the pain.
Does anyone have a similar situation that they can share with me.


  • Hi Chuckie, boy does your situation sound familiar. I live in Arlington, Tx and I started my journey in 2010 with my first doctors appointment. The MRI only found a little degeneration and "maybe some arthritis" and so he sent me to land PT. The PT made it worse. When I went back to the doctor the second and third times, he refused to do any further testing telling me I just needed to "lose a little weight".

    So I dealt with the pains little while longer but finally decided to go on my own, to a pain clinic. There,I also went through 3 ESI's, facet blocks and finally rhizotomies. My pain doctor was baffled so he sent me for another MRI at another facility. This is when they found the grade 4 tear in my L4/L5 disc and bulges in L3/L4 and L5/S1.

    The thing is, my pain was the same if not worse from all the poking of the procedures. My pain doctor referred me to a neurosurgeon after he got the MRI report back. I made sure to bring my original MRI on Cd along with the new one. I wanted to know if he could see the tear in the original. Guess what? He did! He blew it up on his big screen and showed it to me. Once I knew what I was looking for, I could see it too. It was right there! I consider this a mis-diagnosis.

    I have spent two years suffering because the doctor missed it. Everyone makes mistakes but what I am upset about is the way he dismissed me and didn't try anything else. No discogram, no ct scan, he basically dismissed me as needing to lose some weight. I am sure this is also why he refused to give me anything for pain (which is why I had to seek out pain management on my own).

    I hope you can do the same thing, take your CD's with you when you go for a second opinion or referral to a surgeon. What I have learned from researching is that sometimes tears do heal on their own but if not, you might need surgical intervention. Since I have been dealing with this for 2 years and I have tried all other methods including currently doing aqua therapy and have been since February, I have decided to have a minimally invasive TLIF.

    PM me any time if you need more information!

    Grade 4 tear in l4/l5 was missed in first MRI so did injections for a year
    SI joints "messed up" not sure if I will get them fused at a later time
    Had Open PLIF L4/L5 5/28/13
    Woke up to permanent nerve damage in legs and feet.
  • Since you had the MRI at two different locations and the the report was likly written by two different radiologist there is really no way to know for sure if the tears were there before or not.

    Some imaging equipment or the films are lousy (could be becuase we are slighlty shaking from so much pain or the equipment is older and not as dense of image results coming out).

    Has your pain levels or symptoms gotton worse? Have you had any more accidents that would indicate further injury? Does your spinal specialist suspect that you have spinal instability that may explain the further degeneration at a rapid pace....

    I have a few annular tears in my Thoracics spine. I only know how painful they can be (I am on extended release pain meds with muscle relaxers) I have had two fusions and do not really want to have any more at this point.

    I also had annular tears in my lumbar area but by the time we found them the disc's were all but gone. Mine was from instability discoveed via NS and flexion extension exrays not just the MRI.

    To see the complete history click on my name.

    Feel better,

  • Chucky,

    Just a little insight, because I fought that battle, of surgery, no surgery, etc...???

    Here was the bottom line for me: I did try all non- surgical treatments like: PT, medications, stretching, injections, etc, etc. Nothing worked and I began to consider surgery

    Finally having the "Discogram" as final testing and going with a fusion was my option. I know I made the right choice because my Dr. found 2 ruptured discs that were leaking, and this was the source of my pain. No other treatments would have fixed this problem. The "Discogram" is the only test that can prove the pain is disc pain coming from the ruptures.

    If ALL non-surgical treatments fail, tell them to do a "Discogram".

    Good luck, and hang in there. Please feel free to IM me with more in depth questions and I will be happy to help. Thanks,
    Left foramina stenosis of L3/L4 (retrolisthesis)
    L2-ilaic revision fusion ( loose screws) with a laminectomy at L3 (cage at L3-L4)
    (PLIF) -@ L4/ L/5 - S1 (cage at L4/L5)
Sign In or Register to comment.