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Picked up the Rad Dr Report for MRI-Am I crazy??

Melissa_N79MMelissa_N79 Posts: 6
So I have my report from the MRI I had last Thursday. I also requested the report from last year as well. There really isn't any change per the reports.

THe only changes in the report is the use of slight in the report from a year ago to mild in reporting the disc bulges. There was no stenosis seen on my L5-S1 disc that is now being reported. From what my Dr said the tears were new in the MRI last year. This was after my fall.

So if there were no significant changes since last year, why has my radiculopathy increased substanitally and the new symptoms have come? Am I just crazy then? I feel like when I go in next Tuesday my Doctor is going to tell me I am fine and nothing is wrong.

Here is the results:

Imaging Parameters: Sagital T1 and T2-wieghted images, axial FSE t2-weighted images of thelumber spine were obtained


The vertebral body height, alignment and marrow signal are within normal limits for age. Stable Modic Changes invlolving the superior endplate of L5

There is disc desiccation at L4-L5 and L5-S1.

The conus terminates at the L1 level, with a normal apperance of the cauda equina.

L1-2: No disc protrusion, canal or foraminal narrowing.

L2-3: No disc protrusion, canal or foraminal narrowing.

L3-4: No disc protrusion, canal or foraminal narrowing.

L4-5: Mild broad-based disc bulge with centeral annular tear, without significant canal or foraminal stenosis.

L5-S1: Mild broad-based disc bulge and facet hypertrophic changes, resulting in mild bilateral foraminal stenosis. No centeral spinal stenosis. Small annular tear again noted.


1. Mild disc desiccation and broad-based disc bulges at L4-L5 and L5-S1, without significant changes since the prior study.



  • Hi... I can't respond to your new findings.. but I can tell you I had a similar experience.. was told there is nothing wrong, it's all in my head, I am just a woman and can't handle a tiny bit of pain, blah, blah blah.
    You know YOU. you are not crazy! our bodies are... a mystery sometimes. Pain, muscles, nerves.. all different.
    To me, bluntly, 'findings", it's medical babble sometimes. I was told I shouldn't be in pain, I should work, the MRI and xrays showed nothing that other people dont' have and live lives working fine.
    I didn't. I couldn't.
    I found this site.. I read and read, I researched and I learned to become my own advocate. This was not an overnight process.. been four years.
    I learned.. I know ME. I would not accept "there is nothing wrong with you".
    I had a upright MRI done, which showed nerve compression.. then my DR. said.. "gee, you must be in pain". three and a half years of telling him.. there is something wrong!
    It's been a battle, but I have learned so much. The support from this site especially on my bad days. I lurk here. and it helps.
    So... don't give up! you will find your answer!
  • My MRI also showed L4 L5 bulge but not needing surgery. After I talked to the surgeon and showed him how my right leg was not working correctly he scheduled me for surgery "stat". He told my wife while I was in recovery that he was glad he listened to me and not the MRI. After he got inside he saw that I had a ruptured disk cutting off the sciatic nerve running down my right side. He said that MRI's don't always show everything and in my case the MRI was wrong!
  • Remember MRI's are only a part of the puzzle. Your doctor will take his/her clinical findings along with the images. Now hopefully your doctor also reads his/her own images. Also who is to say the radiologist wrote all the information down, that does happen when they know the surgeon will read the report themselves. The question for a surgery is, is there something the surgeon can do that will improve your symptoms. Some doctors will also use injections as a diagnostic tool. Depending on the type of injection they do, some patients will say they received no benefit and that gives the surgeon information that surgery won't help the issue, in some cases. But also keep in mind they can use emg studies, order ct/myelograms and discograms and that is not a absolute list.

    In some situations we get hurried to find the results and then by picking up the reports ahead of time, only to leave us with more questions than answers.

    If you trust in your surgeon or whomever ordered the images, wait and see what they have to say. But do prepared to discuss your condition the pain where it is and what makes it better or what makes worse. You want to arm them with as much information as you can to help you with your diagnoses. Good luck and keep us posted on your appointment.
  • Melissa,
    TamTam is right, there are so many variables. I understand how you feel, you want to be validated. We go to doctors and we expect them to be able to put it in a nutshell, you know tell us what the problem is ,and then how they're going to fix it.
    That's not how it goes for most of us. You know your body better than any doctor. All they know is what they see on tests, you've got to be assertive. When they say " what's your pain level today?" if you feel awful you gotta tell them. MRIs are "the gold standard" test they say, but they aren't the whole story.Educate yourself so you know how to talk to the Drs, it really helped me, the more I knew the better I could explain my pain.
    Hope you find relief,
    Enjoy your day.....sagehen
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