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MRI Results - What do they mean?

Thoracic MRI - Congenitally small disc with waisting of the disc space the lower cervical spine at C6-C7. Mild to moderate disc space narrowing and anterior osteophyte formation from T2-T12. Endplate irregularity from T10-T12. Some type 1 discogenic vertebral marrow signal change is present anteriorly at T4-T5. Mild anterior wedging in the mid and lower dorsal spine. T6-T7 mild posterior disc bulge. Moderate dorsal spondylosis. May be mild, old, Scheurmanns disease.

Lumbar MRI - L5-S1 there is concentric bulging of the disc and central protrusion without evidence of frank extrusion or central spinal stenosis. There is facet arthropathy. L4-L5 shows small subligamenious disc herniation indenting the anterior aspect of the thecal sac.

Having severe mid back pain for last two years. Arms, legs and shoulders also. Left hand constantly swelled. Have even had chest pain and tightness. Have tried physical therapy, epidural spine shots, cortisone shots and pain management. Nothing. Doctors don't seem to want to listen or care. Sent MRI's to Laser Spine Institue, they replied with Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis, Facet Disease and Bulging/Herniation. But they do not work with my health insurance. Where to go from here?


  • I deal with insurance companies every day for my job. You need to call your insurance company, ask them to tell you the name of a spinal specialist who's in your network. If there is not one in your area, you can fight to have them approve one who is in your area. Do you have a primary care doctor you're working with? Most specialists are going to require the referral come directly from another physician, and won't accept you as a patient just walking in the door without the referral. It takes some time, but there are ways to get your insurance company to bend a bit so you can get the care you need.

    Good luck to you!
    C5-C6-C7, T3-T4-T5: disc protrusions, spinal cord & C6 nerve root involvement, tear at T3-T4
    C6 nerve root injection 10/12/12 and at-home traction
  • Please research the Laser Spine Instatute. I do believe they do not work with anyone's insurance or rather no ones insurance will cover lazer spine surgery.

    I did ask my NS about it and he said lasers have been around for a long time and it is something he uses when he needs it, but to restrict all of your work to that would be dangerous and he explained to me in details why they would only work for very straight forward simple fresh herniations, not anything that was more involved and needed reconstruction or fixation.

    Please don't get frustrated. It took me about 2 years to find the right doctor. Even now it is a by slow process.

    Like Pink said, get a list of NS and OS from your provider and start working your way down the list. Do your research before calling them and making appointments. I'm sure you can give the doctors name to your pcp and he/she can write you a referral or two. Ask around, I made a point of asking all the nurses I met who is who and they all pointed me to my current NS.

    Good luck,

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