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Lower Back MRI - Doc says OK??

Been having back pain for over a year now. Had an accident a few years ago, no problems afterwards until a little over a year ago. Can lift heavy objects without a problem but strenuous activities and staying in a fixed position for a prolonged period of time are excruciating. Here are the results from my MRI. Also have the imaging if I can figure out how to post a picture.

Schmorl's node is seen within the anterior-superior L2 vertebral body endplate. No acute marrow edema.
L4-5 Shallow annular bulge and mild degenerative change of facets. No stenosis.
L5 S1 - Shallow annular bulge. No stenosis.

Impression: No disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or neural foraminal stenosis. No significant degenerative change.

Doctor says there's nothing wrong with my back. I responded with the question of "Well why am I hurting then?" He said see an orthopedic. What should I expect? Any help?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi, i had a "regular" MRI, showed a mild buldge...dr. said I shouldn't be in pain, but I sure was. I then found out about the "dynamic MRI". Imaging taken while sitting and standing vs laying down. Made a world of difference with my diagnosis, all the best to you! You have found a great support system in SH!
  • I'm sorry to hear about your pain. It can be extremely frustrating to hear a doctor tell you everything is normal when you know very well it isn't. Sally has a point about the dynamic (standing up) MRI. They do show a lot more, especially any vertebral slippage.
    An orthopaedic surgeon will want all of your records from the neurosurgeon and may order another x-ray or MRI. If a dynamic MRI is out of the question, you could ask the ortho for flexion/extention x-rays where you bend forward and lean backward.
    Have you researched SI joint dysfunction? The pain could be radiating up to your lower back, or making it unstable enough to hurt. SI joint dysfunction isn't really visible on an MRI but some doctors suggest it accounts for 20% of lower back pain.
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