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MRI shows disc herniation healed but still have pain/burning??


Had an MRI over a year ago which showed disc herniation at C6-C7, had the worst pain going in to my left shoulder in to my middle finger, had some steroid injections which finally helped about 60%.

Just went for another MRI (no contrast) and...it shows nothing wrong at C6-C7, I'm pleased but why am I still having pain and awful burning?

My left middle finger still feels stiff/painful and I still cannot sleep on my left shoulder as it hurts too much.

An EMG last year said significant changes at C6, if it said that wouldn't something have still been seen on the MRI?

It also showed a pinched nerve in my left elbow so I have pain in my left pinky finger.

I am so frustrated, just want this to all be gone.

Any kind of therapy, PT, massage etc flairs everything up and I'm hurting more for days, I can't exercise, nothing.

Not that it's important but this is all from a bad car accident and now my attorney is saying well an MRI now shows nothing so you have no case anymore, that's upsetting too. I've been through such agony and still have problems.

Anyone still having problems even if a new MRI now shows a disc has healed??

Thank you for any help.


  • Please explain how the disc herniation shows as being healed. That has never occurred in any known case as far as I am aware. Did you have a disc protrusion instead and someone had incorrectly referred to it as a herniation?
  • Hi Wolfpack and thank you for your reply.

    This afternoon I picked up a copy of the MRI myself, I had been told by my primary care Dr' s nurse over the phone that nothing is wrong but...this is incorrect, the MRI is still showing the disc "protrusion" and 2 other central ones higher up than C7,
    I sometimes say herniation as several Dr's have called it that and another a protrusion so it's confusing, I just thought they were the same thing!

    It's saying the protrusions are not touching anything but the Neruo said last year that it is SOOO close and you are lying down when the MRI is done.

    He said all my symptoms, the burning pain in my neck and the left middle finger pain seems like it's coming from my neck but again kept saying it's not touching anything.

    Do disc protrusions clear up by themselves after 2 years? Do I have to live with this pain? all therapy flares it up.

    thank you again for your reply.
  • What I am about to tell you is important: medical opinions should not be treated as equal when the issue is in an area outside of ones expertise. With a disc protrusion or herniation it is the neurosurgeon who has the the opinion that matters most. The primary doctor is well intended but simply does not have the experience or knowledge in the matter.

    The prevailing thought in neuroscience is that a disc herniation will never heal and in fact will begin a slow process of breaking apart from this point forward. As far as a small protrusion is concerned it may subside dependent on your activities but a very large protrusion is more likely to never subside or burst at some point.

    Follow up with your neurosurgeon if you still have symptoms.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    are not always the final analysis of your situation. Those results are some of the tools that the medical field and doctors use to identify and pinpoint problems and come up with actions plans. Many times, additional tests are needed to fine tine their findings.

    That is only some of the reasons why people say that their MRI images and reports show everything is normal , yet they are in a lot of pain. While others show signs of disc problems and are not really symptomatic. This is a very difficult area to come up with absolutes.

    So even while your MRI images/reports show good things, that does not mean you should be pain free. Many disc related problems take time to heal, with or without surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hi - I just wanted to comment that I had a MRI recently that shows 2 herniations c5/c6 and c6/c7, where the canal is compromised but in the report says "no compression". However, I have lots of neck and arm pain, with weakness. I have heard that before also, that when you are laying down with your neck nicely supported, it may not show the compression happening. I guess that is why they have those sitting down/standing up MRI machines to show what is happening in those positions. Honestly, I feel the least pain laying down with my neck properly supported, so it makes sense to me. I hope you get the proper attention and treatment to relieve your pain.
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