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Chronic pain, MRI shows no nerve involvement. DEVASTATED

JustInSpineJJustInSpine Posts: 1
edited 04/22/2015 - 1:47 AM in Lower Back Pain
Long Story - I've been dealing with chronic back pain for about 15 years. Over the past 1-2 years it's been severe enough that I started calling in to work (I haven't missed work in 10 years). I could no longer go to the grocery, clean my house, load the dishwasher, do laundry, etc. I had to pay somebody to everything.

After push from Family and Friends I finally made a doctors appointment. I've been putting it off because I just knew something was bad wrong and I didn't want to know what it was (yes I'm one of those).

The doctor did an X-Ray and MRI. X-Ray showed what they consider mild scoliosis (20 degree curve) so they ordered an MRI. My MRI results came back with a mild bulge in L5 with no nerve involvement.

Now to the pain.... I currently have chronic pain on both sides of spine and across lower back, SEVERE pain in my buttock and my legs burn like FIRE. I've also lost some sensation in my legs (from the knee up). How is this possible?!
I feel crazy, defeated and hopeless. This MRI and Xray have made a liar out of me. I've been referred to an Ortho and if he says the same I don't know what to do.

Has anybody else experienced this? I need to know what questions to ask.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    edited 04/22/2015 - 3:35 AM
    to proceed when the diagnostic tests come back negative. Thats the initial measuring stick used by the medical field.

    I am sure that one of your doctors also did a clinical examination. Sometimes that review can substantiate the diagnostic testing or indicate that something else is going on. So, what was the statements given to you by your doctor based on that?

    It appears that from the diagnostic test reports, any other new doctor is not going to be alarmed. Having another pair of eyes look at the images can also substantiate one way or the other.

    What if the orthopedic doctor also says " No trouble found " Then what? You need to be prepared for that
    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
  • I had extreme neck pain that was debilitating, went to physical therapy, a chiropractor, and an orthopedic doc. They did MRI's, and the orthopedic doc said, "you just have bulging discs...everyone over 30 has them" and was extremely condescending. I was, like you, devastated. So, under a friends advice, I went to her spine and pain mgmt doctor, who ran nerve tests, and then ordered a DISCO-GRAM. When I woke up from that test (conscious sedation), the first thing he said was, "do you know a good surgeon? Cause you're going to need one!" It turns out that MRI's show shape of discs, but NOT condition of discs. They can be almost disintegrated and still have parts bulging. Mine were complete mush, and the neurosurgeon visit was next. Because I had done EVERYTHING and the disco gram confirmed the condition of the discs causing the extreme pain, he did a three level fusion removing the discs and I've been great ever since! My back, however is another story, but I'm working on it!
    Find a spine and pain doc with credentials in anesthesia and see about a discography after he/she looks at your films from the MRI. They are trained to know so many more causes for pain and they're the ones that do this all day every day.
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