Hello. I am currently 24 years old and have been suffering from chronic pain for almost 3 years now, and had suffered from back pain on and off through my years. But in November 2013, just on an ordinary, non spectacular day I started feeling sciatic pain. I toughed it out for a while then went to the emergency room and they chopped it up to an ovarian cyst (Which just showed up on my MRI by the way. It was the only notable thing in the sacrum/coccyx, other than moderate fluid in the "cul-de-sac," which I still don't know what that means. The only notable thing I have found up to date in in my thoracic, which my Doctor has been dismissing this entire time. So back In 2013, it started with the sciatic pain. Which of course quickly made its way down my leg. Very early on I lost feeling in my big toe on the left side. most of all of this is located on the LEFT side by the way. But eventually, things kind of started moving their way upwards. I regained feeling in my toe. But the pain started creeping upwards into my back. Towards my left shoulderblade. The Muscles from the sacroiliac to the shoulderblade would form a solid mass of knots almost like a column and I would be so stiff. Again mostly the severity was always on the left side but nowhere was sacred. I"ve literally had the muscle cramps follow straight from the tip of my big toe, under my foot, up the back of my leg and the back of me, then through my arm, and no joke, up my neck and on to my face to finally creep up on to my head to top it all off with a debilitating headache that blurs vision my on one side. Oh yes. My legs and constantly tingling and on fire/burning sensation in the muscles. Like I said earlier I can't feel my big toes, before, and now. On both sides I can't feel the big ones and on the left one the ones closest to the big one fade in and out. My feet constantly throb with a sharp stabbing pain that makes you wince every time. Especially when i try to walk on them. They shoot up pain that feels like a sword stabbing straight from my heel to your groin or sciatica or hip (take the pick of the day, I swear, it's ridiculous). And I cannot forget my left arm. During flare ups, it feels like an electric knife drenched in icy hot is being wedged up underneath my left shoulderblade. The muscles around that area severely spasm. My chest tightens. Ribs tighten, and even the delicate muscles that lay over and pull the ribs spasm and my ribs start to feel like they're stabbing me. That happened very badly once after I fell in the hospital. Recently my left arm started becoming weak and I slowly started losing felling in my left fingers starting from the thumb. Opposite the thumb, from the pinkie, following all the way up my arm on the outside and through the elbow, then up the outside of the upper arm and into my shoulder, was a pinching sensation. Slightly shocking and cramping. When I moved my shoulder or elbow or wrist joint my arm just intensely throbbed. I generally just kept my arm in sling position. All the while, the sciatic pain in my left leg has been a constant issue. Ok, so here's the important part. The MRI results. Here they are for the Thoracic (axial t2-weighted). There is a smooth physiologic thoracic kyphotic curve. Vertibral heights appear generally maintained. Disc Degeneration is mild at t4-t5 and t9-t10 with dehydration and narrowing. no worrisome narrowing replacing lesions are seen. the remaining extra spinal soft tissues appear normal.
t3-t4 demonstrates a 1mm right paramedian broad disc protrusion. There is mild to moderate spinal cord flattening to the right without stenosis. no hyphertrophic facet djd. no foraminal stenosis.
t4-t5 demonstrates a 2mm right paramedian broad disc protrusion. There is mild to moderate spinal cord flattening to the right without stenosis. no hyphertrophic facet djd. no foraminal stenosis.
t5-t6 demonstrates a 2mm left paramedian broad disc protrusion. There is mild to moderate spinal cord flattening to the right without stenosis. no hyphertrophic facet djd. no foraminal stenosis.
t7-t8 demonstrates a 2mm left paramedian broad disc protrusion. There is mild to moderate spinal cord flattening to the right without stenosis. no hyphertrophic facet djd. no foraminal stenosis.
t8-t9 demonstrates a 1mm bilobed disc bulge. There is mild to moderate spinal cord flattening to the right without stenosis. no hyphertrophic facet djd. no foraminal stenosis.
t9-t10 demonstrates a 1mm left paramedian broad disc protrusion. No significant spinal cord flattening or central stenosis. no hyphertrophic facet djd. no foraminal stenosis.
the remaining thoracic discs do not show evidence of significant bulge, protrusion, or extrusion.
the thoracic cord has a smooth contour and is without focal atrophy, edema, or myelomalacia, No mass. the paraspinous musculature is normal and symmetric without localized edema. no focal bone marrow or ligamentous edema to suggest either bruise or sprain.
This is my newest MRI. I had one almost a year ago, of the lumbar and sacrum, and nothing notable was found. And nothing notable was found this time around in those sections either. I have been complaining about pain in the thoracic area for months, but my doctor told me it was pain radiating up from my sciatica. But that never made sense to me. I have been asking for a thoracic MRI for months, and only now have I gotten one, which makes me wonder how long this has been like this. Originally the doctor Diagnosed the issue in l4/l5-s1/s2 and started steroidal injections there. I had a series of three. The injections did not help the pain at all, if anything it made it worse. After that round of injections failed, the doctor suggested that the issue might be sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Upon further research, that seemed to fit the bill. Yet my initial MRI still didn't show issues with the sacrum. Despite that, My doctor decided to start a series on sij1 injections. I got through the first 2 injections and finally cancelled the third because the injections were making the pain worse and not helping at all. After that, my doctor said that he really wanted to perform a radiofrequency ablation on me in my left sacroiliac, and that would be the best solution for me. I initially refused. And after months of refusing, I broke down from the pain and agreed because my doctor told me I had no other options. My only condition to agree to the radiofrequency ablation was the have an updated full MRI ordered before to make sure he wasn't missing anything. Thank god I did, cause he missed it by a mile. MRI shows nothing in sacrum or lumbar and everything in thoracic. So effectively i feel like for a year and i half now I've been mistreating the totally wrong area, and subjecting myself to unnecessary medical procedures. So far, medication wise, I have consistently been on topamax (currently 200mg/day). I've been through a slew of muscle relaxers. Started with flexeril 10mg 3x daily, worked great until it didn't and the dry mouth became too much, so i was switched to tizanidine (cant remember dosage) but was quickly pulled off because my liver enzymes skyrocketed. Now I am on methocarbanol 750mg 3x/day. For pain I had been on oxycodone 5 mg as needed, but i quickly built up a tolerance and before I stopped taking them was having to take 10mg every hour just to manage the pain. As a personal choice, I didn't want to be on narcotics anymore, so i detoxed from the oxy and switched to tramadol 100mg every 4-6 hours as needed (although it honestly doesn't work). So there's the bulk of my story. If anyone has experienced anything like this, please say something, cause no one can seem to explain any of this (doctors included). I've been in pain for years, and I thought that my procedure on Monday (06-08-15) was going to be the end, but with the new MRI results, its looking like we are back at square 1 and that we have wasted over a year treating nonexistent issues. I just want my life back. I'm only 24. This can't be what my whole life is going to be like...........
There is nobody on the forum qualified or permitted to interpret or advice on an MRI