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Please HELP!!!

cgrosen324ccgrosen324 Posts: 5
edited 12/16/2015 - 8:33 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello all.. I'm hoping for some guidance, or at least a few opinions, in ref to my cervical & lumbar issues. I've had lower back pain for 8 years, went through PT, pain management and have learned to live with it to some degree. Although that seems to be getting more difficult these days. I started having neck problems a year ago and finally decided to have it checked out. I thought this would be a good opportunity to revisit my lower back problems as well. I've summarized my MRI's below and would love some layman translation from some of you more experienced folks:

C-Spine MRI
- broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex measuring 2 mm which partially effaces the thecal sac
- no significant central canal stenosis
- moderate narrowing of the left neural foramen
- mild narrowing of the right neural foramen

- broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex measuring 3 mm
- mild narrowing of the central canal
- moderate narrowing of the bilateral neural foramen
- uncovertebral osteophyte formation

L-Spine MRI
- broad-based disc bulge measuring 4 mm resulting in moderate canal stenonis
- facet arthropathy and thickening of the ligamentum flavum resulting in moderate canal stenonis
- calcification (lesions) of the dura or ligamenum flavum related to the degenerative process
- moderate narrowing of the bilateral lateral recesses and neural foramen
- linear zone of T2 hyperintensity within the disc herniation, likely an annular tear

- broad-based disc bulge measuring 2 mm
- moderate hypertrophy of the bilateral facets
- no significant central canal stenosis
- moderate narrowing of the bilateral neural foramen

The first surgeon I was evaluated by said I need surgery to clean out the bone spurring in my neck and that I needed C5-7 fused. The second surgeon I visited said I do not need surgery right now and to try PT and continue with pain management. I was leaning towards surgery (might as well "fix" it, especially considering my insurance carrier has authorized it) but now my extreme pain, numbness and weakness are gone. I fully expect my symptoms will return at some point. Neither surgeon said anything about my lower back. My lower back ALWAYS hurts and I swear the lumbar MRI report "sounds" worse to me.

I'm not asking for specific surgical advise. I'm just looking for opinions. I'm also looking for a layman's interpretation of my MRI's. I have a feeling they're probably not as bad as they sound. Before anyone flames me I have done some internet research and still cannot make heads or tails of those MRI's.

Thanks everyone!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    No on one the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or
    or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can apply

    • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
      MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
      SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary
      You need to get the answer to your question from your doctor(s)
    Try using the Spine-Health Medical Glossary. It contains almost every condition, treatment and term used when talking about the Spine.

    Here is the pointer to the details about Arthropathy Medical Glossary - Arthropathy

    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 completely understand and I'm not looking for medically qualified advice or recommendations. I'm simply looking for opinions based on what others have gone through. I do not plan to make any medical decisions based on what someone's opinion is, but I sure would like to hear them.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    I think it would be helpful if you went through the glossary to get all the information that was identified in your MRI report. Many of the Spine-Health articles will branch out to more articles, including surgery, recovery, etc

    Plus right now, you have quite a wide spectrum of disc related items. Have you been given a formal diagnosis? And have doctors suggested an action plan and/or surgery?

    Its is a lot easier to get member feedback when there is something specific (ie L4/L5 or C5/C6 ACDF, etc). What your posted covers a lot

    Personally I have had C4/C5 & C6/C7 ACDF with titanium as well as a number of L4/L5 surgeries along with L5/S1.

    Having had so many surgeries, I always suggest everyone to go the conservative route first. Try them all, perhaps more than once.
    If everything fails, then you know its surgery time. That is unless your doctor indicates that surgery should happen sooner vs later.

    Getting a second opinion, another set of eyes would also give you more details in which to work with.
    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
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