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Lower back chronic pain and MRI findings

johnnyujjohnnyu Posts: 1
edited 01/06/2016 - 8:07 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi I am hoping to get some help or advice. I am a 45 year old male who is a building superintendent and I injured my back in January of 2014. Through the 2 years I have gone from being off of work completely for a couple of months in the beginning, to working up to 6 hours of modified duties and since November 11, 2015 I have been off of work due to extreme pain in lower back, right hip, numbness, pins and needles feeling down the right leg and most recently right leg giving out. I have been walking with a cane the last 6 months and the pain has not subsided at all, just becoming worse.

I have gone to Physiotherapy on and off for 2 years, I have been to a Chiropractor and Osteopath. I have also had a nerve root block and 3 Epidural Steroid Injection with no pain relief only increased pain for a week afterwards.

I cannot stand, sit or walk very long and the only relief seems to be from laying on my back with ice packs.

My past appointments with my Orthopedic Surgeon were that he explains that the damage on my back is on my left side and that the pain is on my right which stumps him. I have an appointment next with him to discuss the latest MRI. Although my anesthesiologist and physiotherapist have explained that this is not uncommon.

Besides the increasing pain and increasing lack of mobility, depression and anxiety are starting to increase. It has effected my life, relationships with my wife and children and my financial situation.

My latest MRI was in November 2015 and the MRI reading is as follows:

At the L2-3 level there is loss of disc signal compatible with the disc desiccation. There is mild anterior osteophyte formation. There is mild diffue posterior disc bulge, and mild bilateral facet degenerative changes.

At the L4-5 level, there is disc desiccation. There is mild anterior osteophyte formation. There is mild posterior disc bulge and mild bilateral facet degenerative changes.

At level L5-S1 there is disc desiccation. There is mild anterior osteophyte formation. There is mild diffuse posterior bulge and moderate bilateral facet degenerative changes.

There is no evidence for a focal disc herniation within the lumbar spine.
There is no evidence for central canal spinal stenosis, or significant neural formaminal narrowing in the lumbar spine.
The alignment within the lumbar spine is unremarkable.

1. Mild multilevel degenerative changes in the lumbar spine.
2. No MRI evidence for a focal disc herniation in the lumbar spine.

Could anybody with experience give me some suggestions or help as I am at my wits end. I just want my life to be back to normal.

Thank you.

Welcome to Spine-Health

While you may have provided us with some information, there is always more to provide.

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)

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 01/06/16 14:06est

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