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MRI and frustrations

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Here's my MRI results. No free floating material.

L1 to L2/3 no abnormality

L3/4 There is persistence of a right paracentral disc protrusion overall there is no evidence of significant stenotic disease or displacement. No foci of abnormal enhancement are identified to suggest a residual disc fragment.

L4/5 There has been a left hemilaminotomy and leftward discectomy. And no definate foci of nonehancement identified to suggest a residual disc fragment. Some mild epidural enhancement is identified consistent with fibrosis. Previously identified left lateral recess narrowing is slightly improved. NO definite evidence of significant stenotic disease or displacement identified.

Impression: Disc disease at L3/4 and L4/5 with possibility of small recurrent/residual disc still present at these levels.

It really don't go into as much detail about the DDD as before because it is unchanged and this MRI is a comparison.

So what do you think. Could all of my hip and leg problems be from referred pain due to DDD. One of my problems is the way I walk because I have had mutiple surgeries on my hips, I walk with my entire leg exterally rotated. You know that probably causes more mechanical problems with your back. I am now worried that this means there is new issues with my hip. Which that means probably hip replacement for me. I don't know. I had 2 NP's read my films. They both said there is nothing I should do surgically at this point. They both told me that the NS would probably recommend a fusion but I shouldn't do that. They also said I have a disc herniation at 5/1 which the report didn't show and they said I have quite a bit of stenosis at the left 4/5 level still which the report don't show and disc bulging with scar tissue. They also said that I have alot of facet arthritis. This is 2 different NP's reading it at 2 different times. I hate to say this but I trust them more than I do the radiologist. They sat down and looked through it and took there time.

I don't know which one is worse my stupid hip going out and needing replaced or this back pain and leg pain.

If its not really coming all from my back then whats the point of going to Duke. I go back and see my NS on monday to review the results. I guess we will see what he says. Who knows.

Today at work was a very bad day. My hip and the back of my leg was hurting so bad and we were so busy and short handed. Then I got the report of my MRI and still no answers. Now more concerns that I have maybe 2 totally different problems going on at the same time. My poor mom met me on my lunch break. I tried to be so strong but I just busted out in tears. One of my friends at work came in to just talk to me today and I busted out in tears to her too. I went and appologised to her but she told me we can't always be strong and sometime its help to just let it go. She made me feel good. She told me she respected me for even trying to work. Most people give up and don't work and here I am crying because I can't do it. I am frustrated. I just want a break. I keep thinking why does crappy things have to happen to me. 26 years old and I have spent the last 15 years of my life in and out of MRI, Bone Scans, X-rays, 6 surgeries, and mutiple night stays in the hospital. I feel like I am selfish for thinking about me all of the time. I just can't help. I want to be strong but its getting so hard to just not sit down and cry because you are tired of hurting and going through all of this stuff. I know if my MRI was unchanged I should have been happy that nothing is worse from 4 months ago but all I can think of is now that means that my hips are an issue too.

Sorry the long post. I really appreciate your responses.



  • Oh, Cindy

    There are times you just wish there was a magic 'if I had one wish' wand out there.

    You ARE young.
    You've been through some real sucky crap - for YEARS!

    And there is nothing worse than thinking that there will never be an end to the pain.

    I don't know much about hip replacement, but I do know that on knee replacement my Mother-in-law felt better as soon as she woke up. Is there hope in that avenue? Oh, but I can't bear to think of thinking about how long the recovery is and how much back pain you have to stay with through it all.

    I'm glad you have some good people that you can lean on. And don't you be feeling bad for needing that - seriously, that's what makes this world go round - good friends and family. You deserve a good cry.

    Do keep us posted on the NS apt. And I would still be going to Duke for more information. I can never have enough information, just go in knowing that you might not get immediate resolution, but you will get another opinion to consider. Particularly since the NP's saw more than the radiologist!

    Good luck, we're here for moral support too. I'll be sending some courage-hopeful-you-can-survive-this-and-there-is-a-possibility-of-a-happy-end-to-pain vibes out to you.
  • It it very hard knowing this is something I have to spend my whole life dealing with. I am not a depressed person at all and all of this really makes me depressed. All of my life people have respected me because all I went through as a child and still managed to get right back out there on the Basketball and Softball time. I am not one to give up on this.
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  • I do get that impression from you - never one to give in. I understand that type of personality very well. Just don't beat yourself up for having a bad day and letting it out - it's healthy and sometimes we just need to let go for a bit so we can bring it all back in and under control.

    Best of luck Cinds
  • And it's really unfair that you have to deal with it all at such a young age. But life isn't fair sometimes, it really isn't. In my opinion, I think you should still go to Duke and just a fresh set of eyes on things. Once you have another opinion, then worry about what's next. Just keeping being strong and hang in there. Things will work out, even it does take a little bit of time. Hugs, Spicey
  • Well I went to see the NS monday to review my MRI results. I don't know if its good news or bad news. I guess depending on how you look at it. He said I need a 3 level fusion and he would probably have to start with 3 and go to S1 but I am too young they don't want to operate on me. With that many levels they don't really think it will be a success over a period of time. He said I have moderate- severe degenerative disc disease and stenosis. In a way I really hoped my MRI showed something new that could be fixed instead of this. So basically he said they won't to try to wait 10 more years before they fuse me. I may not be able to walk then. Somedays it takes everything out of me trying to make it through work. They offered to put me on Kadian, Duragesic, or Opana ER. He offered to send me to pain management at his clinic because he got a new pain med doc. He said he didn't think the pain is hip related because I still have ok range of motion. He asked me who I inherited a terrible back from. He said he forgot how bad my back was until he looked at me new MRI. All of this really makes me depressed. I don't know what I am going to do if things get alot worse.
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  • I'm sorry it wasn't better news honey. I know that surgeons don't like fusing younger spines, but you can't carry on like you are can you? It's crazy! I'd be tempted to seek another opinion and see if someone else would be prepared to operate. I can understand that you may want to wait a little while before rushing into this decision, but there is going to come a point in the not too distant future when you just can't keep on like this.

    Are you seeing any PM doctors to try and get the pain under control? Sorry, I can't remember.

  • Hi Cindy!

    Sorry for all you have gone through at such a young age. I am unclear as to why they want to wait til you are in a wheelchair to do surgery. I would be looking for second, third and fourth opinions. What other options are there?

    We all have bad days, weeks. Hang in there!

  • I work in a pain clinic. So I have been talking to them about my options. That is who gave me the info about my hips and my back. I am working with a NP that don't really work for PM but knows alot about us. He is willing to do whatever it takes to keep me comfortable. I am going to make an appt with him to sit down and talk about different options and a referral to Duke.
  • I work in a pain clinic. So I have been talking to them about my options. That is who gave me the info about my hips and my back. I am working with a NP that don't really work for PM but knows alot about us. He is willing to do whatever it takes to keep me comfortable. I am going to make an appt with him to sit down and talk about different options and a referral to Duke.
  • They want to wait because I don't have alot of weekness yet just pain. If i fuse my hips will need to be replaced within a couple of years after. So thats why they want to wait.
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