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L-disc degeneration, Cyst, Tumors, and MRI Denial

Hi Everyone!  Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  I've suffered from low back pain for 8 years.  2 years ago, it became constant.  I'm 43, female, and no accident occurred, NOR does it go down my legs.  These 3 things have caused me to not "present" very well.  My pain just started up out of the blue.  First randomly, then constant.  After an MRI 12/2015 showed mild disk degeneration at L4 and L5, this has been my treatment in the past 2 years:  I've taken all scripts (narco, nerve, muscle, etc), phys therapy, chiro, accupuncture, SI injections (twice), facet injections, epidural injections, and most recently...lidocaine infusions. Not ONE of these has helped.

The pain has since gotten extreme.  My insurance recently denied an MRI (again, last one was 12/2015) and denied the appeal even with all of the above noted by my doctors (and approved by them).  Last week I had an out of pocket MRI ($600) and it showed new issues and a decrease in condition.  QUESTION #1:  Because problems were indeed found, can I ask for reimbursement of the MRI?

I have an appt with my neuro in a few days to go over results but for now, I'm trying to make sense of the notes and the images the MRI clinic emailed me. Notes state the following:  Apex leftward curvature, minimal retrolisthese of L4 on L5 and L5 on S1.  Mild disc height loss L4-5 and moderate disc height loss L5-S1.  Deiscogenic endplate degenerative changes are seen about the L5-S1 level with some subchondral cyst formation along the inferior endplate of L5.  Scattered hemangiomata are present.  Multilevel degenerative changes in the lumbar spine.  Most pronounced at L4-L5 where there is narrowing of the bilateral lateral recesses and abutment of the descending bilateral L5 nerve roots.  Slight asymmetric narrowing of the left lateral recess at L5-S1 with abutment of the descending left S1 nerve root.  Multilevel neural foraminal of low-grade.  This is worst bilaterally at L4-L5 and L5-S1, mild to moderate in degree.

My pain is constant and debilitating.  My physical function is at about a 2 out of 10...especially lifting, bending, going to stand up, rolling over in bed, laying flat on my back, and SNEEZING (the worst).

QUESTION #2:  Anyone have anything similar that can comment on what their treatment plan has been and if it has helped?

QUESTION #3:  Anyone have any knowledge as the cyst and scattered hemangiomata notes?

I guess no matter what, I am just glad I finally have some answers and can start a plan to improve my life.  It has been a living you know what being only treated for pain and not having a diagnosis or treatment.  I'm trying to make sense of all of these notes so I can go in with questions but could use any help answering my 2 questions above or knowing what questions I should be asking my neuro on Tues.  

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO HELP ME.  I truly appreciate your time.

~Stef (YahMo...it's from the Michael McDonald song :)



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,488

    hi stef!
    welcome to spine health

    there are no medical professionals on this forum site. therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice. this includes any analysis, interpretation or advice based on any diagnostic test.
    below is a link to questions you could ask your surgeon.

    on your out of pocket for the mri, i would call your insurance provider. they will either say yes or no. it might be worth the call.

    please click on the welcome link below for more information.

    welcome to spine health

    please keep us updated after your appointment.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Thanks.  I was just seeing if anyone has anything similar and what they know about it.  The questions link is much appreaciated

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