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new MRI results- how to make sense of them?

hunttuxhhunttux Posts: 6
edited 03/20/2019 - 5:05 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

i know nobody here is going to provide medical advice, but i am hoping for some peace of mind by hearing from people that my situation is real...

its been a battle getting people to take me seriously that my pain is as debilitating as i say it is- skepticism and cynicism re: drug seeking seems to be the norm.  I am not seeking narcotics- anything but to be honest.

Long story as short as possible...

long history of back pain that got significantly wore in sept 2018.  At the time i would have said pain was a 8-9... i would love to go back to that now- i woul put it at  a 3 in comparison to now...

Last month and  half have been indescribably difficult,  Im sure you all know what i mean.  I managed to get  new mri this weekend, and am waiting for a neurosurgeon to get back to me with a full explanation of the results and my next steps. prelim report says bulging at L5, mild cauda equine (sp?)

 in the meantime, i was able to get access to my digital records- all 150+ images.  i have looked at all of them, but cant really make sense of it.  i snapped  the one below as it seems (to my untrained eye) to be the nut of the issue.


just trying to make sense of it all.


Edited by Liz Spine-health moderator 



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745

    hello hunttux

    welcome to spine-health

    i have edited your discussion as it is not permitted for members to comment on an mri finding.

    all new members should take the system tutorial


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Fair enough. My Google-Fu suggests I found the clearest image I could, so I think I can at least see something that shows me it’s not all in my head. 

    Understanding people can’t comment on MRI results, anyone have any good resources for understanding the MRI image ‘categories’ I.e.  “sag t1 tse lsp” etc? When I am looking at my own images, is there a particular category that I should focus on?


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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526

    Let me give you a fair warning.  Do NOT attempt to interpret or analyze your own MRI images!!   There are a number of web sites that help people read their images,  but they are far from being medically accurate.

    Only trained and qualified medical professionals can read and interpret mri images.  Even with that, two pair of doctors may see things a little differently.

    Trying to self diagnosis can get you into a lot of trouble.  After search and looking at different sites and pictures, you mind can wander and the next thing you will identify that you this, that, more and then more

    Leave that work  up to the professionals.   You need to worry about your own condition, no sense in making things cloudy

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • hunttux

    I have looked at so many of my scans that I lost count a long time ago, without a doctor going over them with me I still can't make heads or tails out of them, I guess that is the reason they have to go to school for all those years.

    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Obviously, I have the pros providing an actual diagnosis. This is just cause I have nothing better to do right now than to sit on my ass and do something. Anything. 

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  • I understand, but sitting there looking at something you don't understand will only drive you crazy

    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • hunttuxhhunttux Posts: 6
    edited 03/20/2019 - 8:50 PM

    Looks like my final report has been uploaded. This is what it says. If anyone had a similar report, please let me know what your experience was in terms of next steps. Thanks

  • hmm trying to embed an image or pdf is quite difficult here.  here is the nuts of the report referencerd above

    C7-L4: Unremarkable. L4/L5: Disc desiccation and slight loss of disc height. Moderate right- sided disc osteophyte complex with mainly extraforaminal component, compressing the right extraforaminal L4 nerve root. Possibly there is a small right-sided annular fissure as well. Slight contact with the right traversing L5 nerve root. No left neural foraminal stenosis. Mild central spinal canal stenosis. Bilateral mild facet hypertrophy. L5/S1: Disc desiccation and slight loss of disc height. Moderate central broad-based disc protrusion, compressing the right traversing S1 nerve root and contacting the left traversing S1 nerve root. Mild to moderate central spinal canal stenosis. Mild bilateral facet hypertrophy. Mild bilateral neural foraminal stenoses. Mild to moderate spinal canal stenosis. 

    Unremarkable appearance of the psoas muscles and paraspinal muscles. 

  • As you have been told nobody here can comment on your report, only a doctor can give you a proper diagnosis, but if what you are looking for people to take you seriously about your pain, they should, nerve compression is very painful.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • im not asking for interpretation of the report, im asking that if people had a similar report, what their next steps were, what their experience has been.  im looking for hope

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