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Mri vs xray

So long shot here. I had xrays done. With me bending and standing. The stays showed that I had facet/ DDD L4-L5 and L5-S1. I also have a wedge in my thoracic. Those all showed well while bending. But when I had an MRI done, they are telling me nothing showed but but the minor bulge in me c3-c4. I've dealt with nerve pain in my right leg for 3 years since a car accident, I've even falling down steps dislocating my arm because of it. I have nerve pain in my arm, I have loss of feeling numbness in my foot. And they say nothing is wrong. Can someone tell me how this may be possible.



  • Almerry, you might want to see if they have a upright MRI in your area. Typical MRIs see when there’s no load on the spinal column. An upright would possibly show more.....David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • Thank you, that thought didn't even occur to me.

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  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 919
    almerry - Good advice from David on possible use of upright MRI to get your spine imaged in a load bearing position.  The fact that the flexion and extension x-rays showed your DDD/facet issues is important.  There are other diagnostic tests that also can be done to further isolate issues.
    I have most of the facet side of my cervical spine shattered because of a rear whiplash I took over 40 years ago, before most vans had headrests.  Only one of my three justifications for my three ACDFs were diagnosed by an MRI exam.  I had the upright MRI, but it unfortunately didn't diagnose me.  Even so, it was a logical test to perform on me.  I can't speak from experience for DDD, but found that getting facet issues diagnosed was difficult for me.

  • Nutcase007- I was informed today because the me I didn't show anything I must have chronic pain. Of course I ensued with several questions because I feel like I'm being shrugged off, as if they I'm believe im making it up. Or at least that's what it feels like. Back to the doctors then. Thanks

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 919
    almerry - Chronic pain?  You knew that.  You are looking for a cause.  Advocate for yourself.  I know the chronic pain game.  I left them brush me off for 10 years.  Typical behavior of doctors when they don't see a cause, they tend to blame it on "chronic pain". 
    Have you been evaluated by a spine specialist (neurosurgeon or spine orthopedic surgeon)?  The neurosurgeon that did the last two ACDFs on me that he often picks up on issues that radiologists miss.

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,525


    Chronic Pain  

    ICD said:
     Chronic pain syndrome. G89.4 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes. The 2019 edition of ICD-10-CM G89.4 became effective on October 1, 2018.

    While it is listed as a diagnosis, for billing purposes, there is also always a cause associated with it.   Chronic pain is caused by something.   Its not Acute pain which may be more intense, but short lived (ie Smashing your finger with a hammer)  

    Chronic pain is something that stays with you for at least 6 months or longer.  Some documents say 3 months or longer, some will state 12 months or longer.   But they always agree that there need to be a root cause for the Chronic pain

    We really could use some more information to better understand your situation.   Please read and respond to 

    New Member Guideline and Checklist

    Here is a discussion that describes  Chronic pain , step by step treatment

    What kind of doctor is telling you they can find nothing, therefore its Chronic Pain?

    As Nutcase007 documented, you should be seeing some type of spinal specialist.   (Some of this is outlined in the two above links)

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • @dilauro a neurologist. They posted my MRI shortly after and I went over it myself and I had three bulge's and a disk protrusion. Two of the bulges and the disk protrusion were in my thoracic and the other bulge was in my cervical spine. But in the findings the only thing listed is the bulge in my cervical spine. Which I'm unclear about. I will be bringing all things up including the chronic pain with my primary at my next appointment. I'm also being sent in for chronic pain. I am also visiting your link next thanks for that! I like all the information I can get. 

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,525

    So I am clear, the doctors said they only saw a disc problem in  your cervical area.  But you identified 3 disc problems, 2 being your thoracic area and 1 in your cervical area.   What disc levels are the doctors talking about and what levels are you talking about?

    There is so many ways disc problems are described.     You should read  Whats a Disc Problem?

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