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Annular tears and herniation size

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I'm reading through all my medical records, and I was wondering whether folks' MRIs ever discuss herniations in terms of millimeters (my MRIs just said minor, moderate, severe) and whether the MRIs ever pointed out annular tears (mine didn't say anything about this). Thanks!


  • was found using a discogram.
  • Thanks! I guess my other question is what test determines reduction in disc height?
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  • Also caused loads of pain. I don't have the answer to your disc height question.
  • I had an mri scan, and went for my dicogram but didnt go through with it as they wanted to go in from the side 15-20cms and i just couldnt bring myself to get it done. So my diagnosis was purely on mri (and xray but that doesnt show actual discs) I was told I have a severely degenerated disc and also annular tear and bulge..so it was all found on mri..as for size of bulge, it may say on my report but ive not seen it, just listened to my surgeon telling me.
    I also have another disc that is herniated and 'crushed' from a fracture that i had almost 2 years ago...but nothing is going to be done about that at this stage because it doesnt look as if it is bulging out onto anything to cause pain, even though it hurts! Im getting a tlif fusion done in a months time.

  • i had numerous MRIs Cat Scans, Myleogram and only after two years and many Drs did I finally find my source of pain. Three disc with tears. I had a discectomy and fusion on two levels in Dec. I still have 1 disc with tears but it isnt as bad so I had that one left, but will probably face another fusion in future. Only did 2 levels cause Ortho didnt want to have the chance of non fusion by doing 3. He said that 3 is to risky, so you need a discogram to dissern that they are painful. Hope this helps and anything else, let me know.
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  • ok ive got a question....ive got two 2 bulging discs both with tears in them one bulge just says minimal and the other has a measurement 3 by 9 by 7 mm i still dont really know if that is considered large or not. but the bulges are slightly indenting and contouring the thecal sac. anywho i have been in a great deal of pain but my doctor tried telling me that i shouldnt be having pain just with having the tears....but you guys are saying that the tears are whats causing the pain....im confused! im incredibly put off by my doctor saying that i shouldnt be in pain when according to my mri i have alot of problems....i think im just getting brushed off because i am young and before this was in excelent health. :(
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,630
    in having disc problems referred to as: Bulging, Ruptured, or Herniated disc. For ease of you, each of those terms are basically referring to the same problem.

    Look at this post that is under our FAQ

    Disc Terminology

    I have not seen many MRI reports that show the actual sizes of the disc problems, they generally refer them to as

    I cant say for sure, but I believe reading an article that a dics bulg > 6mm is considered something serious
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thank you for clearing up the bulging, ruptured, herniation thing. i dont know how severe my condition is becuase my doctor keeps telling me that ya ive got 2 bad discs but they arent surgery worthy, thank goodness. but why do i have pain that causes me to have no life whatsoever and last night i woke up with both of my legs completely numb. and all they can do is throw pills at me. it seems like every one of my posts is the same on here i try to be optimistic but im losing faith, i just feel depressed all the time. i go to work or school come home and lay on a heating pad the rest of the day. this is no way to live. i have to plan my day around what will hurt me the most because that means i have to do that activity last. im losing control of my life and my back is now dictating what i do. this is no way to live and for a dr to tell me that it has to get worse before they do anything is beyond me.
  • I have a far small right herniated disc and tear with disc material on the S1 exiting nerve. I have been in pain for this small herniation and anular tear for a year and with little relief. They never used cm or inches how big it is for mine. www.chirogeek.com was helpful for me in defining a few things. Ron the jelly donut is a good description. I want a peanut butter and guava jelly sandwich now! Take care dcGuy. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • You should ak your Dr about having a discogram to dwtermine if the disc are the pain generates. That is what my ortho did. It doesnt matter how big the tear is. My orto said a tear is a tear, small or large they can all be very painful. If your Dr wont help you, its time to get a seocnd opinion. Or at least see a pain Dr to help with you pain. Good Luck.
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