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Vertebral edema?? Please Help!

TiffanyTerrorTTiffanyTerror Posts: 44
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi everyone,

I saw a pain management doctor friend of mine today who reviewed my MRI films for me.

He told me the usual..that I have disc bulges/nerve impingement etc etc. He also said that my L5-S1 vertebrae had degenerated to the point where there was edema in my vertebrae? :/ It shoes up as white areas on the MRI. He said it was disc fluid that has penetrated the vertebrae.

I have never heard of this before...maybe he is wording it differently than usual or something? :/ I tried googling it several ways but only came up with vertebral fractures causing edema.

Anyone else have this, or have a better term for it?

Please help, thanks!

(x posted, sorry)


  • I've heard of water on the knee. Swelling around the vetebrae, I guess to protect that space but I'm not sure. Perhaps when your Dr. reviews it he'll have more answers for you. Take care. 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
  • Saw the same thing this morning on hubby's MRI. 3 years ago, he had fusion at L5-L4 with instrumentation. Last year, MRI showed screws had worked loose and were impinging on a nerve. He had them removed. Still in terrible pain, today's MRI shows the vertebrae kind of milky or cloudy looking. Doc says the bone graft from surgery #1 isn't complete and the vertebrae are rubbing against each other causing the edema which in turn is pressing against his nerve. Once the graft is solid, the movement will stop, the swelling will go down and the pain will stop. 3 choices: do nothing and live with the pain, have a third surgery and more instrumentation to try to stabilize the fusion, epidurals to try to relieve the pain. He's going with door #3. Good luck to you.
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