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MRI meaning. Can anyone help me out?

TamiGTTamiG Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Lower Back Pain
Thanks for looking. I am new to all this MRI and back pain stuff. My Dr. isn't real helpful. So I was wondering if anyone could tell me what is going on with my back. I have had problems now for 6 months. Dr. first said it was just a sprain then sciatica and now spondylotisthesis. Every time I go it's something diffrent???? I might add it is a Workman Comp. Dr. so I think he is trying to do bare minimum and send me on my way.
Here is what I have from the MRI report:

L3-4 mild disc bulge with mild facet arthropathy and bilateral mild neural froaminal narrowing.

L4-5 Disc desiccation and central broad-based disc protrustion 2.5mm in the AP dimension with an annular tear. Moderate facet arthropathy and bilateral moderate neural foraminal narrowing due to underlying disc bulge.

L5-S1 Mild disc bulge and moderate facet arthropathy with bilateral mild neura foraminal narrowing.
So far I have had PT which helped some with mobility. I had weekness in my leg and numbness in side of hip and foot.
I have now had 2 injections 1st one did nothing. 2nd has helped a little bit but I can tell it's already wearing off and it's been 5 days. Injections have caused my blood sugars to sky rocket.
I have tried to look each thing up but it can become confussing.
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Comments

  • Tami,

    What are your symptoms and how long? Have you had flexion/ext x-rays?

    How did you get injured? Do you have private insurance as well?

    Getting from point A to point B in the spiney world takes a long time. Patience is mandatory. Hang in there~ hugs~

    Julie
  • you might want to start collecting some basic information on disc herniations. there are excellent articles on this website. you might want to begin here:

    https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc

    did the doctor indicate why he thought you have spondylolisthesis? nothing that you copied from the mri report indicates that finding.

    the report indicates some disc bulging and arthritic changes on the facet joints at the three levels mentioned. neural foraminal narrowing is also mentioned at all three levels. either of these conditions could cause nerve pain that is radiating down your leg and causing the "sciatic" type pain.

    the foramen is an opening through which the spinal nerves exit the spine and leave for other parts of the body, like the extremeties. when there is narrowing, the opening gets clogged up with various "debris." it can be bony overgrowths or something similar from the arthritic changes. since the nerves need to be able to pass through the opening (foramen), when something is blocking the way, it often causes the nerve to become compressed. this could be responsible for the nerve pain you feel in your hip, leg and foot.

    spondylolisthesis is a slippage of one vertebra over the top of the adjacent vertebra. if it is unstable, it can also cause a nerve to become compressed. sometimes you can see this on a mri, but it shows up more clearly on the flexion/extension x-rays when you back is bending forward and backward. as i mentioned above, i see no mention of a slippage on the report...but perhaps your doctor saw it on the films and it just wasn't mentioned in the radiology report.

    hope this helps a little bit. of course you must talk with your doctor to get an accurate account of your mri.
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  • Thank you all so much. I have been looking on here and have reviewed some info that is helpful. Yes, I do have private insurance. Maybe it would be a good idea to have a secound Dr. look at my MRI and X-rays.
    This Dr seems to feel that I should be pain free and able to ride my bike (I miss doing that, it's to pain full).The PA also said that I have a black disk? I take it that is a dried up disk from a herniation? The PA is the one who said that she saw the spondy fracture. Maybe she is just saying stuff. LOL I don't know. But, I did not see anywhere on the report that it said the disk was herniated.
  • Obviously, none of us here are authorized nor capable of interpreting your MRI report to these are all just opinions of laymen.

    I would suggest finding a felllowship-trained spine surgeon, ortho or neuro, but a surgeon that only works on spines. Just because they're surgeons doesn't mean that they automatically will suggest surgery, but will likely try conservative measures before deciding what the final treatment should be.

    Good luck to you and keep us posted.
    Cath
  • Tami:

    Tami a dark or black disk can also be possible DDD degenerative disk Disease, on my MRI you see all these white puffy disks then you see my L5-S1 and its black as can be, yup the nutrients are gone can be from Hernations and other things.

    What everybody else said, go to a private ortho or neuro surgeon, a Workers comp Doctor is is going to tell you anything to get you to go on your way. You need to protect you and get your own doctor. Especially if its a workers comp case. Their doctor is going to do anything to protect the company. You need to protect YOU.
    ;)
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  • Hey Everyone,
    Thanks for all the input on the topic.
    My update is as follows.
    My primary care Dr. has said no more injections! Since I did not get back to normal levels after 6 days after the last inject. So now my workman's comp. Dr. is sending me to a phyc to learn to deal with the pain on my own. He is not going to recomind surgery! I am very frustrated since I am getting no resolve for the pain. I can not do my normal work as a preschool teacher. So I am left wondering what I am going to do in the future.
    The 2nd injection is already wearing off and I still have numbness that gets worse with exersizing and walking in my right side along with pain in the left foot that use to have numbness but, after the last injection has changed to pain when I step down. the Dr. told me this is due to nerves waking up??? Has anyone ever heard of this??
    Hope everyone out there is having a pain free day.

    To all the very best.
    Tami
  • TamiG said:
    Hey Everyone,
    Thanks for all the input on the topic.
    My update is as follows.
    My primary care Dr. has said no more injections! Since I did not get back to normal levels after 6 days after the last inject. So now my workman's comp. Dr. is sending me to a phyc to learn to deal with the pain on my own. He is not going to recomind surgery! I am very frustrated since I am getting no resolve for the pain. I can not do my normal work as a preschool teacher. So I am left wondering what I am going to do in the future.
    The 2nd injection is already wearing off and I still have numbness that gets worse with exersizing and walking in my right side along with pain in the left foot that use to have numbness but, after the last injection has changed to pain when I step down. the Dr. told me this is due to nerves waking up??? Has anyone ever heard of this??
    Hope everyone out there is having a pain free day.

    To all the very best.
    Tami

    Only thing I can think of is go to a Ortho or Neuro surgeon on your own, if not get used to the pain till you have to, or it clears up. Workers comp docs are for the company and not for you. Why I would go for a 2nd opinion. If it was me, just a suggestion. Unless your insurance goes off referals and you have to get your PCP to approve? ;)
  • Hey Everyone,

    Just got off the phone with the Insurance Nurse after my last visit to the Ortho Dr. he asked why I had not seen the phycologist Dr. he had referred me to. I explained that the insurance co. did not okay it as of yet. Well some how he has been able to get the visit approved. It's been 5 weeks now. I have been feeling a little better and have continued to exercise and walk. (with some pain not as bad as it was though!) I am sleeping some what better. Yaa me!

    My question is this... When talking to the Nurse today she stated that my apt. is going to be a 3-4 hour apt. the Dr. will be doing an evaluation and written test on me. Has anyone had this type of apt. before and what can I expect? Is this a way for the insurance co. to try and get me off their case or is it really to help me?? At this point I just do not trust anything they say or do because I feel they do not have my best interest in mind.
    Thanks for your input,
    I hope you are having a pain free day!
    Tami
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