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I can't see anything looking at your MRI

Eric.SEEric.S Posts: 220
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Lower Back Pain
Here's a subject thats near and dear to my heart and after reading a lot of stories I have found is quite common on here.

My case started with a ruptured disk at L5-S1 and my disk was pressing against my backbone it hurt for 6 years, took nsaids, had epidurals, PT, discogram, nothing helped. Then I got a Laminectomy and disectomy done on it thinking, it would finally be solved. When the doctor(neurosurgeon) was in there, he said after he did the laminectomy the disk was moving so well he decided against the discetomy. We'll there were other things. One my doctor lied to me, he said he was going to use all new techniques, like do it microdisectomy and also the laminectomy the same way. We'll he didn't, he just cut right thru my back muscles and did it the old way.

Then it got fun, while I was healing from all this, which my pain was still there. My neuro was part of a doctors group, suddenly 2 weeks after my surgery he left the group. I was freaking thinking it was for malpractice, but it turned out it was over money. And my doctor was a Pediatric neurosurgeon, he got a job at a local childrens hospital.
So then for me, I got a new neurosurgeon that hadn't done my case, he was just looking at the MRI. My previous doctor told me if it didn't work they could stablize it some how but the new doctor this went right out the window. I was still in pain but they kept looking at the MRI and saying your MRI is perfect so you must be fine. Then I would ask why am I in Pain????

They couldn't do anything so I was sent to a PM, more epidurals, and triggerpoint injections, PT, signing medicine contracts, etc..... And they kept saying your MRI looks perfect, your healed and I'm asking then why I'm still in pain? I was getting ticked by this point, I thought my first doctor had botched the surgery and should have done the disectomy. And they we're thinking, that it was nerves or it was just in my head. So they tried me on Gabipintin and Lyrica, which Lyrica I hated and I felt lethargic from both. And they thought I was just trying to get pills, NO I was just in pain and them going you shouldn't be in pain its not on your MRI, and me screaming then WHY AM I IN PAIN.

By this point it had been a year since the surgery and I got another MRI and I went to get a 2nd opinion from another neurosurgeon, got the same answer, fibromyalgia and or in my head nothing on the MRI.

I gave up, I took Nsaids for the next year and a half and PT, while the pain got worse and worse. :S

Then thru my work I switched insurances because all the doctors were thru my HMO(Kaiser). I switched insurances where I could go to my mothers boss, a great Orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta. He was who I should have gone with to begin with but my insurance wouldn't cover going to him.

Anyway I went to a PM in his group and she said the disk was herniated again, i don't think it was ever fixed. Couple epidurals didn't fix it. I got a new MRI and I went to see my new surgeon, I'm thinking, hoping I would just have to get a disectomy. He said the previous doctors did a good job. :( and this time, the disk was herniated and was DDD totally black on the MRI, it was shot. Finally vindication. :)

I had the ALIF fusion on L5-S1 with disectomy and cage done 15 days ago and healing fine.

It took over 2 years for something to pop up on my MRI, even though I was in pain the whole time. I have gotten a real dislike for neurosurgeons and PMs, but I know it wasn't their fault they couldn't see anything. But its frustrating telling them something and their looking at you like your making it up. :S

Anybody else have their story of them not seeing your problem? I think its a common story. ;)
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Comments

  • Oh my, If I had a dollar for how many times I've heard, "there's just nothing significant showing in your images."

    Heaven help me If I have to wait two more years for it to show up-maybe I should just head to Atlanta!

    Whatever! I guess this means there is hope.

    Here's hoping you have a speedy and uneventful recovery.

    I believe you are correct. It is definitely not all that uncommon.

  • Ditto ! When I was first hurt, it was a basic your disk is herniated, take it easy for 6 weeks here are some Vicodin. Well fast forward through me going back to work ( manal labor ! ) under my Drs OK as everything was FINE according to MRI.

    It took another 4 yrs for the full damage to show up FINALLY on the MRI and then even my Dr was like OMG you are seriously injured - well duhhhhhh lol ;)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    My three level ACDF was done by the "best neurosurgeron" around. It took me over a year of complaining, consults, PM consults, and worthless treatments before I made it to the "best orthosurgeon" around.

    He put my MRI on the screen and said ... We need to redo the whole shabang. My fusion had failed and the disk above and herniated (adjacent disk disease)due to the additional stress.

    That lead me to where I am today - 4 level Anterior plate (4 screws) - 2 vertebrectomies with cage and 2 posterior rods (8 screws).(Yes now I am screwy! X 12)!

    Doctors don't like to admit to surgical failures and it is difficult to find a new doc that will "fix" what should have (could have)been done before.

    I my case - the first doc should have been more agressive with his surgical treatments. I chalk this up to the differance between a Neurosurgeon and an Orthopedic surgeon. I feel that with our problems that Ortho is the only way to go.

    We dont have neuro problems causing ortho problems .... we have ortho problems causing neuro problems.

    The year plus in between was one of the worst years of my life - everyone had a .... "well didn't you just have that fixed"? additude. When I heard the opinion and plan of attack from the ortho ... I finally felt vindicated!!

    Keep on pushing them doc till you get appropriate answers and treatments ....

    This is why they call it "practicing" medicine.

    My two cents worth ... But from a similar experience.

    My Thoughts and prayers are with you sir.

    Dave





  • FROG said:
    Oh my, If I had a dollar for how many times I've heard, "there's just nothing significant showing in your images."

    Heaven help me If I have to wait two more years for it to show up-maybe I should just head to Atlanta!

    Whatever! I guess this means there is hope.

    Here's hoping you have a speedy and uneventful recovery.

    I believe you are correct. It is definitely not all that uncommon.


    Atlanta has some good doctors but have some bad ones too, I think thats correct with the entire world. ;)
  • Metalneck said:
    My three level ACDF was done by the "best neurosurgeron" around. It took me over a year of complaining, consults, PM consults, and worthless treatments before I made it to the "best orthosurgeon" around.

    He put my MRI on the screen and said ... We need to redo the whole shabang. My fusion had failed and the disk above and herniated (adjacent disk disease)due to the additional stress.

    That lead me to where I am today - 4 level Anterior plate (4 screws) - 2 vertebrectomies with cage and 2 posterior rods (8 screws).(Yes now I am screwy! X 12)!

    Doctors don't like to admit to surgical failures and it is difficult to find a new doc that will "fix" what should have (could have)been done before.

    I my case - the first doc should have been more agressive with his surgical treatments. I chalk this up to the differance between a Neurosurgeon and an Orthopedic surgeon. I feel that with our problems that Ortho is the only way to go.

    We dont have neuro problems causing ortho problems .... we have ortho problems causing neuro problems.

    The year plus in between was one of the worst years of my life - everyone had a .... "well didn't you just have that fixed"? additude. When I heard the opinion and plan of attack from the ortho ... I finally felt vindicated!!

    Keep on pushing them doc till you get appropriate answers and treatments ....

    This is why they call it "practicing" medicine.

    My two cents worth ... But from a similar experience.

    My Thoughts and prayers are with you sir.

    Dave






    Man you are so correct, Doctors don't like talking bad about each other, even though you know they would like to say, yaa he botched it. But they think if I do that then somebody would do that to me. I felt when I was getting bounced around, is this a freaking conspiracy? The conspiracy was my MRI, it didn't show anything so nothing must be wrong. Even though I had shooting pains down my leg and if I hit it right, I was useless for 3 days. But like you said their practicing medicine. I hope in time they get better equipment that can spot problems better. ;)
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  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,778
    in the testicles ... he would feel the pain. (assuming that he has testicles)The pain would be intense and undeniable.

    But guess what .... that pain (or the cause) wouldn't show on an MRI, Cat, EMG, NCV, Discogram, etc. etc. etc.

    Does that mean that the pain isn't real??

    Hmmmmm?

    D
  • I'm sorry to hear all you've been through Eric. I only have mild DDD on my second MRI but yet having sciatica and disabling pain I can't work so they don't know what's causing the pain for me either. It think I still have a annular tear and that could be causing my pain but no Dr. can tell me either. It's frustrating when you have to wait until something shows up on the MRI. I do hope they develop more sensitive test they can use to make a diagnosis. I'm glad you're pain free now though and wish you the best with your recovery. 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
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