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Help - MRI results

I am 6 weeks post microdiscectomy at L4-L5 for a large extrusion. It's been a slow recovery. I've never had relief or change in pain. I bothered my surgeon and got another MRI last week. I have to wait to meet with him for the results however. Just curious if anyone could help. I understand no one is a trained radiologist of spine dr, etc.

Minimal enhancing soft tissue in the left ventral epidural space at L4-L5 which may represent minimal residual or recurrent disc material. The left L4-L5 lateral recess is mildly compromised but there is no nerve root distortion.

What I think this says is that there may be some pieces or herniated in there (either not gotten in surgery or reherniated) but they aren't on the nerve.

With that being said, why am I still having sciatic nerve pain?

Thanks in advance!


  • Hi,
    I just got my surgery done 6 days ago and so I am pretty new to all the information and technical terms you are looking into, but I had my doctor telling me that the longer the sciatic pain BEFORE the intervention was lasting for ( so the more one had endured the pain down the legs and ect. ) the longer it will take to disappear AFTER the surgery.
    I wanted to tell you not to worry, depending on the bodies some heal fast some take more time. Think positive and talk to the surgeon about these MRI results.

    Good luck
  • Yep the surgeon said the MRI looks good and nerves can take a while to heal. I'm going to get a steroid injection before the end of the year.
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  • Had some similarities to your situation. (See my profile, if interested). Was strongly recommended by my consultant to swim 600m per day, building up to this over a 3 months period. (Details in profile) Reason, swimming softens the scar tissue adjacent to the nerve and builds core strength. Was a big investment in time, but worth it.

    Decided on a fusion due to ongoing nerve damage and foot drop, but got up to 420m per day in 2 months and it felt good.

    All the best.
  • Thanks Dave! I'm not in as much pain as you had..... I've spoken to someone who's managed an imaging department and she said to try the injection and if no relief, get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon. So the saga continues.....I'm so shocked that I've had to deal with this for 7months..... :(
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