After my L5/S1 fusion in 2012, I have been in more pain than before the fusion, with all Dr.'s saying I shouldn't be in this much pain,etc. During my last appointment with the PA, I had to fight to get her to recommend another mri. She kept saying that I have sacroiliitis, which I have had before. I asked why then did the pain also go down the outside of my thigh, but not below the knee?
So, they approved the mri, and I got the results back. Miraculously, aall of my issues (stenosis, bulges,etc) that were "severe" 1-1/2 years ago, were now "mild to moderate)! But the one big difference is an annular tear in L4/L5 that wasn't there before.
On researching annular tears, I came across a series of articles from Michael N. Brown, MD from Washington state. His article "Annular Tear: The Great Masquerader" pinpoints not only my exact problem, but describes in detail what I felt BEFORE I had my surgery, which, of course, was never corrected, because it wasn't accurately diagnosed. Everyone saw that L5/S1 was totally degenerated and thought that must be the problem. And then, when that was fused. it placed even more stress on the L4/L5 level, causing even more pain!
I recommend everyone who has lumbar problems read his articles. They were an eye-opener for me!