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25 Yr Old - MRI Shows Bulge But No Nerve Compression


I am 25 years old and have myoclonic jerks because of a completely unrelated condition. 

When at rest - my body will have random muscle jerks. Usually it is an arm or leg or my even my neck but usually it is pretty benign and I have never experienced anything like this until now - which is an intense jerk of my lower back muscles. 


While drifting off to sleep one night - laying on my back, the middle section of my lower lumbar region jilted upwards violently.

So picture my shoulder blades and buttocks being on the bed, and the lumbar region shooting up because of these muscle contractions in my lower back. 

Now the problem is not the actual back muscles - but the spine. 

This violent jerk bent my spine unnaturally and caused me now some spine pain in that area. 

I know the pain is coming from something in the "spine" and not just the general back muscles because I have had back muscle pain from working out in the past, and it always went away and wasn't too bad. 


After this incident with the spine jerking, I noticed pain burning in that area of the spine. 

Also I have noticed that the skin of my genitals burns randomly at times. 

My genitals are also number than normal when attempting to use them, and definitely more difficult to use because of it, although I still "can" with a lot of effort. 


Today(1 week after injury) I went to the E.R. after reading about compressed nerves and the danger of waiting on the problem if you want to regain any lost function/reverse any numbness or sexual function occurring below the injury. 

The MRI showed that I had:

"There is a very small global disc bulge at L4-L5 with slight broad-based small shallow central disc protrusion without central canal or neural foraminal stenosis. Similarly at L5-S1, there is a very small global disc bulge with a shallow central disc protrusion without central canal or neural foraminal stenosis."


The doctor says I have a small bulged disc at L4-L5 and L5-S1. 

He also says that it is not herniated, just bulged(not sure how he would know this for certain). 

He also said that there is absolutely no nerve compression whatsoever(either in thecal sac/spine or the nerve roots). 

Then when I told him I have numbness and tingling/burning in genitals and legs he said that they must be unrelated. Then I told him there's no way it's unrelated and he said "it might be something that happened at the time of the injury and will go away within a few weeks". 


-Pain in lower spine lumbar region
-Genital pain
-Leg pain
-Trouble getting an erection


What would you say I should do when the doctor said that the nerve root and the thecal sac(spinal cord) are both NOT being compressed(according to MRI)? 

I have the symptoms of something going on neurologically. 

Thanks for any insights/help. 



  • @personofinterest This is a hard situation. We all know that MRI's are a good diagnostic tool, but I do think things can be missed. I believe the theory that everyone should get a standing MRI. This would show compression when standing. I still don't understand why MRI's are done laying down, but who am I to say. Also, ER docs just look for emergent issues. You really need to get your MRI read by a spine specialist. They are the most qualified to help you. Maybe you could ask about a standing MRI as well? It's worth a shot! Good luck! 

    Retrolisthesis C4 of C5 and C5 of C6
    Spondylolthesis C5/C6
    Disc protrusions with Annular Tears C3/C4, C4/C5, and C5/C6
    Disc Material Compressing Spinal Cord C3/C4
    Severe Forminal Stenosis C5/C6
    Ankylosing Spondylitis 
    Annular Tears L3/L4 and L5/S1
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Facet Anthrosis L3/L4/L5
    PLIF with Rods, Cage, and Pedicle Screws-L4/L5
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