Does Nerve Pain Show On MRI

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Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

Does nerve pain show on an mri?

At this stage of my game, I should know the answer to that.
However, I don't.

I'm in tremendous pain. The doctor has already said it's
"inoperable." I don't ask the right questions. I manage to
make the pain lighter when I'm in the doctor's office so,
of course, I think the pain is over. Forever. I'm stupid that
way. Really.

The doctor who gave me the news is THE pain doctor. His
next step is to implant a pain pump. I suppose a second
opinion is in order but I don't have a primary care doctor
to direct me to a neurologist or neurosurgeon. (I'm looking
for one)

PN

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 4/10/2009 1:10:19 PM (GMT-6)


BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Pamela,

The answer is "sometimes". In my MRI's it can be easily seen that the disc height has decreased,so it can be inferred that there is nerve impingement that correlates with my symptoms. I think narrowed foramen (? spelling) can also sometimes be visualized.

What cannot be seen is the amount of pressure exerted on the nerve, which means that some people can look the same on MRI yet present with drastically different levels of pain (if any).

Hope that helps.

Brent
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.


Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I told my husband that I had posted here and asked him about nerves.

He said that my INPINGED nerves show. The inpinged nerves are C4-5 & C5-6. The
report is confusing to me. One report calls it Foraminal Stenosis.

I can't believe how messed up my neck and back are. The most I can blame it on
is my activity level and overexercise I did in my 30's and 40's. I believed all the
books that said you should exercise a lot.

I wonder if there's a place I could go on the computer to have this MRI read for
me.

PN
MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Osteoarthritis all levels of spine right down to Coccyx,Spondilytis,Myofascial Pain
Fibromyalgia,Bulging Discs,Spinal Stenosis,Scoliosis,Osteopenia,Chronic Constipation
Carpel Tunel Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder,
Depression & Anxiety

Methadone for Pain, Xanax for Anxiety, and more, of course.


BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
'Foraminal stenosis" means that the holes the nerve roots go through are narrowed. The nerve is "threaded" through the foramen (a hole in the bone), and stenosis means narrowed... so yes, it sounds like you can see your pathology on MRI. What you cannot see is how bad that degree of stenosis hurts you in particular - that will vary.
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.


Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Brent,

Your answer did help me. One rheumatologist told me "Your MRI means nothing to
me."

I did NOT understand that at all. Things have changed in the six years since he
said those words but not all that much.

Does pain medicine help you, Brent? It doesn't do much for me. Have you ever
been offered a pain pump for your Failed Back Syndrome?

Pamela

BrentE1961
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Pamela,

Yes, pain meds help. My PM doc and I have discussed a neurostimulator, but not a pain pump. For now I am doing well enough to keep working, so I am in no hurry to move "up the pain management ladder".

That rheumatologist sounds rather curt, by the way.

Hope you feel better.
47 YO Male, chronic back pain. Herniated disc L5/S1 2003. Discectomy with partial laminectomy 2004. Now told I have Failed Back Syndrome with discogenic pain.


Pain level varies from disturbing to nearly intolerable.


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/10/2009 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Brent ~

He didn't want me in his practice. He had a schedule of how he would treat his
patients and it went by age. I didn't fit into his scheme at all. He just wanted
me elsewhere. Chronic pain patients are not popular with some doctors. Perhaps
that is not news?

He kept telling me, "You're too young for this." While I didn't want to disagree,
I did think it was horribly unfair. He had an office full of aged people who just
loved him.

Arghhhh!
Pamela, Age 56, Chronic Pain Diagnosed age 49.
Brent, YOU are too young for what you have. shocked

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3258
   Posted 4/10/2009 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Pamela
What doctor told you it was inoperable? When you have stenosis of the foramen they can do surgery to widen the intervertebral foramen to allow free passage of the spinal nerve. Relieving the pressure on the nerve root (decompress) and thus taking away the pain. You really should see a good neurosurgeon about this, and have them evaluate you and your MRI!
 
You are right about some Doctors not wanting to deal with Chronic Pain patients, I think allot of it has to deal with the fact they are not comfortable prescribing pain medications and dealing with all the rules and regulations associated with it on a regular  basis! But that is just my oppinion about it.  I have constantly heard the saying "Your're too young for this"  but not quite so much any more! wink
 
I do wish you well
 
White Beard


 

I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!

Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!)

Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8108
   Posted 4/10/2009 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Pamela, I know about what your saying, I look and sound a lot
younger than I really am and get bad looks by everyone, even when I
use my cane, I'll be 44 later this year and look 25, yes it's nice to look young, but
it sure doesn't help when you have to see so many doctors and then they come right out and says
your too young for this, makes me wanna spit in their face and ya know one of these days I might
just do that...right now I'm so under prescibe as the vicodin just ain't helping and
so hard for me to ask for something stronger and I'm getting so many back spasms
had three today so far and just don't know what to do...But you try to stay up on the doctor
of yours and I hope the pain pump can be of help to you......
hugz and lots of them....
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Pamela}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 4/10/2009 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Pam, like the others said, no they can't see your pain or the severity of it. The can see whats causing it on an MRI and even an X-ray or cat scan. My surgeon didn't know how badly my nerve root was being smushed (medical term!) untill he was in there cutting and grinding the big bone spur and disk off of it. He told me that after the surgery! He said now I know why you were in so much pain. So I guess even w/ all the new technollogy and machines they have, there is nothing like the Doc being inside seeing and feeling it him or herself!!!!!! He also told me he had to cut or carve a new pathway in the bone for my nerves to travel out to my shoulder. When I saw him this week he told me it was an extremely difficult and lengthly surgery! He also said he filmed it for his students at the U of Miami Medical School! Glad I could help Doc!! I didn't know that untill my two and one half week post surgery apt!!!!
Hugz Pam!
Pete
56 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy> new 2/6/09> 400mg injections every 2weeks . 56 and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, one on the aircraft carrier USS John Stennis in port in Japan and the other on a Gator Freighter USS Bataan stationed in Norfolk, Va. I am one proud PaPa! 


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/10/2009 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
White Beard,
My Pain Doctor said that my condition was "inoperable." He did not suggest
that I check with a neurosurgeon. He did not refer me to a neurologist.
That worries me. A lot. Especially after what you have said. He could
put a pain pump in, and my neck could keep getting worse and worse until
there was no medication that they could put in the pump to make me feel
ok.
He is proud of his ability to put painpumps in. He really shouldn't have said
what he said. Thank you, WB, you have opened my eyes just a little wider.

Chartreux,
I no longer get the comment, "You're too young to have this problem."
Having chronic pain is not good for beauty. Sometimes my arms are so so
bad I can get them up to fix my hair. Sometimes I just don't have the
energy to put my make up on. These were so important at one time.
I don't go out much but it would be fair to my husband to look kind of good.
Really, it would.

Pete,
Your surgery sounds scary. However, the thought of living out our days with
pain IS scary. It's terrible. There is very lttle life.
I will see a neurosurgeon. I remember that you were in danger when you
had your surgery.
How could my pain 'doctor know if I'm in danger? With all the spurs and
the scoliosis, it sure feeeeeels scary.
Wow! You're gonna be a film star! Maybe we'll see the operation on the
computer or MD TV.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, you guys, thank you very much. I kind of feel like I'm on the trail
to feel betterl
We're house moving and this is not a great time for such a big happening,
but never-the-less, We Move.
House is a fixer and will be nice when our son in law gets it done. He's
a contractor so he knows who to call to get the bargains and get quick
action. Someone is going to have to tie me up. I Lovd to move.

Pamela Neckpain

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/10/2009 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Nerve pain (neuropathy) is NEVER operable as far as I've heard.

It is NERVE pain.
But there may be a mixup of semantics; I'm thinking of nerve pain such as you get with diabetes.

With my nerve pain, there is no actual pain. My brain just thinks there is pain cause that is the signal the nerves are sending to my brain.

First step a pain pump? Or have you been trying various things to get rid of the pain?

For the first step to be a pump, I think that is pretty drastic isn't it?

Here is to hope for quick resolution to your pain!

Kosha says she'll pray for your relief too!
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/10/2009 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a lot of pain, Tony. I've had it for a long time. I don't know if it's nerve
pain or what. That's what I'm trying to find out.

This isn't a first step ... I've been to big hospitals, had mri's, x'rays, other things
with needles, accupuncture, physical therapy that almost broke me 3 times, lots
of med changes, lots of doctors.

I've been offered surgery but the consensus so far is that surgery is not for me
because of the location of my problem, I guess.

Pamela

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/10/2009 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't dispute that you have pain.

I was asking what type of pain, and trying to give an example.

Moreover, have you been through a series of drug tests to try to find one that will kill your pain?

That is all I was trying to say, and trying to ask.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/11/2009 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Tony,

I misunderstood you. Sorry.

I will have a trial. Yes! The doctor will inject something
in my spine. Different solutions, I suppose.

Yes, I will have a TEST on April 18.
The time of the actual surgery hasn't been decided on.
The doctor said I should be pain free for some hours after my TEST.

That would be lovely.

Pamela
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