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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/24/2009 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new and really wooried about a CT Scan I recently had and was hoping someone here could help me.
My doctor explained the report as best she could, prob'ly really well, but when she mentioned surgery as a last ditch alternative, I lost it all. I'm terrified of hospitals...please don't ridicule.
Anyway, I would be really appreciative if someone here could tell me in "layman's" terms what all this means again and what it means for me? What can I do to help myself? I can't sleep on either side of my body and it even hurts now when I lay on my back, which for me is uncomfortable anyway...I'm a side sleeper.
I'll copy and paste the report and thanks for your help and any info you can provide...
Axial sections were drained from L3 to S1 with sagittal reformatted images.
L3-L4: There is no disc prolapse or nerve root compression.
L4-L5: There is a moderate sized central disc prolapse. This results in moderately impingment on the thecal sac.
L5-S1: There is a small right paracentral disc prolapse. There is some associated right paracentral osteophyte formation. There is posterior displacement and some compression of the right S1 nerve root.
CT S1 Joints: The S1 joint margins are normal. There is no evidence of erosive change or periarticular sclerosis.
And that's it.
Thanks for your help and info.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/24/2009 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Merryn,
Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum of Healing Well. This is a great group of people for support and to share experiences, but we're not doctors and I really can't answer your question about the report because they are very technical.

The only thing I can say is whenever I see nerve root compression that usually means there's a source of pain, but I think making a list of your questions for your next doctor visit would be the best thing.

Surgery is pretty much always a last resort unless there's an emergency situation. I don't know if this is your first start with pain issues, but there are a lot of things to try first like physical therapy - and many modalities associated with that like ultrasound and stim units, various medications, and many more before surgery.

Can you tell us more about your story, and what your doctor recommended? And what type of a doctor did you see - a PCP, neurologist, etc.? It can make a big difference.

Again, welcome to the forum!


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16767
   Posted 9/24/2009 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Merryn and welcome to Healing Well.
I am so glad you found us.  I think you will find this group of people to be the most caring and supportive group you could ever imagine. Sure, we do understand your fear of hospitals no one wants to be in any of them.
Of course, no one here is a dr and we can speak from experiences only. But, as PaLady said when there is nerve problems going on that is usually the source of the pain. Nerves are very tricky, they basically have to heal on their own and they may heal or they may not, time is the one that tells the story there. All a surgeon can do is to try to free the nerve up somewhat by decompression. This surgery may or may not work. Its a real gamble no matter how you look at it. Surgery is not something to rush right into for sure, there are many different options to consider first. I will say this, if a surgical recommendation is made, do not wait too long in having surgery because many times the nerve becomes damaged to the point it is unable to repair itself and it becomes permamently damaged.
Please keep in mind the people on this forum many have had surgery and it maybe did not help many of them at all. But, that is not to say if you have surgery it will not be a success. Educate yourself as much as possible about your condition, go to reputable web sites, like WebMD or the Mayo Clinic, places like that. Be very careful discussing  this alot with individuals simpy because some people have the habit of exaggerating their surgeries so careful there.
Does your dr intend on running an MRI Scan on you? If you haven't had one, I would ask for one. They can be more definitive than a CT Scan.Does your dr intend on trying you on medications that are specifically for nerve involvement? What about trying you on some PT? Sounds like you have alot of work to do with your dr on coming up with a plan.
Please keep us posted on how you are coming along.
Moderator Chronic Pain
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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