MRI results...need help translating

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lynn71
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/7/2011 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
So I have been posting here and in the anxiety/bipolar forums for about 6 months now. It has helped being able to talk to others like me because my family and friends just don't understand. Now I come to you with my latest MRI results and need help translating as I don't see the neurosurgeon until the 19th. But a brief explanation of my health: Bulging disc left side L4 - L5, Disc herniation right side L5 - S1 with pain radiating around to hip and numbness down leg, Discectomy left side of neck C6 - C7, Shoulder Arthroscopic surgery for torn labrum right shoulder, muscular pain from base of skull to knee, anxiety, depression, bipolar II, BPD, hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, stroke 2008 from atrial fibrilation, full hysterectomy 2009. I think that's the major things. Anyway, I have suffered from chronic back pain since approximately 2001 seeing various pm docs and chiropractors and physical therapy over the years. I have had atleast 4 bad car accidents over the years which has caused all this crap but still trying to find some pain relief. Recently I had two eppidurals in lumbar region of my back which only helped for a few days. I am currently on Flexeril and tylenol #4 for the pain but it barely takes the edge off. The last few months I have had trouble even walking because of the pain in my lumbar region on my right side that seems to radiate all the way around to my hip and then causes shooting pains and numbness down my leg. I also have had alot of muscular pain around my shoulder blade in my mid back area on left side. So my pm doc sent me for an MRI of my L spine and T spine and here are the results:

L5-S1: Disc herniation or osteophytic ridge eccentric to the right extends into the right neural foramen. Facet arthropathy is present bilaterally. A mild neural foraminal stenosis, mild left and moderate right lateral recess stenosis results.
L4-L5: Disc bulge eccentric to the left extends into the left neural foramen and is accompanied by bilateral facet arthropathy, left greater than right. This results in a mild right and moderate left lateral recess stenosis and a mild left neural foaminal stenosis.
L3-L4: Facet arthropathy is present without significant stenosis.
IMPRESSION: Disc herniation eccentric to the right at L5-S1 results in a mild to moderate right lateral recess stenosis and mild right neural foraminal stenosis. Disc bulde eccentric to the left extends into the left neural foramen resulting in a moderate left later recess and mild left neural foraminal stenosis.

Hemangioma is incidentally noted on the left at T8

I get that I have bulging discs and hernated discs and some arthritis and apparently the hemangioma is some sort of benign tumor (which still scares the crap out of me), but if someone can translate in terms that makes more sense I would appreciate it. My anxiety is getting out of control because I am so worried that I will need surgery for my back as well as this tumor.

CRPSpatient
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 12/7/2011 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh Lynn, try to hang in there and stay positive mate *gentle hugs*

If it helps -

The lateral recess is where the big nerve roots exit the spinal cord. The neural foraminae are the spaces formed between the vertebrae that allow the individual spinal nerves, blood vessels, etc. to exit to the body.

If you have stenosis of one of those spaces, it means that they are narrowed. This can be caused by bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs from arthritis, etc. What this means is that the nerves may be squashed as they pass through, resulting in things like tingling sensations, pain, numbness, weakness.

The hemangioma is a benign tumour - 'incidentally noted' means that they just happened to note its being there. The person who interpreted your results doesn't appear to think that there is any sign of spinal cord compression or other problems.

Laura
CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, osteopenia.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Midodrine, Somac, Cipramil. Have SCS, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 12/8/2011 6:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope the surgeon can give you some good information on how to help you with your back pain. I know that before my lumbar fusion my back was hurting so bad that I couldn't walk in an upright position anymore and the pain would radiate around my lower back, into my hip and down the front of my leg. Everyone talks about the sciatic nerve which runs down the back of the leg but there is also a nerve that runs down the front of the leg, the femoral nerve.

There is alot of mention about the facet joints which each vertebra has connected to them. Before going to see the surgeon I would do some research on the facets so that you are aware of their function and the results of when they become arthritic. The facets can cause alot of pain which can radiate into the hips, mine does.

I have facet syndrome in pretty much my entire spine from degenerative disc disease narrowing the disc space thus allowing the facet joints to rub together causing bone spurs and cartlige erosion. The fusion surgery took care of the pain radiating down my leg and I can walk upright again but the facets continue to give me issues to this day. Even with the cervical fusion, it took care of the numbness & tingling in my arm but the facet pain is still there. Normally for facet pain, radiofrequency ablation is tried.

Let us know what the surgeon has to say on the 19th. Wish you Luck!!!
---Jag---


DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 12/8/2011 5:39 PM (GMT -6)   
the stenosis or narrowing of the left and right exiting nerve route holes called foramina is something to not take lightly and it is worse than the MRI reveals sometimes, a Myleogram may be in order. i think i read you have narrowing or stenosis of the cord canal. i would go to a couple surgeons for opinions because surgery may be a good option because the facet arthrosis and disc problems could both be taken care of at once. best wishes!
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: MScontin 100mg q8hrs. , dilaudid 8mg q6hrs. prn, oxymorphone IR 10mg q6 ,vistaril 50mg prn nausea, Lyrica 150mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M. 10mg PM prn, Soma 350 mg 3X, Elavil 25 HS, diazepam 10mg bid prn, Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 1000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, ALA

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 12/9/2011 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
First make a note of all your concerns and write them down, so
that you can remember when you go to the doctor, If this was me, I'd
ask for another scan first before anything else was done...and
then google everything you can on lower lumbar spinal stenosis,
as that seems what the results are pointing to. and also like
Spinal Soldier said make sure to get 2 other neurosurgeon opinions.
I have moderate canal stenosis where yours is at, but in my opinion
for me surgery is just not an option right now and I'll put it off for as long as possible
cause once down the path of surgery, always surgery, is what I've heard
from my friends whom have been thru it, so you do have a lot to consider and
one is if your bad enough for surgery...it is very painful...just something to think
about, many many Prayers and well wishes to you and do keep us posted
we truly do care....
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

lynn71
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/9/2011 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your comments and advice. My mother and father both have had spinal surgery and they also have said that it is very painful and doesn't always work. They still have pain anyway so they wish they never did it. I have had so many surgeries that having another one wouldn't be a shock, but I don't think I want to do it.
I have already been dealing with most of the pain for well over 10 years now but the hip pain is the newest and the most painful since it is interfering in my ability to even walk now. I am already on disability and watching a few kids for extra cash because we all know disability just isn't enough to cover everything so if I had surgery it would crush me financially as well. So I will do more research online and check with a few more doctors like you all have suggested.

On a side note....I read on some post here that the use "Tiger Balm" pain patches has helped one of the members. I bought some today and I have to say I am impressed. It doesn't make the pain go away, but it does help a bit. They are about $10 for 5 patches so well worth the money.

Thanks again and I will keep you updated on what happens.
borderline personality disorder, bi polar II, fibromayalgia, anxiety, depression, self mutilation, chronic pain sufferer
Meds: lamictal 100mg, Pristiq 100mg, Xanax 1mg

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 12/11/2011 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Make sure to read the ingredent label on the tiger balm before trying it,
so it will not interfer with other medicines your on...and many well wishes
to you in hopes it might help....keep us posted on that...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16292
   Posted 12/12/2011 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Lynn you sure have a lot going on with your back after reading what the MRI showed. I would imagine much of your pain is from the nerves being pinched. Pain medication usually is not very effective is ion controlling that type of pain either. Its miserable for sure.

I am betting the neurosurgeon gives you the surgery option, since you have pretty much exhausted the usual conservative measures. Have yo tried anything like Neurotin, Cymbalta, Lyrica or Amitriptilene for the nerve pain? These are the usual meds rx'd for nerve pain. The thing about the nerves once they become pinched or compressed, there is a chance of the damage becoming permanent if let alone, then no surgery in the world will help. Someone mentioned an inversion table and I would say stay away from something like that with what you have showing up on the MRI. A friend of my husbands bought one and he had a pinched nerve due to a herniation at L5/S1, he just had a 3 level fusion done because of what the inversion table did to him. Those tables may do someone some good as long as its a muscular type problem, but people that have real mechanical problems need to stay off of them.

I am the person that was talking about using the Tiger Balm patches on my shoulder. They are helping me for the surface type of pain I am having with my shoulder, its not near as tender and sore as it was. Of course I keep it jacked up because I will forget and use it instead of using my left hand and arm.

Keep us posted on how you are doing, take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 12/12/2011 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Gone Soft, could you start a new thread and introduce yourself, Thanks...
Sorry about that Lynn...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

lynn71
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/19/2011 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I saw the neurosurgeon today and he says he wouldn't recommend back surgery at this point and the tumor is benign as well as being pretty common. He recommends walking in a pool 5 miles a day and drop some weight. I would need to lose about 70lbs in order to get to my ideal recommended weight for my height. That is alot and I hope I can do it. He also took me off the Celebrex and put me on Voltarom.

Straydog, I have been on Lyrica and Neurontin and neither helped. I have a feeling my nerve damage is permanent because I have been dealing with this for about 10 years now with no sign of relief. The doc also suggested using an inversion table so it's funny that you mention to stay away from it. Now I don't really know what to do so I am going to speak to my PM in a few weeks about that. I am also going to talk to the pm about getting on percocet instead on tylenol #4 just to get some more relief so I can get to the gym.

I don't know if I will ever get to a point where my pain has eased up but I will keep trying. Thanks for all the advice.
Tracy
borderline personality disorder, bi polar II, fibromayalgia, anxiety, depression, chronic pain sufferer
Meds: lamictal 100mg, Pristiq 100mg, Xanax 1mg,tylenol #4, Flexeril

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16292
   Posted 12/20/2011 4:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Tracy, I am a firm believer in water therapy, I have done it many times. You are weightless in the water and run no risk of further injury. They should start you out slow and build you up. There is no way you can just get in a pool and walk 5 miles starting out. I now have a pool at my home and I spend a lot of time in it during the summer. I have bad knees and need new ones, done all the scopes we can do on both and it sure has bought me some time by being in the water. The first time I ever did water therapy for my back I was unable to stand on one foot and balance myself in the water, I fell over, and after a month of water PT, I was able to balance on one foot, there is a lot of good to it.

Do you by chance see a PM dr? The reason I ask is your pain would probably be under much better control if you were on something long acting and then something else for BT pain. Taking something like Tylenol 4 or even Percocet all you are doing is chasing the pain around every few hours. A good website that is user friendly to read about spine issues, is SpineUniverse.com, very good web site.

I have facet problems as well, the hip pain is something else. I ended up doing some trigger point injections and that helped some what, it was worth doing. Its up to you about the inversion table, but I have just heard too many things about them with people causing more damage.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum
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