Glad to hear that you have had an MRI to evaluate your ongoing post-operative pain.
But remember that imaging studies are limited to “seeing” physical/anatomical findings and anolomies. Nerve pain can have origins in trauma to nerve axons and dendrites due to compression/pressure, sheer, or tension that is not visible on MRI imaging. A person can have normal MRI imaging and yet have disabling nerve related pain.
It is common for people to have vertebral disc buldging. Disc bulges are common and are not a pathological or worrisome finding. A vertebral disc serves as a shock absorber. It is filled with a gelatinous material that naturally extrudes and recedes as biomechanics and gravity forces act upon spine. A disc bludge is a disc acting as nature intended. The gelatinous disc material is acting in a dynamic manner to dissipate forces.
A disc herniation is the term used to describe a disc bludge that exceeds normal parameters of extrusion and that is possibly compromising a nerve root or causing neurological symptoms.
Everyone has bulging discs that they are likely not even aware of. A well-known clinical study several years ago selected people at random off of a busy street in downtown New York City. Participants completed a questionnaire of their health and agreed to a baseline MRI. Subjects with known spinal issues were excluded from the study. The MRI findings showed an incidence of asymptomatic lumbar and/or thoracis disc bulges in 65% of participants. That is, gelatinous disc bulges with no symptoms and of which the participants were unaware.
Almost everyone over the age of 35-40 will have some degree of disc bulging. Cervical and lumbar levels are more affected than thoracic levels - owing to the lordotic curvature of the cervical and lumbar spine and gravity/load bearing effects. The annulus ring that contains the gelatinous disc material in place weakens with age, increasing the likelihood of extrusion. Overall, a bulging disc is a normal finding and a disc acting as it should as a buffer/shock absorber.
A bulging disc that increases in magnitude to actually herniate through the fibrous annulus, causing compression of a nerve root and neurologicsl or sciatic symptoms is reason for an assessment with a physician, imaging, and treatment (exercise/posture to encourage recession of disc material; steroids; microdisectomy).
Thinking of you and sending positive karma that a resolution to your post-operative difficulties is within sight. I am sure that you are tired of dealing with ongoing pain and its effects.
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Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)
Post Edited ((Seashell)) : 4/18/2019 12:32:13 PM (GMT-6)