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Thread: Seeing a back specialist

  1. #21
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    Outofideas will become famous soon enoughOutofideas will become famous soon enough

    Had my mri and xrays done. My bottom two discs are black and the others are white. I’ll try to post a picture but not sure if it will go through here or not. I go to my follow up appointment in a couple of days to see what the doctor says.

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    Attachment 50212

    White spot on disc; possible bone spur/disc tear??
    Last edited by Outofideas; 6 Days Ago at 05:40 PM.

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  3. #22
    Mine is almost identical without the white spot (bottom two discs are also black)...I don't seem to have as much protrusion (mild-herniation?) into the spinal canal at L4-L5 and L5-S1 as it looks like you might.

    What did the radiologist write up?...Could it just be an 'artifact' ???

    Of course, my radiologist filled over a whole page describing the "arthrosis, facet-joint osteoarthritis, disc degeneration," etc, at every (expletive) level but made NO
    mention of the fact that the paraspinal muscles on one side of my back are between 30-70% smaller than the other side. I had to generate my own set of
    axial images complete with centerlines to try and convince my doctors (who don't look at MRI images) that I have a dead spine erector muscle/tendon at the L1 insertion.

    Just like orthopaedics, radiologists are only good at the stuff they see every day, not the unusual stuff...so I would DIY 'research' as best you can.
    Last edited by heliarc; 6 Days Ago at 10:04 PM.
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  4. #23
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    Outofideas will become famous soon enoughOutofideas will become famous soon enough

    I’m not sure what the radiologist said. They told me they couldn’t tell me anything and that the doctor would discuss it with me on my next appointment. I have a disk with everything on it that I need to take with me to my appointment would the notes be on that?

  5. #24
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    Outofideas will become famous soon enoughOutofideas will become famous soon enough

    I looked at every file on the disk and the notes section where the pictures are and the notes section is blank.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Outofideas View Post
    I looked at every file on the disk and the notes section where the pictures are and the notes section is blank.
    they send the written report to the doctor and you can get a copy from him/her. i did look at my disk and read a few sites that give you advice on how to read your mri. i also found out that the radiologist often choses not to write out things. for example, i have a tarlov cyst that the radiologist didn't comment on because many are asymptomatic. unfortunately, not all are, and he didn't put it into the report until the second mri.

    my advice would be to take your report and google every single term in it. my doctor too skipped over things that cause pain. educating yourself on the mri will enable you to question the doctor. they often say things like blank doesn't cause pain, but when you research blank you discover many people suffer pain from blank.

    the tendency in doctors right now is to refuse to admit that the pain has causes. sad, but true, and when you know your diagnosis you can demand it be treated.

    a lot of people are happy to have a diagnosis because doctors are also fond of the there's nothing wrong: you must be imagining it trope. i hope you get some answers.
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  7. #26
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    Outofideas will become famous soon enoughOutofideas will become famous soon enough

    So the doc said I didn’t have any bulging discs and the degeneration of my bottom two discs are normal for my age (33). He said he deals with problems that require surgery and since I’ve nothing that requires that he is referring me to a physiatrist in the pain management clinic in the same building as him. He said that even though I’ve nothing that he can see as a serious problem doesn’t mean there isn’t one it’s just that he only treats certain problems and the other doc should be able to help me figure out what’s wrong. I’m awaiting my report on the tests I have done so I can read it myself. The visit was very underwhelming because I was really hoping to find an answer on why I’m in so much pain. So on to the next specialist to see if he can help.

  8. Sounds pretty much like the standard script to me...

    Nowadays (thanks in part to the opioid crisis) doctors don't like to make any other diagnosis beyond the generic 'LBP pain' or 'soft tissue injury' for anything that isn't clearly distinguishable on an x-ray or MRI. This includes most muscle-related injuries like strains and sprains, but also for chronic conditions like 'fatty infiltration', tendinopathies, muscle degeneration,etc., no matter how severe (as in my case).

    My guess is that your multifidus muscles in the lumbar region may also be affected (since there is a tendency for that to happen with disc-degeneration). But unfortunately, current medical imaging technology doesn't permit enough resolution at the cellular level to make an easy diagnosis.

    Ultrasound imaging is getting better at detecting muscle anomalies, but good luck finding a 'non-holistic' doctor or specialist that knows how to use it anywhere on the back!...
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  9. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by awwwurz View Post
    Good luck and be careful. My family has a ton of that mess. L5S1 is the most common but it helps to narrow down if it's more a structural pain and/or nerve pain. Does it run down your legs? Out to your hands? Do certain positions make it worse?
    MRI's are fine but they won't always narrow down a nerve issue. It's a good start. Did you get contrast and non-contrast?

    Next up= fun of the EMG test. Needles and perhaps electric shocks to test out your reflexes and "listen in" on nerve issues.

    Do not rush into surgery. They should not do that unless you have a serious nerve issues where they feel you will have loss of feeling and so on.

    Physical therapy is normally the first course I believe and some NSAIDS. Watch out for any heavy medications. Not a good way to go.

    Again, avoid surgery if you can. How long have you had this issue? I see it has been years but has it differed? DO NOT RUSH SURGERY.

    I think if you have lasted this long it would be a mistake to get surgery. Especially if they start talking about a fusion. Those seem to fail a lot. My mom never got better from that mess.

    Good luck.
    Having suffered with lower b@ck pain surgery was once considered..and like the above poster says avoid surgery if you can ...I went for specific exercise plan and physio ...through an oestopath ...Pilates if you can... stretching exercise and core strengthening ..however always seek docs advice before hand...MRI scan very useful to identify problems ....good luck
    Last edited by Lordy; 3 Hours Ago at 08:45 PM.

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