View Full Version : MRI result

03-30-2010, 01:56 PM
I got my MRI results, couldn't wait to go see the DR to get them. I the cervivcal MRI shows bulging discs at C4-5 and C5-6. Then the lumbar MRI shows multi-level degenerative disc disease with a tear at L4-5. The MRI's were to show how far down to do the fusion because of my lower back pain since my curve is mostly thoracic. I wonder if this means I will have to be fused to my pelvis or may the tear improve with correction of my spine. I was just wondering if anyone had a similar experience.

03-30-2010, 04:14 PM
Sorry, I can't help Janet. It does sound like you've got a few problems there but if your doctor decides to fuse to pelvis, I for one (there are many here) can assure you it's really not so bad.

03-30-2010, 05:30 PM
I am fused to pelvis - entire spine. And, I can attest, it's not so bad. Dr. Lenke told me my flexibility would not be the same, but that I would not notice much difference at all because I have not flexed at the spine for a long time, only from the hips. So, therefore, I would not notice any difference probably.

03-30-2010, 06:23 PM
I'm glad that it is not so bad, I just hope I will be able to do all of the things I am used to. Thanks.

03-30-2010, 06:36 PM
Hi Janet-

I am glad you posted your question because I was wondering the same thing! I have a 55 degree thoracic curve and a 58 degree lumbar curve. My MRI shows disc degeneration/herniation in the L4, L5 area. Because the discs are degenerated (they are black on the MRI), my surgeon is only fusing to L3. My fusion will be from T4-L3 to correct both my thoracic and lumbar curves. I currently have pain going down my leg, mostly in my knee, and also in my foot, and I'm wondering if this will go away after surgery. My surgeon doesn't want to fuse all the way down to the pelvis (for mobility reasons and due to the fact that I am only 31 years old). However, I'm hoping the pain in my leg and foot will go away after my surgery. I'm also wondering if after I get straightened up and my posture improves would the sciatica in my leg be alleviated?

I have been through the Nerve Conduction Study tests and the EMG and they all show that everything is fine. I am concerned just because I can deal with the back pain....it's the nerve pain in my legs/feet that is unbearable and drives me crazy!

Does anyone have any positive stories that this nerve pain disappeared after their surgery, and they weren't fused to their pelvis?


03-30-2010, 09:15 PM
Jen, I had significant nerve pain in my left leg, tingling in my foot and all of the nerve stuff is completely gone since my surgery. In my case my lumbar curve was so severe, the compressed discs put tremendous pressure on nerves. Most of mine was from knee downward and into my foot and toes. I know L5 S1 was one of the worst spots which is where I used to get epidurals. I had an EMG done about a year before my surgery that also indicated everything was fine--not sure how accurate those tests are.:confused: I am fused to the sacrum, but that may not be necessary for someone younger and with less severe curves. I'm sure your Dr. will address the nerve compression. I agree that can be every bit as annoying/painful as the back pain. It is such a relief not to be dealing with that anymore!

03-31-2010, 10:52 AM
JenM – I was wondering about your doc’s rationale in fusing to L3 only. I also had left leg sciatica and extensive degenerative changes (you name it, I had it going on) in my lumbar area L3 – L5 which is why my surgeon went to S2, 3 levels lower than he had initially hoped to have to go. After viewing the MRI results he was definite in his belief that my lower area would not hold up if he fused only to L4, the level he first mentioned.

I was freaked out about being fused so low – that was my second to worst fear before the surgery. But I am so happy with the results and the peace of mind I have knowing my structure is solid AND that I won’t be facing extra surgery to extend the hardware in the future. :p

04-01-2010, 09:20 AM
Previous to my surgery, my MRI showed a Haemangioma at L2, degenerative changes at L2 - S1 (L4/5-L5/S1 being the really bad ones). L4/5 had an Annualar Tear. I had real bad Sciatica, the sole of my foot felt like it was on fire and my bladder felt full all the time. I am now fused T11 - S1 Pos and L4/5- L5/S1 Ant. All the pre-surgery pain was gone right away after surgery and was replaced by minor discomfort of the surgery. I am happy with the results and wouldn't change a thing.

04-01-2010, 10:53 AM
I too have left leg pain with numbness and stinging. Some in my right as well but not nearly as much as the left. My my left hip and leg pain is worse than my back pain. I'm getting closer to setting a date. These stories are encouraging to those of us who are trying to make decisions.