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Nobody is listening to me. Any words of advice.
mrod1719 posted:
Hi all, Just a quick background. June had L4 rupture. Was carried out of my house by ambulance. Directly to emergency surgery. One week later it ruptured again. Back to emergency surgery to repair plus a huge csf leak to repair. 5 weeks ago my c6 ruptured. Had fusion on neck. Fusion is healing well. Very happy with the neck fusion. Well, my back is killing me. It has been hurting so bad since the surgery. 5 months and I should have some relief. Talked to my doc over the phone and he ordered another MRI. This MRI is totally different than the one I had in august. The one in August showed nothing. This is the new one from a few days ago. Haven't got a call from the doc on this one yet. I just think something is wrong and nobody is listening. I know we are not Doctors but does anyone have any knowledge about MRI's and can you see something here that would be causing me so much pain. I am a Respiratory Therapist and just lost my job yesterday because of all this. So depressing. I just want to get well.

MRI- Just posting the impression of the radiologist.
Postsurgical changes at lumbar level.
annular tear at the L5-S1 level.
Facetal osteophytes at L4-L5 level are causing mild indentations bilaterally without forminal stenosis.
Annular tear at the L3-L4 level. Mild Posterior extradural indentation is noted at the L3 level centrally probably from scaring.
small subligamentous disc herniation centrally noted at L2-L3 level. Schmorls node at T12.
Like I said none of this was on my last MRI in august. I am 40 years old and not sure why my spine is falling apart. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
davedsel57 responded:

I am sorry to read about all you have been through but fully understand.

Is your doctor a spine specialist such as a spinal orthopedic surgeon or spinal neurosurgeon? That is essential for getting the proper diagnosis and treatment for spinal problems.

Will your health care insurance allow you to get another opinion? That is always beneficial.

Keep doing your research. Below are some links to websites that have very good information regarding spinal problems and treatments.

WebMD Back Pain Health Center:


It is also important to keep as active as possible and keep a positive attitude.

I hope you can get relief soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


srtayl responded:
OK, so... here is my standard disclaimer. I am not a physician, I am not a medical professional of any kind. What I am about to say is my opinion and mine alone and should not construed as advice, rather it is an observation.

Whew... that was tough enough.

The annulus surrounds the softer gooey center of the disk.. it is like a ligament and can tear causing herniations or bulges. So, what he sees here is just that as he does not mention bulging, hernia, or cord pressure.

Facetal Osteophytes are little bony spurs on the facets which do contact each other level to level. No stenosis is good as that means there is no narrowing of the channels, which the facets help protect, and the nerve root exits the spinal column.

Scar tissue is noted (probably) which appears to be placing pressure on the Dura which is the protective sheath-like covering of the spinal cord.

A disk herniation is noted below or behind the ligaments of the vertebra at L2/3

A Schmorls Node is the protrusion, like an overhanging flap, of disk material over a vertebra. Kinda like a bulge or herniation, just kinda different.

I am 44 and have had 4 levels of lumbar and 3 levels of neck fused. It's just something that happens to some of us.

Hope this helps,
mrod1719 responded:
Hi Dave, Thanks for the reply. Yes my Dr. is a Neurosurgeon. I can tell you this back pain is no joke. I am awating a call still from them to see what he is going to do about my MRI and pain. Thanks again.
mrod1719 replied to srtayl's response:
Sean, Thanks for the disclaimer. LOL. Also, thanks for the explaination. I can't believe in just 5 months my MRI has changed so much! I truly believe this is a failed back surgery. How are you feeling after you fusions? My neck is healing great. No pain. I am fused C4-C5-C6 and its only been 5 weeks. months later though my lumber area is just as bad as it was before the surgery and getting worse. I hope Doc has a solution. I am a Respiratory Therapist and just lost my job at the hospital where I have had all these surgeries.yesterday because of all of this. I am so bummed. I did apply for SSI. Hoping I get some good news from them. Did you have a lot of pain with the lumbar fusions. I hear that fusion is alot harder than the neck. I hope you are doing well.
annette030 replied to mrod1719's response:
Remember that your spine towards the head level carries less weight than the spine at the lower back level. Surgery often works better in the neck, I have had it also.

That said, I had it because I was dropping small items, the nerves in my hand were compromised. Spinal surgery of any kind is not always a positive thing to control pain. Charles has the actual studies, but I think I recall reading somewhere around 50% of people who have surgery are also successful in bring pain levels down about 50%. Not necessarily gone though.

Get all your treatment options before you have surgery again. Ask the doctor for treatment options, he is supposed to give them to you before surgery, but not all neurosurgeons do. Get several opinions from well respected doctors in your area. Surgeons and neurologists too.

Take care, Annette
mrod1719 replied to annette030's response:
Thanks Annette. My Neurosurgeon called me today and is sending me to a well renown neurosurgeon in Chicago on the 12th. I respect him for telling me he doesn't know why I am having so much pain. Hopefully when I go to Rush University I will get some answers. Again, Thanks for your input.
annette030 replied to mrod1719's response:
Best of luck to you. I hope you figure things out and feel better soon.

Take care, Annette

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