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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

From my experience, I think the problem with MRIs that are not done in the tube while prone is that there is much greater likelihood that the patient will move around. When you are in pain, it is very difficult to stand completely still for two or three minutes at a time.

I had a similar experience to yours with the MRI report. My daughter was living in Minneapolis at the time, so I had an "upright" MRI while visiting her. The images and report were sent to my doctor and to me. When I got it, it made no sense. It reported a bulging disc at L4-5 when in reality I had no disc there and was fused at that segment. I think they sent me the wrong report. The records were supposed to be removed from my file, but when I was scheduled for surgery about a year later, it caused my insurance carrier to reject paying for my surgery, calling it "medically unnecessary." My surgery had to be rescheduled while I went through the appeal process.

Regarding what is called "adjacent disc disease"...whenever there is an immobilized segment in the spine, the next segment up or down takes the brunt of the stress from movement. So yes, depending on how the person moves, and uses the spine, the next segment can wear out more quickly. Statistically it only happens in about 17% of cases. However, it is often the case that the next segment was already a bit problematic but the surgeon decided not to include it in the original surgery. It was already showing signs of degeneration at the time surgery was done.

For my original surgery, I had opinions ranging from fusing one segment to fusing four or five. I lee ted to go with the one as I figured it could always be added on to at a later date. In hindsight, if I had three done originally, I could have avoided two more surgeries!

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