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Bulging disc MRI showed nothing

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I began having severe back pain in august-september of 07,
i had a very physically demanding job......after months and months of asking to go to the doctor i was finally sent to the occupational doctor.
since, i have had X-ray, MRI, and a bone scan......the MRI showed a buldge at the T2 (thoracic spine) . my doctor said that the mri came back completly normal, and showed no cause for pain......i really couldent believe it showed nothing,... so i asked for a copy of the results, and right there in black and wite, it stated that i have the buldge at T2, i was so angry that a doctor lied straight to my face, i felt very betrayed, and over time was getting so angry, i have extreme pain, and the doc. wants to say there is nothing wrong with me. when i confronted him about the findings in the mri, and asked about the buldge, he said "that buldge is causing you no pain" can a regular physican accurately determine things from an mri? i was under the impression that only a radiologist could accuratley read an mri..I have since been sent to a neurologist, he gave the bone scan which
came back normal...when he said "and I hear you mri was norman" i told him no, & informed of the bulge....but he has never since mentioned it, he is now wanting to send me in to have an epidural type injected directly into the sight that hurts on my spine...... even though from what they say, (by denying the buldging disc) they have found nothing substancially wrong....why would he want to give me injections in my spine, why wouldent they just send me home and say no restrictions if there is really nothing they think is wrong...as of yesterday the neuro. still has me on 10 lb weight limit and no reaching to the front, or above my head, and wants to give the injection next week.....i cant make since of it, can anybody sudgest what may be going on???
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First Helper jada3
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replied July 19th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Hi jada3
are there any issues between you, and your doctors, is there a possibility that they have not investigated your problems thoroughly enough in the past.
Doctors often downplay xray and MRI findings as they feel there really is not much they can do about them, or an operation will be counter productive, and a waste of valuable resources, but they are careful not to tell outright lies, a bulging disk is an abnormal finding, but it may not be an operable condition.

Where do you feel pain ? T2 is just below the base of your neck does the MRI report mention compressed nerves?

what you say about the doctors saying nothing is wrong with you but treating you for something makes a lot of sense there is something funny about it all,

A lot of doctors probably have some ability to read an MRI but a radiologist has much more training, a doctor should be able to understand the report.


Good luck jada3
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replied July 19th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Hello Jada,

Welcome to this forum.

I commend you HIGHLY for questioning. By questioning you have a much better chance of obtaining the RIGHT answer for your back.

"can a regular physican accurately determine things from an mri?" THAT is a most important question!!! I may get nailed for this, but in my opinion the answer is NO!!!!!

Jada, PLEASE search for the very best spinal surgeon who you can find in your area. Make an appointment to see that spinal surgeon, and THEN make an appointment to see the number two spinal surgeon on your list. Just because I say "spinal surgeon" does not mean that you will need surgery, but rather, they by far are the most knowlegeable about spines.

Back to "regular physican(s)" - My GP (PCP) is a nice guy. Good for physicals and perhaps colds and flus, but that is where it stops.

Now take your MRIs and go see a spinal surgeon.

I wish you the best. Let us know how things go for you.

RichT
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replied July 19th, 2008
Thank you both for your reply
Yes, there are a few complications between the doctors and I..... i sustained my injury at work, so my medical care is being handled by workman comp insurance. to say the least, i have lost total faith in the primary doc. that has been assigned to me. The first time he treated me, he diagnosed me with a pulled muscle, and told me it was the best he could do, and released me from his care, while he was treating me i received PT..after 3 weeks 3 X's a week the physical therapist said there was nothing more he could do until i had either an MRI or an X-ray to possibly see what was causing the pain.. after about the 3rd week of being out of his care, i went back to his office after speaking with the case worker (at workcomp) it was in may when i went back to him to re asses my case/injury. A few things i find interesting, the primary doc. wanted to send me to a physical medicine doctor, the doc said he would teach me how to deal with my pain.....when it was ok'd to see this doctor, and he received all my tests results, he decided not to take me, and referred me to see a neurologist.....I met with him on the 2nd of july, he ordered a bonescan..i went for the results on the 17th, he said it was clear....but wants me to go in for the "theracic epidural injection at the point of maximum pain" the MRI did not say compresed nerves......the mri report did state the "limited information due to patient movement" my back muscles were spasming during mri, the lady stoped the test 3 times
and i would rub, and stretch to try to get the spasm to stop.....should i request another mri of that fact alone??? or is it still fairly accurate with movement?
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replied August 29th, 2012
OMG...I am in the EXACT same boat. Work Injury. Doc trying to tell me it is my back that is bad tried to tell me that from the report it says I have DDD disk degeneration disease, and that is what caused my disk bulge. But you know what I have a copy of the report as well as the MRI images and the report says

L1-2 Mild posterior disk bulging. Otherwise negative.
L2-3 Negative
L3-4 Mild posterior disk bulging and facet hypertrophy without canal or foraminal stenosis.
L4-5 Mild Posterior disk bulging is present without eveidence of canal or forminal narrowing.
L5-S1 There is disk desiccation present with focal certral disk bulge in the midline and marginal increased signal indicating disruption of the annulus fibrosis. No lateralization or disk protrusion or significant canal stenosis is identified. No significant foraminal narrowing. Mild facet hypertrophy is present.
The study is otherwise negative

Impression:
1. Degenerative disk changes at L5-S1 with evidence of disruption of the annulus fibrosis and mild posterior central disk bulging without lateralization or canal narrowing/neural impingement.
2. Mild disk bulging at other levels. No focal disk protrusions are otherwise noted, and no other evidence of significant neural impingement is noted.
3. Otherwise, negative MRI of the lumbar spine without contrast.

See only one spot does it even mention DDD, yet the doctor tried to tell me that all but one had DDD. I am pretty sure he we read it to me he kept starting it off with disk desiccation present for each one because I don't remember him saying anything about have mild bulges in any other one that my L5. I ask for the MRI report the next time I went to doctor and I asked the nurse for it. But yes I have come to the conclussion that because it is a work comp thing they are paid to just say there is nothing serious going on. He refused to refer me to a back specialist and when I asked to see a chiropractor he told me I could go to one but that would be on my own insurance and out of my own pocket. He also told me that I would be in pain for the rest of my life and it would probably get worse and there was nothing he could do.
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replied August 29th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Hi Becca Lee

I think everyone should get a copt of their MRI report.

"See only one spot does it even mention DDD, yet the doctor tried to tell me that all but one had DDD."

Buldging Disks count as DDD so he was being truthful when he sid you have DDD at all levels exept one.

You are right about the dessication from what you wrote its only at one level.

Can i ask how old you are. You have facet artrothis which is athritis of the small pair of joints at the rear of the vertabra. This can only develope over a period of time so you have had problems with your spine for some time. that does not mean that your problems are not work related.
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replied July 21st, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Hello Jada,

I went "OUCH" when I read about you seeing "workman comp" doctors. Jada, from what others have shared about their experiences with such doctors the name of the game seems to be MINIMIZE the problem and get the person back to work again by saying "very little is wrong with you". Sorry, but I wouldn't beleive a single one of those docs.

Do you have regular health insurance? If so, see if you can find doctors (with MD after their names) who will see you and make sure your regular health insurance will cover.

Yes, it does seem to me that you need new MRIs done. Movement is a NO NO. If it happens again, then it is up to the technician to try again. You can't control spasms, they certainly should know that.

With the new MRIs your neurologist can get a much "clearer picture" of your situation. Not only that, but the doctor will have a MUCH better understanding as to where you need to have the medication from an epidural injection. AND make absolutely certain that you doctor uses a fluoroscope when he/she makes that injection. The fluroscope is essential so that the doctor can "see" exactly where the needle is and where it has to go.

I hope this helps a bit. If any questions, or I have not addressed something in your post please do let me know.

RichT
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replied July 28th, 2008
I now, since being serperated from the company, do not have any medical coverage.....aaahhhh!!!! I am doing my best to get some kind of insurance, my pcp knows slightly of my problems. In my 8 month waiting period in waiting to go to the occ. doctor i called him up and had an office visit to ask in his opinion, did i just have a muscle injury?? He said abslouley not....I have not discussed my injury with him since. It is # 1 on my "need to do really bady list" to find a 2nd opinion that has nothing to do with a work comp doctor.....just a stab in the dark here, but do you know if the specialists that i am sent to have any ties to the work comp system? I had orginally been very pumped to see the neuro. but even he seems to be giving me very vague information on my case...what the heck, i feel like I cant trust a single doctor, it is quite exahuasting trying to stay up with the doctors, and do my best double checking their work.....i know they are work comp, and have to follow rules and all that jazz, but dosent a persons health take some presidence??what about the oath they take???
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replied July 30th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
like everything jada there is the way things should be, and the way they are. I don't know much about the workers comp system, but i think that to a certain extent your well being is in your own hands, you cant just plonk yourself in front of the first doctor you encounter ,and expect the very best treatment you have to do some of the work yourself, that's not to say there aren't a lot of good doctors around who are very helpful as well as scrupulous, but the treatment you receive from the medical system often has a lot to do with what you can get from it with your own skill , judgement, and determination. i know its not easy there are financial constraints in your country i am assuming you are from the states someone who has been through the workers comp system may be of more help.

all the best jada
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replied July 30th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
You are going through similar to my son and I. I have two buldging disc's L3.4 and L-5 possibilly laying on a nerve. It did show up on MRI. Rich knows, just before Christmas of 2007 I fell and broke my back at 55% facture at T-12 into L-1. I had Kyphrplasty (cement insertion) surgery this past February.
Now my son on the other hand, is have severe pain at about T-11 or 12. MRI came back with no evidence of compression or buldge. He is on 30mg of Morphine every twelve hours and 7.5mg of Vicodin for breakthrough pain every four hours as needed up to two if he needs it, which he does. Here again, we have nothing wrong and treating a phanthum shadow of nothing. Most of us spinies know that the spine is a very complex and vital part of the body and needs to be looked at in all perspectives. Something is wrong with this system. MRI's are for some reason, even with contrast, missing alot of things. But, as Rich, Marie, Carol and the rest of us know, it is most likely the person that is reading the films. Shame, it really is.
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replied August 7th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Hi Jada,

First things first here. Your injury happened at work and you must deal with WC for your medical care.
Your private insurance will not allow you to use it for any of this because it is work related, happened at work and that cancels out the private insurance policy coverage for this injury.

Second thing:
WC ie workman's comp. IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. They are an insurance policy that works for the business you work for. Their goal is to treat you with the least amount of care needed and save the employer as much money as possible and get you back to work.
They will do whatever they can to give you the minimum care.

That is why there are so many workman's comp attorney's out there.

Third thing:
YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY GET YOURSELF A WORKMAN'S COMP ATTORNEY THAT WILL WORK JUST FOR YOU AND HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE MESS THAT WC CREATES AND YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH. YOU CAN'T DO THIS ALONE.
ONCE YOU HAVE A GOOD WC ATTORNEY, THE PICTURE STARTS TO CHANGE AND YOUR ATTORNEY CAN FIGHT TO GET THE APPROPRIATE CARE THAT YOU NEED.

fourth thing:
It's unfortunate that some states are better than others with WC but every state has it's problems and it is a fight to get the care you need.

fifth thing:
You have to stand up for yourself both with your WC attorney and with your WC case manager and fight all the way. Keep on top of things both with your attorney that you will hire and with that case manager.

Please keep very careful and detailed records of everything that has happened and all your conversations with anyone and everyone with WC, the case manager, the doctors you have seen and get copies of all your records as well as the MRI reports as well and the pics taken of xrays, as well.

It's quite obvious that you need new MRI pics done and done ASAP as the original ones where blurry because of muscle spasms.
You and your attorney will have to fight for those to be done, but with an attorney by your side, you should be able to have them done.
If the muscles are spasming still and could interfere with obtaining clear MRI pics, then they can and should have given you muscle relaxers to take and if needed they can lightly sedate you to have them done as well. You will need someone to bring you for the MRI and to drive you home if this is done, but that's a small thing to worry about to have good results with the MRI pics.

As I said before, WC works for the employer and not the employee and unless you are lucky and some really good doctors, they follow the rules and don't really care much about the patient.
That pictures changes a great deal as soon as you have a WC attorney standing beside you and working for you and your health interests.
You really don't have a choice about this, get a WC attorney ASAP.

In the mean time, don't let them push you around, demand the care that you really need and rightfully deserve. As long as you let them push you around, they will do it and you will be the one to suffer.

Good luck and keep us posted on what happens and how things change once you have that WC attorney standing with you.

Fran
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replied February 25th, 2010
semi rear ended me at 20/30 mph
i had a semi crash in the rear of my work truck . when i told my boss something felt wrong in my back ,he said that he seen the damage and he think's i'm fine. But after that i refused and demanded to see a doctor. the wc had me do an mri and it showed nothing today 7 months later i have been havening the same numbness, pain, and limp and i did the day after the accient. so we did another mri at a different place in my L-spine and C-spine and it showed 7 budgeing disc that are indented into the thecal sack.My Q is what happens now ?will they cover my lost wages and etc?what so i do?help
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replied February 25th, 2010
thank for the reply
hey thanks for the reply . wc ordered it because of a 1 time dr change and i feel that it back fired on them. the wc dr said that if i didn't get a phone call for my orthopedic surgeon app. in a week then to call them and they would lite a fire under there feet. i have a medeation hearing on the 8th of next month, for the last 6 months wc said i was fine. now i just wonder what they will do next to reck my life . i never asked to be rear ended but i happen and my whole life has changed. i fear that wc is gonna screaw me some how . i cant do my job no more andthey had the nerve to tell me i was fine as i sat there numb and in pain . the frist wc dr said his hands where tiied because the mri showed nothing but the md who did my 2 mri campared them to the frist and said that the budges where in the frist mri as well so this is part of the reason i have low faith in wc .,please help me understand what to expect over the next few steps in my life as im getting scared and my nerves are shot?thanks again for your reponce
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replied February 25th, 2010
the imperssion was mild diffuse posterior disc bulges at c3-4 through c6-7 levels , mild spondylotic changes of cervical spine, straightening of cervical lodosis , suggestive of paraspinal muscle spasm and on to the lumbar mild posterior disc bulges at l4-5 and l-5-s-1 levels , no lumbar vertebral fraures , as compered to the prevois stedy, mild disc bulges at l4-5 and l-5-s-1 levels are new findings with the rest of the findings stable
I'm a 29 year old man that has never had a back problem ever in my life until the crash.
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replied February 26th, 2010
thanks fran,
yes I know your right .I have contacted a PI attorney and they told me to call this wc att and i did now it seem like i have a lawyer but i don't know how to use him as a tool, he already got the medeation for next month to be a phone confreance . and yes your right about wc takin avandage of me in the begining because im not the smartest person out there but i feel that i was one of the best at my job and now that i cant do it anymore im scared that at the end of this i would end up with nothing after when before the crash i had everything goning great for me and my family i know i do alot of bs typing but that i sure is because i have so much to say and i have kept it in my buried. all this time and now they only want to hurt me more than i already am.
my last Q 4 u is how in the world do wc do this to people, i have had pain ever since the crash and before that i worked everyday as a roofer (repair man)so how can they say i was hurt before? thats wrong and i hope that a jury of my peers will see it dfferently. or let me guess , it wont go to trail?
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replied February 26th, 2010
today i went to my mail box and my attorney send me a couple of papers from the wc attorney for medical release from an car acceident from 6 or 7 years ago . why? i never got hurt then but the police made me go to the hospital for blood work. does this matter at all . i have always worked my job fine and lived a normal life .?????
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replied February 28th, 2010
I can understand why, nothing was wrong with me then and yes i smoked a joint the night before so i got dui 3 years later crazy city of troy but i cant see how any of that can matter in this today. i have never had anything wrong with my back or neck in my life. but when that semi hit my rear without me knowing it was gonna happen realy messed me up an for something that was not my fault, everybody treaded me like i am wrong, i'm sorry to vent here but i just cant believe how they can treat the victim like this. anyway thanks for your im/put
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replied April 7th, 2010
Hey fran . Well I was hopeing for ur thoughts. Wc did another mri of my t spine and they found more damage. Impinched ventral sac at t 6 7 and at t 9 10. Sugeon said that it,s not operatable now . And we should try injections with a pyholigist what dose this mean to uj. Thanks
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