Back MRI

No News Is Not Good News

An orthopedic surgeon who operated on my back in August 2011 ordered a follow up MRI at the same time I was getting a left hip MRI to see if I had a hip joint fracture.

When I met with him he said the MRI of my hip showed I had a hairline fracture of the hip joint that would heal itself with rest. When he said nothing about the surgery site MRI I asked about it. He said there was nothing to report.

Having adopted the practice of reading all medical reports myself, I got a copy of the radiologist’s report from my primary care doctor. The report stated:

  • Degenerative endplate changes throughout the lumbar spine.
  • New left central disc protrusion.
  • New disc material appears to contact and displace the traversing left S1 nerve root.
  • There is new left central disc protrusion at L5-S1 which produces moderate lateral canal stenosis and displaces the traversing left S1 nerve root.

My primary care doctor, who received a copy of this report, also said nothing.

Since I considered my back surgery a failure because the symptoms that prompted surgery never abated, I was left wondering whether the cause was these new findings.

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