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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5660
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Over 9 years Ive had 5 or 6 MRI scans, lower spine problem,

Customer Question

Over 9 years I've had 5 or 6 MRI scans, lower spine problem, this has continued unchanged during this time, MRI of May 2005 states no changes from basic mild degeneration.

After Aortic surgery in October 2006 experienced severe lower back/ leg pains to rt leg,continue to date, MRI scan of 12/12/06 says:

End plate irregularity secondry to old mild Scheuermann's seen in the low thoracic region, but no significant disc protrusion. Disc down to and including L3/4 are normal.
At L4/5 whilst the disc height is preserved there is a small posterior protusion causing ligamental elevation associated with a small annular tear. Lateral extension to the Lt of the disc prolapse in association with facet joint change causes significant narrowing of the lt nerve exit foramen at this L4/5 level. The Rt nerve foramen is uncompromised.
Small disc bulge at L5/S1 but without significant effect.

The Postero-lateral disc prolapse to the lt at L4/5 more pronounced than in 05/05

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Hello, can you tell me which leg is affected with pain?

Can you describe the type of pain and what makes it better or worse?

How far down does it go?

Do you get any tingling or numbess?

What did your doctor say about the report?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Pauline, before I answer there has been a technical problem and my information has been going to my friend who used my computer and in fact used the justanswer page 5 days ago.Hopefully I've corrected it all now.


In answer to your request, immediately following surgery my right leg was the one involved, I knew it was nerve pain as I had been having spinal examinations etc ongoing un til 2001, when it became obvious that I simply had to live with it.


The pain was mainly in the thigh area outside (rt) and was severe enough to cause pain by simple or accidental touch, my lower rt leg was numb and my ffet swelled and felt like I was walking on jelly.


The Ortho people told me after surgery, initially it would get better in 6 months or so, which it didn't, then they said there was nothing they could do, measured me up for a ack brace, then walking stick and no I'm on elbow crutches, needles to say it has not got better, now I can't stand for more than 3 or 4 minutes, can hardly walk at all and if and when I have to walk any real deistance 50 yards or more, crutches are needed.


One MRI report (2001) stated same as all others since 1996, 2005 report stated virtually the same, then the post op MRI stated word for word what I have entered in my question.


I have tingling and numbness more or less all the time, my feet remain swollen and feel like walking on jelly, my back and both legs are now being affected, so when I get out of bed I have to stand and gradually get myself upright, same with sitting, I am in constant paid from my back 24 hours a day, I can't lie in the same position for more than 30 minutes, using pillows to support my legs on both sides of my bed.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX helps, my e-mail address is [email protected]


The Specialist who reviewed my reports for Medical Asessment for report for claim for Medical Negligence stated - "no changes" between the pre-op and the post-op MRI's

whereas another nother stated something totally different.

Expert:  Pauline replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for the extra information, I will take some time to look at your report in detail, but could I trouble you for some additional information?

Your last MRI was 2006?

What medication are you currently taking..can you list everything?

Do you find that leaning forward (such as when pushing a supermarket trolley) helps at all, makes no difference or makes matters worse?

If you lie flat and then raise each leg individually, which leg goes higher? How high can you get without pain?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi again Pauline, sorry it has taken so long to get back, there is something wrong with the account details.


Yes last MRI was in Dec 2006 arranged by Surgeon who carried out my Aorta repair within 6 weeks of my Aorto surgery, he was very concerned about my back and l right leg problems.


I take Tramadol SR 3 x 100mg daily, Gabapentin 3 x 300mg daily, Doxycycline 3 x 100 mg daily - For Lyme Disease. I am also allowed to take Paracetamol if and when required, I also take 1 x 75mg Aspirin and 1 x 40 mg Simvastatin daily. And one other for Blood pressure Bedroflumiathazide ( Or something like that !)


I do find that when I lean forward with both hands, arms and upper body supported as in a supermarket trolley does help...but don't do it very often these days as my legs are now so bad, with hardly any feeling and severe pain in my lower back after 5 minutes standing.


Leg lifts, I can lift each leg unaided to about 8 inches from the bed before feeling pain in my legs and back, the left one slightly higher than the right, as my legs and feet are numb it is now almost impossible to determine heat or cold.


I have in fact kicked chairs and other furniture removing big sections of toe nails without feeling anything, also the toes of my right foot second to big toe is clubbing over, the third from big toe doing same but not as bad as second toe, the nails are now pointing directly towards the ground and have become so thick I have trouble getting them to cut even with help.