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MRI Help

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    MRI Help

    Hi all,

    Here is some background info:

    Hurt my back playing rugby in December 2015, kept playing but then stopped in April. Laminectomy in August of 2016, Revision Laminectomy in October of 2016, and Fusion with screws and rods done in February 2017, all on L4-L5 disc. I am about 7 weeks post-op of the fusion, and in so much pain. After the surgery, I had the normal post-op pain and a little bit of leg pain but not too bad. Then, in the last few weeks, my pain has increased a ton. In my back, and down both my legs. I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and arthritis. I received an MRI last week and here are the results:

    T7-T8: central bulge

    T12-L1: right para-central protrusion with possible small extruded fragment behind T12

    L4-L5: residual central protrusion, similar to prior examination, done in February in the hospital the day after my fusion surgery (prior examination: moderate right nerual foramina stenosis due to the presence of a right formania disc protrusion. There is mild left neural foramina stenosis. There is a broad central disc protrusion as well. There is mild left lateral recess stenosis).

    L5-S1: small central protrusion

    Based on this, does that mean the fusion has failed? I really feel that something is wrong and I am in more pain than I ever have been in my life. What could be my next step? Thanks for reading.


    I just happened to see this post. Four years old, but in Spine-Time, just a few minutes.
    What happened? When you get operated on and it makes the problem worse, you need to take a step back and reevaluate the approach.
    If you are on the west coast I would suggest Dr. Robert Bray in Newport Beach, and also in Marina Del Rey. I went to him after a failed spine surgery and he has helped me a lot. He was one of three spinal neurosurgeons who were directors of the Institute For Spine at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Now he has the two surgical centers just mentioned.
    He only operates on spine, and has 15,000 surgeries done. Your rugby accident jives with his work: he's official Red Bull surgeon. Operates on all kinds of professional athletes, movie stars, astronauts, and everyday people.
    Even if you're not on the west coast I'd make the trip.


      Moondriver, I don't want to shake your confidence in a doctor you have built up trust in, but I myself would steer clear of any doctor who makes a point of treating celebrities as this one seems to do.

      Since I'm not a celebrity, I'd be concerned that I would be pretty much ignored in favor of the more important people who would be the doctor's patients of choice, I suspect.

      I had a doctor years ago who was excellent. He was so excellent that as the years went by he became a very important man. I don't know how many celebrities were his patients but he himself was important enough that even if you had a specific appointment with him, you would wait many hours before actually seeing him. He seemed to be getting careless and taking some shortcuts he shouldn't have been taking after he got to be such a big name.
      SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.