MRI scan results.

Yesterday I discovered that I had a MRI report that was in English mixed up amongst the dozens of scans!
Before discovering that Seerung and I were talking about what the Dr had said. I mentioned how he told me he had said some bone was floating loose but Seerung said that when she was talking to him in Thai he didn’t say bone but something else but she didn’t know what the English translation for that word was. At the time she was munching her way through some chicken so ripped the bone out of it and showed me what I would call cartilage and said that is what the Dr meant.

In my last post I mentioned I was sending the scans via email to my Dr in Kununurra. The file was 120 mb which is huge in any language but especially when you have an extremely slow internet connection like I do currently.
Thankfully my best mate in Australia came to the rescue. He is a paramedic and just happened to be on night shift that evening so between us we managed to send everything to him and he was able to decipher it at the other end. This was completed at 1.30am my time (3.30am his time!) The actual programme used to view the scans also had to be sent. He then showed it to the head of the ED who in turn said he was going to send it off to a specialist in Perth. I haven’t heard anything back yet but am hoping that my second opinion isn’t too far away!

It is so nice having Seerung and the kids here, makes the day go a lot faster. Just annoying that i can’t give them cuddles or go anywhere with them. I was so looking forward to taking them to this new huge playground in the middle of town but yesterday evening Seerung bundled them into a tuk tuk and took them herself. They are getting a bit feral being cooped in the hotel room but hopefully Seerung can manage to get them out at least once a day to run off some energy.

For all you budding doctors out there, this is what the report said.

MRI of L-S spine
History: A case of chronic lower back pain mainly in the left leg down to the knee.

Technique and Sequences: 1.5 Tesla
Sagittal: T1WI, T2WI, & STIR. Axial: T1WI & T2WI. Coronal: T2WI


The examination shows mild strengthening of the L-S curve with decreased signal intensity (SI) of L4/L5 and L5/S1 intervetebral discs, representing degenerative change. Normal SI and height of all vertebral bodies are noted. All disc spaces are also intact.

L5/S1 level: Left posterior protrusion disc, causing anterior indentation to thecal sac with strengthening to central canal, reflecting to compressed left S1 traversing root.
No bony fracture, osteolytic lesion or spondylolisthesis is also seen.
There is no epidural or paravertebral soft tissue mass.
The conus medullaris is at L1/2 level.
No clumping nerve root is seen.
The otherwise are within normal limits.


Spondylosis at L4/5 and L5/S1 levels.
Left posterior protrusion and disk herniation at L5/S1 level, causing anterior indentation to thecal sac with strengthening to central canal, reflecting to compressed left S1 traversing root.

9 responses to “MRI scan results.

  1. Thanks for all that. A disc herniation makes more sense than a bit of bone floating around. Look forward to the report from Perth.
    Love to you all

  2. You forgot to mention vets!! I’ll make sure Dad has a look at this. Then he can explain it in English for me! I can hardly understand any of that, except that you are still in pain! We are praying for you!

    Cricket test match South Africa vs Australia: 6/249 (or something like that!) This is just in case you haven’t had a chance to watch it (you can be sure the TV has been on all day over here…)

    MeMock replied “I did forget to mention Vets didn’t I! Sorry about that Pete! Thanks also for the cricket update however no more will be neccesarry (at least for the next few days) as for some reason my hotel gets a sattelite feed from South Africa and as the Aussies are playing them I am getting it live! I couldn’t believe my luck!”

  3. Have sent report to my friend who is a radiologist and asked her to give us a plain english version.

    Hope the Aussies do we at the cricket – will help ease the pain!!

    MeMock replied “Thanks for that Unc! As for the cricket lets just hope they play better the the wallabies!”

  4. phew andrew it was a relief to read your report.
    the good news is the disc is bulging not burst. also there is no boney growth causing the compression on your nerve/s and no other soft tissue mass means nothing like a tumor so thats another thing to be grateful for. you know…count your blessings

    MeMock replied” Tumor?!! I had never even thought about that! Haha glad that it isn’t one. So what is it that my Dr wants to remove then?

  5. its been a LONG LONG time since I worked, so am not going to be conclusive about anything like your immediate treatment.
    however some first aid hints………………avoid flexion /bending forward at all costs it could cause the disc bulge to get worse. It is better to be flat as you have found even lying on your side will be a problem as most blokes have wider shoulders than hips giving the spine an s shape in the wrong direction. However in saying that you may find left side up better than right side up as the bulge will be further compressed lying on your left side. If you do manage to side ly dont bend your knees up far as after 45 flexion begins to occur in low back where you wont want it. a small rolled up towel of about 10-15cm may be helpful to fill the waist in so your spine can stay in neutral, if you do roll a bath towel long ways you can also use it to help yourself up without flexion in the lower back. leave it there at night and as you roll over it could help lying on your back – however this will depend entirely on the bed and your pain levels.
    I dont want to scare you, but the further away the pain is from your back ie the further it is down your leg – the worse it is. It can usually be made worse by flexion or positioning. do not sit at all costs – the discal pressure is at its greatest in sitting – but i think you already know that standing or lying are the best positions.
    are you taking anything for the pain and inflammation??? ? the swelling is the big thing to handle combined with rest and avoidance of the movements already mentioned……. there is a book you should be able to get called treat your own back by Robin McKenzie fantastic book ooozing with self help stuff. hey I’ve babbled enough for now. maybe some of this helps maybe not i figured i would type it out anyway. do a PM on facebook if necessary

    MeMock replied “Linda, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Bending over isn’t a problem as I can’t physically do it anyway! Although on the rare occasion I do walk I am hunched over a lot as I can’t seem to straighten myself out fully. As you said, the best place for minimal pain (sometimes none at all) is on my back on on my side (left hip in the air). I was taking a lot of medication before Seerung arrived to help me out as I needed it to get to the pysio and to buy food and water once a day. Since she has been here I havent needed to leave the room so have cut most of that out. Mainly once a day now instead of 3 times a day. If I need to travel for more treatment then I will obviously be taking a lot more for that. I am getting a little confused over my Dr saying I need to have something removed but other people saying that good pysio may be able to fix this. Thanks again Linda.”

  6. ps: see if you can get a reg practising online physio to buddy you through this. Someone who deals with acute backs all the time.
    thinking of you

  7. if your back was my back, i would run away from surgery until you have exhausted(pun intended!) rehab options. There really is a lot that can be done to help that would in 6 -8 weeks have you much better. surgery has RISKS you do not want to read yet. and long term outcomes …… may not be a quick fix but a better outcome – based on the mri report you posted.
    rehab for backs is usually pretty gentle until the pain and swelling goes down and then gradually the range of motion and strengthening around the spine are worked on – without flaring up pain. Same approach as for a sprained ankle – if that helps you to figure this out.
    we are decorating home for christmas – will have some photos on FB soon.
    Hang in there mate, praying for you. Hows YOUR pain?

    MeMock replied “Pain is fine as long s I am laying flat on my back. Anything else results in annoying pain right up to I want to die pain, it varies and can change in an instance.

    I would prefer not to have surgery but 6-8 weeks of Pysio? That would mean being in Bangkok or flying back from Australia being on my own and away from family…. doesn’t sound very appealing but if that is what needs to be done….”

  8. what the …..just saw a traction machine photo?!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY COW aint seen one of those since………………any chance you were worse after???

    MeMock replied “She used that as well as just hand manipulation and ultrasound massage. I always felt a little bit better afterwards but buy the time I went back for the net appointment I was always worse.”

  9. well me signing out check fb for anatomy 101 sure to have you chuckling!!!
    will be in touch again tommorrow,
    praying for you,

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