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  • zlwalker
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    Dr. Corenman,

    I have a quick question for you. I wrote here earlier about my thoracic microdiscectomy, and I recently received my MRI results. My doctor said that everything looks great. However, on the MRI, it said that I had a disc bulge. Is that normal after a microdiscectomy? If so, will it heal over time? I put the MRI findings below:

    Thoracic cord: The cord is intrinsically unremarkable without intrinsic signal change or syrinx. There is flattening of the thoracic cord at the T11-T12 level as described below.

    Disc spaces: There is a persistent asymmetric broad-based disc bulge, right greater than left, at the T11-T12 level. This produces mass effect on the ventral portion of the thoracic cord and moderately narrows the central canal. Previously noted epidural disc material is improved when compared to the prior exam particularly in the right lateral recess when compared between the prior study (axial image 61) and the current exam (axial image 24). There is post surgical change at this level from a right laminotomy. The remainder of the disc spaces are preserved.

    Thank you for your advice! I am hoping that it looks good!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8465

    Disc bulges after a microdiscectomy are not uncommon. The report notes continued cord deformity but there is no discussion of the degree of stenosis (narrowing). That is, is there CSF around the cord at that level or not? “Moderate narrowing” is not descriptive enough. I assume you are having continued symptoms or you would not have had a post-operative MRI.

    Dr. Corenman

    zlwalker
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    Dr. Corenman,

    I don’t know if there is any CSF around that level or not. My surgeon called on Friday and noted that the MRI looked good, but he said there was some granular material still in the cord area. My surgeon also noted that when he viewed the MRI, there was a clear amount of decompression on the MRI. The term “cord deformity” certainly scares me, though; it makes me feel as if the surgery was not successful.

    I got the MRI because I am showing minor symptoms afterwards. Many of my symptoms have diminished considerably, but they thought it would be appropriate to get one because I fell two days after my surgery.

    Thanks for responding to my question!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8465

    Mild cord deformation is acceptable if there is room in the canal for cerebrospinal fluid. If the canal does not have CSF noted at least on one side of the cord, stenosis remains.

    Dr. Corenman

    zlwalker
    Participant
    Post count: 31

    Dr. Corenman,

    Thank you for your response and thoughts. It is super helpful as it will allow me to have informed conversations with my doctor.

    One other small question: Every week, I seem to get these pins and needles/burning sensation feeling in my right foot; these feelings typically go away after a day, though, and they almost always correlate with some type of other feeling coming back where it was gone before in terms of numbness/loss of feeling. However, it is just strange that I have these feelings as I never had them before my surgery. Is this just apart of the healing process as my nerves are coming back, or should I be concerned that this is something more concerning?

    Thanks!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8465

    Most likely, this is part of the healing process as long as these sensation don’t occur consistently with any particular type of back motion such as extension.

    Dr. Corenman

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