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  • nd001
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    Can an MRI not show a compressed or irritated nerve even though subject has low back pain in that they cannot bend down to touch toes or bend back without severe pain, and also has worsening sciatica with leg weakness and numbness?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8652

    Not all nerve pain disorders originate from nerve compression. There are other disorders (mononeuritis, Lyme disease, peripheral neuropathy, entrapment neuropathy among others) that can cause the symptoms you describe.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    nd001
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Thank you for the quick response.
    So if there was jerking trauma like in an accident that jarred the subject and caused these symptoms the MRI not finding anything would still be the norm even with these symptoms, I guess what I am asking is a MRI foolproof in finding a compressed nerve or irritated nerve, and if it doesn’t that means there is definitely no nerve compression of the spine causing these symptoms?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8652

    No MRI is foolproof but it would be rare to have a relatively normal MRI that misses some compressive lesion. The instances that I have seen an MRI miss a herniation is with a recurrent herniation where the scar “hides” the new herniation. I have seen radiologists miss far-lateral herniations and pars fractures on their readings in which these disorders can cause radiculopathy. Also, a stretch radiculopathy will not show up on an MRI.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    nd001
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Thank you for the clarification, it was helpful.

    nd001
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I have an update and now I am really worried and upset. I had an emg study done they found nothing going on with my nerves except a fair response from the vastus medialis but my left leg is weak and I cannot lift my leg up with my leg straight out and up while standing no matter how hard I try, I have loss the range of motion and strength in it. I also have numbness and pain that travels to groin area sometimes. I still have constant lower back pain with pricking pinching feelings and cannot bend over without pain cannot bend enough to touch my toes, bending backwards also hurts, I have popping sound in lower back at times, I have numbness in leg at times with pricking feelings and pain traveling down my leg at times and the pain even went to my big toe a few times. I feel overwhelmed because I don’t know what is going on. This has been going on for over 3 months now. When I went to Physical Therapy the Physical Therapist stated he thinks it is a pinched nerve in my lower spine but the emg test stated different. Also the meds they gave me don’t work I have tried flexeril, Prednisone, Robaxin, Neurontin they do nothing for my symptoms. I am stressed out from this.

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