Above are two MRI images. The left image was taken on May 8, 2014. The right was taken today, July 22, 2014. They are both the same view of my lumbar spine. See the last thick black line (disc) on each one? On the right hand side of that each disc there is a dark bubble the sticks out just above the cursor on each image. On the left-hand image, it was a 100% confirmed herniated disc on which I had a microdiscectomy surgery on May 30th. I enjoyed 5 blissful, pain-free weeks....and then, the sciatic nerve pain came roaring back which led the surgeon to prescribe a pack of oral steroids, which didn't help at all and then led to a repeat mri.
And so today I had the second mri. The office was running behind anyway and then, in between the first set of images with no contrast dye (lasting about 25 minutes) and getting the injection of contrast, the mri machine broke. I was already about at my pain threshold from having to lay flat on my back with my legs fully stretched out, which really causes the nerve pain to flare, and NOT MOVE AT ALL. Then I sat in the tube for another 10 minutes, perfectly still only to learn that the machine wasn't working. They fiddled with it, tried again and a minute or so later told me that it would have to be completely rebooted, which I now know takes at least 10 minutes, possibly 15. It did eventually start working again and 10 minutes later, I finally was able to sit up and get some relief. I also wised up this time and asked for copies of the images and the radiologist's report. I'm still waiting on the report, but I'm going to play amateur radiologist and compare the two images for you.
In my completely uneducated (and unpaid) opinion, I think the last disc has re-herniated based on the fact that the dark bubble is in the exact same place as before and seems to be almost as large. Now the other possibility I suppose could be that what I'm seeing is scar tissue from surgery or something like that, but given the fact that the re-herniation rate after my surgery is 5-15% and the biggest post-op complication.....I'm thinking based on my symptoms (which are admittedly not as bad this time, but still pretty painful) that a re-herniation is very likely. I should have the official report hopefully by the end of the week.
Can I just say, I grow weary of this! Prayers are once again appreciated.