Compression fracture or not?

I went to the doctor after I did something to my back that I knew was bad. I felt a bad twinge and sure enough the next day or two was the weekend and was horrible for pain. I went to the doc (a back doc) and he did xrays which showed a compression fracture of L4. That was a year ago February. ( I have osteoporosis bad from chemo/radiation treatments) Then in January of this year it said I still had the compression fracture and it wasn't healing.

The pain didn't get better. The pain got worse in another area. I went to a doctor I thought I could trust and he did an MRI and said I didn't even have a compression fracture and that there was a small cyst there and there wasn't enough room for the nerves to travel through the center of one bone and that was causing my pain and he said I should be more active and get off my pain meds (from cancer treatment) and that endorphins would be the best idea for the pain. So, is he right? Can the xrays both be wrong? That part doesn't hurt much now but it is another part that does.

Thank you for listening to my drivel...DaphPet

8 Replies

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  • Oh dear, I didn't explain it very good. The L4 is better but other bones are really bad...sigh....I am so tired of the pain. There is pain all day and most of the night and it is getting old. Sorry...

    DaphPet

  • Diff doctors look at X-rays in diff ways. But X-ray must have shown something about L4.

    MRI's usually show a lot more.

    I find it hurtful when docs suggest exercises as there is so little one can do when in pain. Have they ever been in pain 20/7 hours of the day? And it is certainly not helpful. Think a second opinion maybe a good idea. If only to find out more about this cyst. Can you manage any walking as that is good exercise.

  • THANK YOU Rosepetal60...You seem to understand and so appreciate that! You see they want to do a nerve block and they tried that for WEEKS for the damage that I had from radiation treatment (breast cancer) and the pain didn't stop...they DON'T UNDERSTAND!!! It makes me cry...and I am still upset. Thank YOU SO MUCH Rosepetal60!

    And they DID show me the xray & my compression fracture and I have lost 3/4 of an inch since it happened. He said it is old age...oh well I have lived with pain since cancer treatments. it is wearing...sorry to be so down. Thank you again!

    Sherri (DaphPet)

  • They can repair your u healed compression fracture

  • Thank you for your lovely reply. It makes it worth posting from the heart.

    If they say it's an age thing. Then in my opinion, they know not. I have been told over many years, it's an age thing.or something similar. From the age of 9 years, ( knee pain is growing pain) at 22 years is Glandual fever, 34 years is because you are pregnant, and so on.

    Well in my situation, I have resisted nerve blocks, but instead went for trigger point , which turned out to be a bad mistake. I'm still living and learning. If asked how I am, I'm chugging along.

    thing to think about is treating yourself. Even if it just a little thing to start with such as a cream cake or fave bar of chocolate. Later , well later the item is non edible, perhaps an item of new clothing when it used to be 2nd hand. Takes some doing if not used to it. Best wishes and good luck.

  • Its always difficult to interpret imaging, though MRIs are usually a bit more detailed than an xray. Its also possible that an MRI can miss things seen on xrays, partly because the images of an MRI are taken at about 1/4 inch "slices", so it won't show what is happening between those slices. At least you know there are a couple of possible reasons for your pain - either the compression fracture or the cyst, or both.

    As far as going off your pain meds goes, I can say from experience that even though I didn't think it would work, going off maximum doses of codeine didn't actually increase my pain levels - and it did almost seem that the more opiate pain relief I took, the worse my pain levels were. Natural endorphins may not knock every last bit of pain, but I have found that I can use non-drug methods of pain relief that will reduce pain enough that I can cope. I feel an awful lot better for not taking the heavy pain meds that really did fog my brain and alter my mood, and I am OK about accepting that sometimes I do just have to live with pain if I don't want to be in a perpetually drugged state. Have to say though that it really wasn't a conscious decision to go off the opiates - I got really sick with a nasty flu and had several days where I couldn't eat anything, and couldn't take my pain meds, suffered quite badly with withdrawals, and then decided there was no way I'd go back on them again. Not the best way to get off the things,but the end result has been good.

  • I went off of mine without trying the same way, severe dehydration last year and went through withdrawal but the 'pain' came back the way it was before I had started taking them. It is a long story but I found that I was actually having the pain 'under control' and managed. I like that a lot better than that awful pain which I can't handle. But I do appreciate your reply. This is rather neat!

    Thank you so much!

  • As it happens, I found my body couldn't tolerate pain meds over time and got myself off them. Had problems with fluid retention and pricking pins and needles all over body. Scary at the time as my then GP did not believe me. Plus with nearly zero energy. I was either in bed or with feet up on the sofa. Well after a bit I saw a highly qualified and experienced Traditional Chinese Acupuncturist and I gradually came back to the land of the living.

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