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Thread: MRI's "normal".

  1. #1

    Default MRI's "normal".

    I've been through the ringer. Cystoscopy, attempted uro dynamics (I couldn't be cathed due to the pain), MRI's. How can a MRI ce back normal yet I'm still incont AND my legs will just drop out as if they are not there at times? I have constant lower back pain too. I just don't get it. Is it possible my neurologist isn't doing her job right? Am I and odd case?

  2. #2


    This sounds very familiar, I had similar results for a few years. After 6 MRI sessions, nerve conduction tests, and 4 lumber punches i was finally told I had MS. I was 45 at the time. Fortunately it is non progressive but i do have some days where its best to stay in bed! I was told they are very reluctant to diagnose MS until they are 100% sure. Good luck with it as they say sometimes no news can be good news. Not sure where you are but i am in the Uk.

  3. #3


    I am fecally inco. All of my tests came back normal. Turns out I have IBS and I am allergic to fiber. The only thing scopes revealed was agitation. They ran me through the ringer for two years before telling me. This included having me eat massive amounts of fiber which made it all worse. Medical science isn't the most exact thing as everyone's body is different.

  4. #4


    thats odd that it would come back normal, it sounds like you are having some sort of nerve problem, do you have any spinal issues because it could be something is pinched or severed?

  5. #5


    Medical practices are not an exact science like gravity. They cannot always do one test and declare a definitive answer. An x-ray may not reveal small bone cracks. MRIs again may only show so much. CT scans may have "artifacts" (image glitch, not a real problem) and extraneous (worthless, not related) findings. Different images may be taken with "contrast" (chemicals to color specific things). What doctors must do is use the tools available to them to solve the puzzle you brought them. They start with the easy and life-threatening possiblible answers first, and then work toward the real answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merp View Post
    How can a MRI ce back normal yet I'm still incont AND my legs will just drop out as if they are not there at times? I have constant lower back pain too. I just don't get it. Is it possible my neurologist isn't doing her job right? Am I and odd case?
    Your neurologist has a complicated job; worst of all doctors for how hard it is to treat. A skin doctor can visually look, prescribe treatment, and be done in under 15 minutes in most cases. I had to see one 3 times for an issue; once to see it, once to cut it out, and once to follow-up. My neurologist kept trying to figure out why I had headaches and what treatment to perform for nearly a year before figuring out a solution. Is your doctor asking you questions and looking for answers? If so, the doctor is treating you right. Going to a new doctor resets the process and could delay the answer. Finding a doctor better prepared to find your answer may help. You could even ask your doctor if there is someone better to help you. I have and stayed with the current doctor over half the time.

    I have lost count of how many images of my head and abdomen have been taken. During one CT scan, my bladder wall was noted as "thickened" and that yielded a month of further tests and images. The end result: a urologist determined my bladder was fine. The "thickening" was actually normal for my bladder capacity given caffeine use and the frequency of going was due to drinking over a gallon of water per day with about half as much coffee and soda. For my severe abdominal pain, I was bounced between doctors who all said "not my issue." Every doctor told me that they could see no reason for me to be having any pain there and was not helping me with the pain. During this same time, the neurologist was also looking for the source of my headaches. Also, other doctors were looking at another issue. They ran every blood test they thought possible and also did brain scans with contrasts. Of all the tests and images, everything came back normal. My blood heavy metal content, lead levels, and mercury levels were all well within safe levels. Did I mention they tested everything? The abdominal pain is two nerves that were tweaked and sending pain signals without a reason. To figure this out, a doctor eventually injected a numbing solution directly into the nerves in question. The headaches are daily headache syndrome; no know cause or cure. Medication helps.

    When results come back normal, think of it as a blessing. This is ruling out possible problem and guiding the doctor toward the real answer. On one hand, we want the doctor to find the issue on the first test so we do no have to wait. However, a bad result such as an MRI scan reveals major issues likely to require major surgery and surgery on nerves is nerve wracking to neurosurgeons. I know how frustrating it can be to hear "normal" when knowing something isn't. Just remember, it is the test result being seen as normal; the doctor knows something is not and is searching to find it. May you find it soon.

  6. #6


    I currently have a slight budge on L2 and L3 that showed up on a new MRI. I have a past with my back. I was a mover for years and blew out my back sitting in a floor and pushing a 600lb box with my legs and my back to a wall. That was over 10 years ago. I had cat scans and Maria back them that showed problems from L5 to L2. I didn't have incontinence problems back then other than bed wetting, just a ton of pain.
    Since then my legs will sometimes drop out from under me (embarrassing and I play it off as a joke) at times, and I will some times get a numb tingly feeling on my thighs. Every once in a while I will have fecal incont but it usually happens in my sleep which is really odd. I do toss and turn a lot on my sleep and I also sleep walk.

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    Another thing is that my wife also thinks that it all could be psychological but I don't want to be out and about in a diaper. There are times when I really need to wear normal underwear but can't so I'm not sure if it could be psychological.

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    Also I hate having to wear to work and change here.

  7. #7


    I understand the frustration that comes from not getting a solid answer about what you have going on. I've dealt with bladder troubles pretty much my whole life without getting a good solid answer about it. 'Neurogenic bladder' has basically been the limit of my diagnosis, somewhat of a catch-all for 'we think it's neurological in nature' without being able to go in and get better answers. Sometimes, trying to find an answer can be more damaging to your body than the problem you face now, so you have to live with it.

    I've had MRI's, and all other sorts of scans done on bladder, kidneys, and also my head (I've got serious cluster headache issues) and had them all come back as 'normal'. All it really means is that there isn't some big, glaring thing staring out at the doctors that explains all of your troubles in an instant and they have to dig deeper. Personally, I can live with my bladder troubles, my headaches are the worst thing I fight in my life and I'll gladly deal with needing diapers (which is somewhat hidden) over a headache that can send me to the ER.

    You are your best advocate, don't give up if you feel you don't have a diagnosis or if your doctor is shoe-horning you into a diagnosis that you don't think fits. I fought with cluster headaches for a couple years before I really got information that showed to me they were cluster headaches, from there I was finally able to start getting appropriate treatment. Even with that, it took going to the top doc in the world to get it straightened out.

  8. #8


    hi when you say you have constant lower back pain is it like a pressure pain , you have many of the same problems I have.
    mri came back normal, and your saying your legs drop out I eventually saw a neurologist, and have hereditary spastic paraplegia.
    it means I have longer nerves which can damage, its very rare and not a lot of people know about it it might be worth checking out it causes myself urine incontinence I self cath and wear nappies 24/7 .

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