… and many of those changes we see on MRIs or X-rays don’t necessarily require treatment of surgery. Many of us will develop tears of various structures as a normal consequence of aging, our activity or even our genetics.
Many of these degenerative tears or issues can be safely observed with out worry about further degeneration or suffering. Unfortunately, many people are told they need surgery simply because “a tear” was found on an MRI. If your complaints are not put in proper context following an appropriate physical examination –then you may not need surgery — most don’t. Most degenerative issues present themselves as a *quality of life* issue. That simply means that if you have pain, that pain is severe, and it is limiting your quality of life —and your pain fails to improve with non-surgical treatment — then you might want to consider surgery, if your surgeon feels that your goals and expectations are realistic given the findings on the study.
Take home message : Not all abnormal MRI findings are truly abnormal… most are a consequence of aging or our lifestyle. Not all findings on MRIs require treatment. Keep this in mind when discussing your options with your surgeon.