In 2003 I was diagnosed with an atypical hemangioma of the L4 vertebra, mild disc desiccation of L5-S1 and a synovial cyst of the left L3-L4 facets. I recently started having severe pain and had a new MRI. My doctor says my back is fine. All of these problems have disappeared. My question is: Can a hemangioma just disappear and what is the difference between a typical hemangioma and an atypical hemangioma? Thank you.
Hemagniomas are very common (mostly) benign lesions found everywhere but often in the vertebral bodies. They are usually of no clinical significance beyond an interesting radiologic finding. Your story is interesting as your 2003 scan notes a hemangioma and also signs of degenerative spine disease. What do you mean by problems have disappeared? You mean that the MRI is now normal. That is a bit strange. Hemangiomas can grown and shrink ... it would be atypical to go away totally, too. Usually, atypia just means that it doesn't look classic on MR findings - a bit odd compared to normal - without a tissues diagnosis, its a radiological diagnosis. But again, hemangiomas usually don't cause back pain unless they are growing and/or malignant.
My current MRI does not show any problems according to the radiology report. My doctor says my disc has repaired itself and that the synovial cyst and hemangioma are no longer there. He says that sometimes in young patients (I am 30) that the discs can repair themselves. I also have a pars defect that was found on x-ray but did not show on either of my MRI's. I just found it strange that although my pain is worse all of my problems seem to have disappeared. I guess it would not hurt to get a copy of my MRI and have someone else take a look at it.
Also, I do have Charcot Marie Tooth disease which is a hereditary motor & sensory neuropathy and I have also had an EMG performed on my back in which all the paraspinal nerves tested were damaged and I was diagnosed with polyradiculopathy. I though this might help explain things a little better. Thank you for your time.
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