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Causes Severe Back Pain

Patient: My question is: Are there other things (besides cancer) that could explain an abnormal appearance of the bone marrow? I’m asking to get an idea of follow up questions that I need to ask the doctor. Below is what was noted in the impressions section of the MRI. 1. Diffusely abnormal appearance of the bone marrow consistent with an infiltrating bone marrow process such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or metastasis. No evidence of fracture.2. Multilevel degenerative change. (The report details disc bulges, degenerative facet joint change, mild canal stenosis, thickening of the ligamentum flavum.)The background on this patient is 69-year-old female. History of hypertension and type II diabetes. No history of cancer, but father had prostate cancer. Currently complaining of severe back pain and difficulty sitting, standing, and walking. Reports feeling hot and sweaty recently. Was taken to the ER twice in past month for pain. CBC was done in ER 2-3 weeks ago. Patient was not advised of any concerns, was referred to physical therapy to address back pain.


Symptoms: Difficulty walking, sitting, or standing. Body feels very warm (all over, not just back) and sweaty.

Doctor: HelloThank you for posting your query on ATD.I have gone through your query and understand your concern. It is ver y sorry to know about bone marrow infiltration on MRI. It has been suspected to be multiple myeloma, lymphoma and metastasis.You wanted to know about noncancerous causes of bone marrow infiltration. Some storage disease such as Gaucher’s disease, fatty bone marrow infiltration, myelofibrosis, marrow infiltration disorders such as hemochromatosis and myeloproliferative disease are other noncancerous causes of bone marrow infiltration. In these also bone marrow appear abnormal.Hope your query get answered.Wishing you a good health.Take care.


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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