Example of a Medical TRV Session

"Mr. W.D./cause of current pain problem"

January 12, 1997

Monitor: Dr. John Turner

Background Information:

    Mr. W.D. is a 58 year old male who was first seen on April 10, 1996 for complaints of left leg pain, left foot numbness and weakness. He failed to respond to conservative treatment. CT on 4/11/96 scan revealed a soft tissue mass in the left lateral recess at the L4 level of the lumbar spine. MRI on 4/12/96 clearly showed an extruded disc fragment at the L4-5 disc level with cephalad migration to the left. The L5-S1 disc had a mild bulge.

    4/18/96: Left L4-5 hemilaminotomy with microdiskectomy and excision of free fragments.

    A disc bulge was palpated at L4-5 of mild to moderate degree. Since the MRI had clearly shown a superiorly migrated fragment, laminotomy was performed superiorly and several disc fragments were teased from the ventral surface of the dura. There were no fragments extending along the L5 root. The disc space was entered and only small pieces of disc material could be removed.

Post-operative course:

    Mr. W.D. improved and returned to his home state with mild persistent weakness of dorsiflexion of his left foot and residual numbness. He was reinjured when falling from a Captain's boat chair followed by a twisting injury when working in the engine compartment of his boat. Repeat MRI scanning with and without contrast agent showed scarring and extruded fragment at L4-5 and an increase in the bulge at L5-S1. His left leg pain had returned.

    12/9/96: Left L4-5 hemilaminotomy, medial facetectomy, L5 neurolysis with removal of disk fragments. Left L5-S1 hemilaminotomy and microdiskectomy.

    Considerable scar tissue was found as expected at the L5-S1 level with small fragments of disk embedded and extruded within the scar tissue. This required performing a medial facetectomy and foraminotomy to free the L5 root. At the L5-S1 level, which appeared to be transitional, a hard bulging disk was found. There were no other pertinent operative findings.

Post-operative course and inclusion of Remote Viewing:

     Following surgery, his leg pain was completely relieved. He complained of back pain during the first post-operative week. This slowly led to fluctuating leg pain, left greater than right. Some days, he would be pain free. He remained afebrile and the incision remained intact and normal in appearance.

    He was sent for physical therapy with heat, massage and ultrasound with minimal relief. Caudal epidural steroid blocks did not change his pain. On 1/11/97 he complained of bilateral anterior leg pain and bilateral calf pain. There was no evidence of deep vein thrombosis. Straight leg raising was negative.

1/12/97 Remote viewing session:

Monitor: Dr. John Turner

    The viewer perceived the origin of pain within the brain and the source of pain in the lumbar (low back) region. Stage six sketch showed a 'tubular structure' with a helical flow pattern and an obstruction to the flow by a 'reddish-brown' material. This material appeared to be of fluid consistency.

1/13/97: Examination and MRI:

    Patient was afebrile, back and incision appeared normal. Patient describes an area in the left paralumbar area that when pressed upon, would cause a radiation of pain to his left leg.

1/14/97: Repeat MRI:

    An isolated pocket of suppuration or, perhaps, cerebrospinal fluid can be seen 2 cm below the skin surface and extending to the level of the L5 nerve root. Needle aspiration yielded 4 cc of reddish brown material. The patient was taken to the operating room where a loculated area of reddish-brown pus was found as expected. Cultures showed growth of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and the patient was started on appropriate antibiotics and twice daily wound packing and irrigation. He has made a good recovery with the wound healing by second intention.


    This represents a case of post-operative infection which was a diagnostic dilemma due to atypical symptoms and a fluctuating course of shifting pain in the back and both lower extremities. The surgical incision gave no clues about the loculated deep infection. A remote viewing session focusing on anatomic features revealed obstruction of flow due to an abscess cavity which communicated with the epidural space and may have impeded normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. The RV findings did not suggest a recurrent herniated disk, but rather, a reddish-brown fluid as the etiologic agent. This was confirmed by MRI scanning, needle aspiration and surgery.

     Remote Viewing shortened the delay in diagnosis and decreased medical costs of continued physical therapy in this patient with an unusual presentation of post-operative infection. John L. Turner, M.D., F.A.C.S.