What is a Lesion??

Hi All

This is my first post on the Forum and would just like to ask the community what is a Lesion? Been unwell for a while and backwards and forwards to GP with various symptoms and getting no where (everything was put down to stress), however I saw a lovely nurse practitioner who listened and she referred me to a Rheumatologist due to joint pain, back pain, horrendous shoulder and rib pain etc and had an MRI which showed no inflammatory arthritis but a lesion on my spine in the thoracic region and had a CT scan done but still waiting to hear regards this.

I know a bit about MS due to my brother, grandfather and 2 uncles having it on my dad’s side and obviously I am a bit worried about this lesion and could this indicate MS - do the lesions need to be in a specific location on your spine for it to be MS? I have pins and needles, vertigo (I fell a couple of weeks ago), sore itchy palms and feet, I did have one episode of double vision in the summer and horrendous zaps in my head a week later but GP said it was probably a one off and caused by stress, even though I keep saying I am not stressed!

I just want to make sure I have the correct information when attending appointments at the hospital and would the rheumatologist refer me to neurologist or back to my GP to do it? I know i have initially thought of MS but the lesion could be anything I suppose!!

Thanks for your time Julie

Hi Julie

I assume that the MRI was of your spine only? I’m not sure where a lesion needs to be for MS, but a neurologist would typically MRI your brain or your brain plus cervical spine. So they look at the MRI completely differently than a rheumatologist.

In other words, having a lesion somewhere on the thoracic region of your spine might have relevance to MS, or might not.

In your position, I’d be tempted to go to your GP and ask for a referral to a neurologist rather than wait and see whether the rheumatologist does it.

Your family history of MS is relevant. Having a lot of family members with MS (particularly a brother) makes you a bit more likely than otherwise to have MS, but it’s still not definitive that you’d get it. Have a look at This shows the relative likelihood of getting MS depending on who else in your family has it.

And of course, you have had some symptoms that could relate.

So it’s certainly worth seeing a neurologist. But even with all of this, it could still not indicate that you have MS. Hopefully not.


Hi Sue

Thanks for the reply I have made an appointment with my GP for tomorrow to ask for a referral and to discuss the situation as the letter from the rheumatologist just stated a lesion in the thoracic area of the spine and CT is to check if further management or treatment is needed. I understand that you get very little info until all the tests are done but a little explanation would of been helpful and of course the rheumatologist as you say looks at things differently.


The difference between CT and MRI is that a CT uses x-rays to take slices of what it images. An MRI is magnetism so strong that anyone with a pacemaker is not allowed in the same building; as it may stop it working. An MRI is far superior.

If you want to know about brain and spine read the wonderful Rizzo’s post

A lesion is inflammation of that area; only small.

Good luck