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Old 08-21-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
calypso12 calypso12 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Help understanding neck x-ray & MRI

Hi,
I was hoping you could give me some input regarding my x-ray and mri of neck.
Iíve had severe chronic pain for more than 3 years. Much of that time, itís been constant and incapacitating. Iíve seen many specialists and had a gazillion tests. I did get a dx of fibro which it may or may not be. Iíve tried dozens of intervention and medications to treat the pain. currently on 75 mcg Fentanyl + breathru.

Symptoms:
Severe constant pain inside my neck. cramping, gnawing sometimes burning.
Pain in back or side of neck that affects mobility
Severe headaches starts with pain in back of neck, pain extends to back of head
Pain in shoulders and arms. (x-ray shoulders was fine). I have very little use of arms. Pain is exacerbated with simple movements, reaching and turning arms. Sometimes simple movements result in blood curdling screams. Pain is in lower and upper arms. Itís worse in bicep area. Painful muscle spasms in upper arm. Sometimes movement of arm that results in tremendous pain makes arm unusable for hours. Itís limp, hold arm against body and canít open hand. Many times, I canít use/extend upper arms. Iím like a penguin hold arms against body. Deep muscle pain in arm and sometimes zapping fleeting pain.
Pain in lower legs, deep muscle pain. sometimes cramp in calf.
Sometimes, I have trouble walking due to cramp in leg or difficulty lifting feet or I drag one leg. Most of the time walking is ok except that I may get pain in a leg while walking.

Hyperreflexia and clonus in leg. No clonus ankle. Sometimes I canít stand on heels or tap foot. This is intermittent. Most of the time I can. (Iíve had mri of back which is fine).

The rheumatologist I see says unequivocally that the pain in my arm/shoulder neck is due to cervical ddd and cervical radiculopathy.

While this makes sense based on my symptoms Iím not sure the imaging supports that.

X-Ray Cervical Spine, 4/2012
Severe degenerative disk disease at C5-6 with the space narrowing and anterior ossified formation. Some neural foraminal impingement on the left at C5-6.

MRI, 5/2012
Study is limited by extensive motion artifact. The technologist reported that the patient was unable to hold still.
There is cervical spondylosis with degenerative disk changes greatest at C5-6 and C6-7.
At the levels of C1 through C4 no significant canal stenosis is seen. Spinal cord detail is poorly defined but there is no evidence of significant cord impingement.
At C5-6 there is decreased height of the disk space with the small posterior disk-osteophyte complex. There is slight effacement of the anterior thecal sac and again no significant cord compression. The neuroforamen are not satisfactorily defined on this exam however, correlation with plain film study from 4/12/2012) revealed at least mild bony left-sided neuroforaminal narrowing at C5-6 level.
At C6-7 there is mild disk desiccation with slight decrease height of the disk space. No significant stenois or cord impingement is seen.

Degenerative disk changes predominately at the levels of C5-6 and C6-7.
Examination is severely limited due to extensive motion artifact.

I did move during exam as I was in pain. Was exhaling thru mouth.

Do I have pinched nerve? My understanding is that x-ray reveals yes but mri no?
It seems like imaging results are not that significant??

The pain in my neck, shoulders and arms is severe and debilitating. Itís extremely painful to use my arms reach for something, open a door etc.

Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much.