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Old 04-13-2005, 08:12 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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lee6kids HB User
need help understanding mri results please

Hi I had a spinal Mri in feb and have just got my results back was wondering if someone could help interprate them for me. My doctor is away for 2 months.
There is mild interverterbral disc space narrowing with some dessication at t6/7. In addition there is a disc herniation here. On the axial scans at this level there is a central and slightly left para-central focal disc protusion which compresses the anterior aspect of the thecal sac.

This dosent make much sense to me at all so any help would be greatly appreciated


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Old 04-13-2005, 11:54 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Losy HB User
Question Re: need help understanding mri results please

Im not a dr but have learnt that terms like disc prtusin and or herniation r not what you want to read. Having said that the extent of the problem depends on the extent of presure on the s1 nerve root and or the extent of narrowing of the thecal sac - what symptoms r u experiencing and when dou next c your specialist

Cant help re dessication


Old 04-14-2005, 12:16 AM   #3
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Bionicwan HB User
Re: need help understanding mri results please

Disc Dessication Basically Means:

That the disc(s) involved have lost some of their physical size and dimensions due to a "drying out" of the disc(s) noted by the report. The discs can lose some of their moisture content which can lead to a slight shrinking of the discs....this translates into decreased disc height, which can cause a closer clearance between the vertabra, as well as possible nerve compression due to the loss of space. The discs normally serve to cushion the gap between the vertabra, allowing for smooth movement, as well as maintaining the proper clearance for the nerves and spinal cord....disc dessication can possibly lead to trouble down the road in some cases. Try not to worry and hopefully your Dr will be back sooner, it's a shame you have to wait 2 months! The waiting can be a very anxious time.

Please keep us posted

Old 04-14-2005, 01:27 AM   #4
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lee6kids HB User
Re: need help understanding mri results please

Hi thankyou for your prompt reply.
I will start at the start when I first started getting terriable headaches and a very stiff neck and upper back 7 years ago at only 23. Back then I seen a neurologist and he orderd a mri of my cervical spine which only showed some narrowing of the spinal cavity.
Since then I have been in alot of pain with headaches and at one stage my arm wernt numb and lost half its movement for 2 months. My upper back between my shoulders also caused me alot of grief.
About a year ago I seemed to get really bad and the pain was basically from my head to my toes. It sometimes is like electric shocks running through my body. I get very tired and feel very nausious alot of the time. I usally sleep at some stage during the day. Travelling in the car is horriable as by the time I get home I am feeling really sore.
I cant lift my arms above my head without them going dead after a short time.
I also developed bladder problems in the last nine months where I cant relieve myself and have had to learn to caterterise. My bladder and kidneys have been checked and are healthy.
The reason I had the mri done was because they suspected MS, But I do not have it which is really good.
So I have been like this for quite a few years just being fobbed off as a nerotic person that can't handle pain.
I am being seen by the pain clinic that is who I am waiting on to come back from holiday but there has been nothing said about seeing a specialist. Do you think I need to see one and what type of specialist.
I don't really know anything about back disorders and was wondering if my symptoms could be caused by this.
Thankyou very much

Last edited by lee6kids; 04-14-2005 at 01:38 AM.

Old 04-14-2005, 01:39 AM   #5
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Bionicwan HB User
Re: need help understanding mri results please


it's early and perhaps I missed something in your post....

are you currently ONLY being seen by a pain management doc? is this who ordered your MRI? and the last MRI you had was 7 yrs ago? Has the doc your seeing now ordered any x-rays prior this current MRI?

I absolutely think you need to be evaluated by a Neurosurgeon or an Ortho who specializes in spines (either type doc will do but, MAKE SURE they have a spine fellowship) your need some studies done asap - sounds like you have some issues going on that need attention sooner than later - the "electric shock" symptom screams impinged nerve!

please get with a doc as soon as you can and see what they think.

Last edited by Bionicwan; 04-14-2005 at 01:40 AM.

Old 04-15-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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lee6kids HB User
Re: need help understanding mri results please

Hi bionicwitch
Yes I am only being seen by a pain doctor and my normal gp. The pain clinic doctor ordered my MRI and yes my last MRI was of my cervical spine only 7 years ago. No I have had no other xrays done prior to this MRI. I think the doctors thought That I was just a hypocondriac and need physicatric help. I got a copy of my medical notes recently and written on the front was, watch this patient with narcotics. Inplying As if I am a drug adict.
I was seen by a nurologist to see if I might have Multiple sclerosis but he said that I don't and then I haven't seen him again. I think he was a MS specialist not a spine specialist.
I am trying to be patient with the medical system but everything seems to take ages.
Thankyou for your help I will talk to my gp about seeing a orthapedic surgeon.
Could you please explain what an impinged nerve is.
Once again thankyou for all your help.

Old 04-15-2005, 03:52 PM   #7
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Bionicwan HB User
Re: need help understanding mri results please

Hi Lee,

Impinged is just another word for "pinched" (nerve) - If you haven't already you really should begin doing some searching on the internet and read about this and it's symptoms.

I'm not saying this is what you have - I'm just saying you have similar symtoms.

I'm glad your considering seeing an Ortho Dr perhaps your GP could refer you to one.
Don't worry about what Dr's "Label you" if your in pain, you know if you are they don't!

I hope your able to get an appointment with a specialist an Ortho will be fine just MAKE SURE he specializes in the spine!

I wish you well and please keep us posted

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