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Old 12-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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Need help understanding MRI results

Can someone please tell me in terms that are easy to understand my condition. I have severe pain in my neck and upper back (spine). My doctor only said I have arthritis and bone spurs. The MRI seems like there is alot more said than that but I dont understand it and doctor was not very helpful... I will copy and paste my results below. Thanks


Technique: The following MR sequences of the cervical spine were
performed without contrast:
Sagittal T1, T2, STIR, axial T2, 2-D merge

Findings:

Cervical spine alignment is normal. There is mild C6-C7 and C7-T1
disk height loss.

No Chiari malformation. Visualized posterior fossa is normal. No
cord signal abnormality.

Axial morphology:
C2-C3: No disc herniation. No thecal sac or neural foraminal
narrowing.
C3-C4: Mild posterior disk osteophyte complex. No thecal sac or
neural foraminal narrowing.
C4-C5: No disc herniation. No thecal sac or neural foraminal
narrowing.
C5-C6: Left paracentral/foraminal disk osteophyte complex. No
thecal sac or neural foraminal narrowing.
C6-C7: Moderate right paracentral disk osteophyte
complex/uncovertebral joint osteophyte causes mild anterior thecal
sac narrowing and mild flattening of the right anterior cord. No
cord signal abnormality. No neural foraminal narrowing.
C7-T1: Small right paracentral disk osteophyte complex/uncovertebral
joint osteophyte causes minimal right anterior cord flattening and
mild anterior thecal sac narrowing. No neural foraminal narrowing.

 
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:30 AM   #2
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greeneyedtbone HB User
Re: Need help understanding MRI results

I, personally, hate it when the doctor only tells you you have arthritis and not what all the technical jargon means. I don't fully understand everything in the findings, but it does seem to all lead up to moderate to severe arthritis. The "osteophytes" are probably the bone spurs. I didn't see mention of disc degeneration, which is usually a dead give away of the arthritis. Most of the problem seems to be in the lower cervical region, though you may have pain higher due to muscle fatigue. It also appears that the bone spurs and facet changes in the lower cervical are putting more pressure on your nerves, which could cause inflammation and most definitely pain. The good news is that it says that there is no reduction in the performance of the nerves.

What is the doctor suggesting you do? I would also find a way to get the doctor to explain the results to me in a way I could understand. Don't be afraid to ask. Otherwise, they won't tell you.

Hope this helps!

 
Old 12-23-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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Re: Need help understanding MRI results

The important thing to look for in the cervical region is whether something is pushing into the thecal sac. You will note on your report in each level it says "No thecal sac or neural foraminal narrowing." The thecal sac is a membrane that surrounds the spinal cord and contains spinal fluid. When it is compressed, it can result in pain, weakness and even loss of movement in a limb. It is a highly innervated area of the body.

The bone spurs (Osteophytes) that are mentioned is a sign of arthritis. I concur with what the other poster said. There is nothing that jumps out as being terribly out of the ordinary...but that doesn't address you level of pain. You will want to ask the doctor what treatment he recommends to help you deal with the pain. Sometimes a course of physical therapy will help in that regard.

 
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