Re: can anyone help me interpret this MRI report the doc gave me?
Welcome to the board. I'll take a stab at it, but bear in mind none of us have professional medical training, so comments are just based on personal experience....Also, there aren't that many people with thoracic issues, including myself, so it is an area I only have limited knowledge of.
The thoracic area is more difficult to deal with due to its location. It is not designed to move, so it is much more attached to the skeleton than either the lumbar or cervical areas.
Your report indicates that there are some wedge compression deformities at three vertebral levels -- T6, T7 and T8. A compression deformity is a type of fracture of the vertebra that can be caused by injury, or a vertebra that is already weakened from something like osteoporosis or degeneration. It is a collapse of the vertebra and usually occurs on the anterior side of the spine (toward your chest wall) rather than the posterior side. The result is a wedge shaped vertebra. The bone doesn't actually break, but it is crushed on that anterior side. (If the bone completely breaks, it is considered a fracture.)
This crush can range from very moderate, which doesn't cause pain or problems, to severe, where the patient may be in a great deal of pain....If the crush is severe, it can cause a physical deformity at that point in the spine. Sometimes people will be bent over as a result of a wedge compression fracture (deformity).
Apparently you had a chest x-ray previously which showed the fracture at T8...but the ones at T7 and T6 were not apparent on the chest x-ray. The good news is that these are all described as mild except for T6 which is worse, and described as moderate to severe.
These deformities are on the anterior end of the vertebrae. The posterior elements appear intact...meaning OK...and the best news is that none of this is pushing into the neural canal. The central canal is where the spinal cord is located, and which carries all the nerves to and from the brain....When something happens that pushes into the neural canal, it can really be a cause for concern...so this is good news.
The hemangioma is a small, benign tumor that usually doesn't cause any problems...he mentions it as an incidental finding...meaning he saw it, but it doesn't have any bearing on the reason why you were given the MRI.
These compression deformities can be treated in a variety of ways. Did your doctor make any recommendations?
I hope this helps...it is a very basic, "un-medical" attempt to help you understand the radiology report.
Please post with any comments or questions. We have a nice community of helpful folks on this board.
Last edited by teteri66; 06-15-2011 at 12:21 PM.