Re: Mri readings of the lower back
Welcome to the board. There is another board on this forum called the "Spinal Cord Disorders" board where you might like to also post. Most of the cervical spineys hang out there...but I can give you a general idea about your MRI.
First, two things. Members are not doctors but share information based on their own personal experiences. Keep that in mind as you read comments. #2. MRIs are just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The doctor will corelate these findings with the results of a physical exam, a basic neurologic exam and whatever you can tell him about symptoms you are experiencing, and your oral history to determine a diagnosis for you.
Sometimes something on a MRI will look like a very serious condition, but in reality it isn't causing the patient any pain, and conversely, sometimes something that doesn't look at all important can actually be causing lots of pain.
You may have carpal tunnel syndrome, but you also have a cervical disc issue that could be responsible for the tingling and numbness you are feeling in your hands.
As the report notes, you have some bulging discs in your neck. One is probably responsible for the pain and numbness, the one located between the cervical 6 and cervical 7 vertebrae. It is creating a large bulge that is extending out into the central canal and also into the foramina on both sides. This causes stenosis, which means a narrowing. The foramina are openings where the nerves exit the spine. Space is already at a premium in the cervical area, so when anything other than nerves is competing for that space, the nerve ends up getting compressed. When the nerve is compressed or pinched, it causes the pain that can radiate out to a limb.
You can check a dermatome map to see the route that the C-6 and C-7 nerves conduct signals...and you will see that these nerves innervate the hands and fingers.
The radiology report describes this as a "large" disc herniation and goes on to say that the bulge is causing "moderate" stenosis. Generally speaking, surgery isn't necessary until the description is for "severe" stenosis...but your doctor will corelate his findings to make that determination.
If there is enough space that the nerve is not being compromised, conservative treatments will first be tried. These can include physical therapy, medication and steroid injections. Sometimes these modalities are enough to cause the herniation to shrink enough that the nerve or nerves are no longer compressed, and the pain resolves.
Good luck, and be sure to check out the "Spinal Cord" board.