Re: just had a MRI please help on understanding!!!
Hi Renae....I'm Jenny, one of the neck people here. I'll try my best to explain your findings.
I syrinx is a cyst in the spinal cord. Yours is fairly short going from C5 to C8(it's actually where the C8 nerve comes off the cord and in between the C7 and T1 vertebrae). They are long and very skinny and yours is only 1mm wide at the widest....so very skinny. They can end up taking the entire length of the cord and get much wider...then they need to be drained and removed if possible. Most are just left alone. They can be caused by many things and it may go away by itself.
At C3-4, you have a bulging disk. The disks are in between the vertebrae and are actually snug up against the canal that holds the cord and the spinal nerves that go out to the body. It doesn't take much to make it bulge out and if it is backwards, it can enter the spinal canal. The spinal canal is a bony tube that holds the spinal cord and the "thecal sac"....a membrane that covers the cord and holds the spinal fluid in around the cord. In an MRI, you can see the cord sitting inside the thecal sac as if it is floating in there. Your bulging disk is hitting this membrane but it hasn't stopped the flow of fluid around the cord nor is it hitting the cord itself. It narrows the overall room in the canal but it isn't doing anything bad right now. This is good news.
Amazingly, you have the exact same situation at the base of the neck vertebrae at C6-7.
The last thing they mention is a straightening of the normal cervical lordosis. If you look at the spine from the side, it has all sorts of curves to it. At the head, it curves in toward the throat and then at the shoulder blades, it curves out to form our back, then it curves inward again at the waist and then a tiny curve outward at the tailbone. They give those curves names....inward toward the front of the body is called "lordosis" and when it curves outward, it is "kyphosis". A sideways curve as seen from the back is "scoliosis". Your neck looks a little too straight in the MRI but the radiologist believes it from muscle spasms pulling the bones straight. This straightening does happen with age and injury but he doesn't think that is your problem.
Most of us with neck problems post on another board and I'd love to have you come and say hello. Check us out on the Spinal Cord Disorders board further down the main board. All in all, a good MRI but the syrinx will need watching.
Jenny(fused C3 to T1)