Re: Understandng MRI Results
Hi JDB.....I'm Jenny and one of the neck people around here(we actually hang out on the Spinal Cord Disorders board but I saw your post).
C7-T1 is at the base of the neck around the area of the shoulder blades. In your MRI, it shows that you have arthritis(happens as we age) and the disk space is narrowing towards the back part of the disk. This is important in that the disk cushions the vertebrae at the front of the spine and the back part of the disk is right up against the spinal canal that holds the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Means you could someday end up with a bulge in the disk backwards toward your nerves and cord...but nothing is seen yet...just a possibility for the future.
But the arthritic bone spurs seen are causing some "encroachment" of the spinal nerves at both C7-T1 and T1-2. At each level, you have a pair of nerves that peel off the spinal cord and go out to the body through small holes called foramina. They rate the amount of encroachment with the words...minimal, mild, moderate and severe so if you see those words in the report, it will tell you how bad the encroachment is. This encroachment can cause pain in the area served by the nerves or even numbness and tingling. Do you have any symptoms?
The nerve between C7 and T1 is the C8 nerve and is most often felt in the pinky and the outside of the ring finger as well as the area of the hand above them. The T1 nerve that comes out between T1-2 is felt in the outside aspect of the forearm from above the wrist to the elbow.
The "mild scoliosis" just means they see a very slight sideways curve to your neck only on the left side.....so it is very slight if it only shows on one side...and that can be from bad muscle spasms.
Arthritis bone spurs can form almost anywhere 2 bones intersect so they can be a problem and that seems to be what is causing the problems so far.
Overall, your neck has no major problems at all but is slowly but surely showing signs of aging. Unless you have nerve problems in your arms or the report has a rating of how much encroachment there is, you basically have early signs of neck problems developing but nothing significant yet.
Jenny(fused C3 to T1)