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Old 12-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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Can someone help me interpret my MRI?

I am a 33 year old man with chronic middle back pain. Here are the results of my thoracic spine mri without contrast:

Findings:
Vertebral body heights: mild anterior wedging of T6-T11. And endplate irregularity.
Disc spaces: T1-T6: disc desiccation without significant disc bulge, neural foraminal, or canal narrowing.
T6-T7: Central disc protrusion with moderate indention on the thecal sac. 6 mm residual canal diameter. No neural foraminal narrowing.
T7-T8: Central disc osteophyte complex protrusion mild/moderate. 7 mm residual canal diameter. No neural foraminal narrowing.
T8-T9: Left paracentral disc osteophyte complex protrusion moderate. Moderate left lateral recess narrowing. No neural foraminal narrowing.
T9-T11: Normal.
T11-T12: Left paracentral disc osteophyte complex protrusion. Left lateral recess narrowing. Mild left Neural foraminal narrowing no significant right neural foraminal narrowing.
Spinal alignment is maintained without evidence of spondylolisthesis. No fracture identified. No osteoblastic or osteolytic lesion. Mild anterior osteophyte formation.
Impression:
1. Mild anterior wedging of multiple thoracic vertebral bodies as described and end plate irregularity likely Scheuermann's disease. Exaggerated thoracic kyphosis.
2. Multilevel disc disease as described.

 
Old 12-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Can someone help me interpret my MRI?

Welcome to the board. We don't get too many people with thoracic spine issues. Has this been going on for a long time? The reason I ask is that Schuenemann's disease is often diagnosed in adolescence. I'm sure you've heard the spine described as being a "S" curve. The top curve rounds out, but in the case of Scheuermann's disease, the curve is exaggerated and gives the appearance of a hunchback.

This condition occurs when the front of the upper spine grows more slowly than the back of the spine, which causes the vertebrae to become wedge-shaped. The narrow part of the wedge occurs on the front side. This creates more kyphosis (rounding) than normal. The amount of this kyphosis is described as mild which means to a small degree...so it may be nothing to worry about and is likely not causing pain.

In addition, in all the same segments of the thoracic back there are signs of degenerative disc disease. There are some arthritic changes such as bone spurs and a couple levels have discs that are showing a small bulge.

At T6-T7 and T7-T8 these protrusions are pressing into the central canal, thereby narrowing the space that is available to the spinal cord. This can press on the nerves, which might cause some nerve compression and could result in some pain from those pinched spinal nerves. These two levels appear to have the greatest possibility for some nerve compression. The rest of the thoracic levels don't appear to be too bad...actually none of this looks "bad" -- most issues are described as "mild" with one going up to "moderate" and this is on a scale that goes minimal, mild, moderate, severe.

Keep in mind that the MRI is just one pieces of the puzzle. The spine specialist will correlate these findings with what is found on a basic neurological exam, physical exam and an oral history and hearing about your symptoms and how they affect your everyday living.

Do you have any radiating pain or is it all in your back?

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:26 AM   #3
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Re: Can someone help me interpret my MRI?

Thank you very much for replying. To answer your question, my pain has being going on for about 3 years. It's not a radiating pain, it is a kind of sharp pain right in the center of my back. It gets to be debilitating when sitting, standing, laying, or doing anything for more than 20 minutes at a time. I have to wake up at least every couple of hours to change positions because of the pain.
As to just being diagnosed, I dont have insurance so this is the first thoracic MRI I have had a chance to get. I dont know if its considered a diagnoses yet. This is just the radiologist's findings. I havent had the chance to discuse this with my doctor yet. I dont think I have any obvious visual signs of it.

 
Old 12-21-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Can someone help me interpret my MRI?

Thank you very much for replying. To answer your question, my pain has being going on for about 3 years. It's not a radiating pain, it is a kind of sharp pain right in the center of my back. It gets to be debilitating when sitting, standing, laying, or doing anything for more than 20 minutes at a time. I have to wake up at least every couple of hours to change positions because of the pain.
As to just being diagnosed, I dont have insurance so this is the first thoracic MRI I have had a chance to get. I dont know if its considered a diagnoses yet. This is just the radiologist's findings. I havent had the chance to discuse this with my doctor yet. I dont think I have any obvious visual signs of it.

Last edited by Dsm42501; 12-21-2012 at 06:31 AM. Reason: Posted twice

 
Old 12-21-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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Re: Can someone help me interpret my MRI?

My guess is that you may have had the wedged vertebrae for quite awhile and that is not causing the pain. But now you have developed some degenerative changes at some of the segments which is causing some stenosis (narrowing) in the foramen and the disc osteophyte complex which is causing some disc bulging
that is pressing into the central canal...again, causing the canal to narrow, which puts pressure on the nerves contained within the canal.

Since these issues are not severe, it will be a matter of managing the pain...through conservative treatments. It is something you will learn to manage. It is nothing to be terribly worried about, if that helps any.

 
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