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Old 10-06-2012, 07:21 AM   #1
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Help to read my MRI report?

Posted this in Back Problems and then noticed that someone else with similar questions was referred here. Apologies to those who read both.

Just got another report on my neck. This is the third in 4 years. Up until now I've gotten mixed messages. Some say mild problems, others (neurosurgeons) say serious, need surgery. Hated last referral. He was extremely patronizing and refused to answer questions. So I had to pick up my report and the disc for my new specialist. The report is a bewildering list of several conditions at several levels, with the word severe appearing a lot.

I've got a couple of weeks before I see this doc. Can anyone help explain some of this?

First question: there is suspicion of central myelomalacia at C5-C6. I googled it and found that it could be caused by bleeding or constriction of blood flow to the area (C5-C6 has broad-based disc protrusion osteophyte complex, 3mm, ligamentum flavum thickening, moderate-severe central spinal stenosis, bilateral uncovertebral spurring with severe bilateral foraminal narrowing. So I guess it could be restricting blood circulation.)

All those neurosurgeons over the last 4 years who said I had to have surgery right away never once mentioned the possibility of permanent, irreversible damage to the spinal cord that could spread if the pressure were not relieved. But that's what my reading indicated. Am I right about that? Is there a reason beyond pain relief for surgery with stenosis?

The report said suspicion of myelomalacia. What's the next step in diagnosis of the condition?

Second question: Reading the report with the help of google made we wonder how I get up in the morning. The detail is overwhelming. Here's the impression, which I guess is a summary in order of seriousness, maybe. What should I be most concerned about?

4mm right foraminal disc protrusion at T1-T2, severe right foraminal narrowing, compression of right T1 nerve root.

Severe DDD, in cervical spine, worst at C4-C5 thru C6-C7

Moderate-severe central narrowing at C5-C6 (details above)

Moderate central spinal stenosis at C4-C5 & C6-C7
Multilevel foraminal narrowing. Severe on left at C3-C4, bilateral at C4-C5 thru C6-C7.

I would be grateful for any insight. Thanks.

 
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: Help to read my MRI report?

What about symptoms? You don't mention any, but you must have had some to have even gotten an MRI. If you could list the location, severity and quality (pain, tingling, numbness, clumsiness) of your symptoms, I will put them together with the MRI.

 
Old 10-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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Re: Help to read my MRI report?

Thank you. In the last 6 months I've suddenly gone from numbness and tingling in my hands to clumsiness, weakness, difficulty doing ordinary things with my hands.

The general pain, bad for many years is worse. Pain in neck muscles, shoulders, between shoulder blades, attachment spots at arm sockets, in the butt, on the outside of my right thigh.

Very recently (although I had it before and it went away) being off balance when I first wake up. From time to time not being able to walk upright. Tiredness and not able to sleep longer than 6 hours on average.

Thank you.

 
Old 10-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: Help to read my MRI report?

Good grief.... The one thing that you didn't include in your posts is that you're desperately trying to avoid surgery.

"ALL THOSE NEUROSURGEONS" have told you for years that you need surgery "RIGHT AWAY"??

MYELOMALACIA?? That's not something you want to meditate on, or spend months/years trying to diagnose. That's probably permanent damage to your spinal cord. You want to STOP IT FROM GETTING WORSE.

Clumsiness? Weakness? Loss of balance?

Look, I can only give you my amateur's opinion, but if you have all those symptoms, if you have myelomalacia, if you have multiple surgeons telling you that you need surgery right away, you are past due to be taking action. The question seems much less WHETHER to have surgery as WHAT KIND of surgery. My guess is that you need more than one, although one might be relatively non-invasive, with easy recovery.

You should get surgical suggestions from at least TWO, and better THREE surgeons. If you want to discuss their recommendations, come back.

Last edited by WebDozer; 10-06-2012 at 12:48 PM.

 
Old 10-08-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Re: Help to read my MRI report?

Hello again,

Thank you for your concern. It is not quite as bad as it sounds, I think. I have gotten recommendations that are all over the map. Three neurosurgeons said four years ago that I needed surgery but not one mentioned myelomalacia. Not one explained much of anything.

The 4th opinion, a Dr. of Physical Medicine, so no financial incentive, said he didn't think it was necessary now.

Four years later the new Dr. of Medicine who read the report said nothing about it and it is a possibility. It does need further tests, it seems, but he said not a word about it.

I do want to avoid surgery, if possible. I can't take opiates or most any other strong pain medicine. It makes recovery from surgery torture. I would have made different decisions about my treatment, however, had I known that destruction of nerves was a real possibility.

I am seeing yet another doctor on the 19th. I have lots of questions for her.

 
Old 10-08-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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Re: Help to read my MRI report?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jolindast View Post
Hello again,

Thank you for your concern. It is not quite as bad as it sounds, I think. I have gotten recommendations that are all over the map. Three neurosurgeons said four years ago that I needed surgery but not one mentioned myelomalacia. Not one explained much of anything.

The 4th opinion, a Dr. of Physical Medicine, so no financial incentive, said he didn't think it was necessary now.

Four years later the new Dr. of Medicine who read the report said nothing about it and it is a possibility. It does need further tests, it seems, but he said not a word about it.

I do want to avoid surgery, if possible. I can't take opiates or most any other strong pain medicine. It makes recovery from surgery torture. I would have made different decisions about my treatment, however, had I known that destruction of nerves was a real possibility.

I am seeing yet another doctor on the 19th. I have lots of questions for her.
I agree with WebDozer! If you have symptoms of weakness and clumsiness and the MRI shows serious spinal cord compression and possible signs of myelopathy you need surgery asap. The symptoms you are experiencing because of myelopathy on the spinal cord are permanent.

 
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