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Old 02-02-2013, 07:24 AM   #1
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help with MRI

Hello I was wondering if anyone could help explain what my MRI reads. My doctors are kind of keeping me out of the loop because it is work related and my job doesn't confer with my doctors.

To start I was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff that required surgery and I was finally able to get it 9 months after the original injury. While fighting to get treatment for my shoulder I kept complaining about neck pain and numb tingling in my right hand. All the doctors said the surgery would fix it and if not it was nerve damage. Long story short surgery didn't fix anything including shoulder. I was sent for a c-spine MRI here are the results:

c5-c6 right paracentral disc protrusion which effaces the anterior epidural fat and focally abuts and minimally indents the spinal cord to the right of midline. There is mild right foraminal stenosis. There is right uncovertebral hypertrophy and at c2-c3 there is mild endplate remodeling. there is no thecal sac compression or foraminal compromise.

Now heres my problem, doctors want EMG and nerve conduction tests because I have bad tingling and numbness in right hand as well as my left hand now. It seems the symptoms have gotten worse. I have also slowly but surely been having more pain in my legs and walking is becoming difficult especially after sitting down. My physio says this is all connected to my disc but my job wants me to get more surgery. i don't know what I need and my ortho wants more tests done like my Physio wants. Any help would be appreciated.

 
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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Re: help with MRI

If that C5-6 disk is your biggest problem, it's hard to trace your symptoms back to your cervical spine. At least as far as the radiologist is concerned, you have only minimal indentation of the cord and mild foraminal narrowing. Usually, you'd want to see him move up to "moderate" or even "severe" before you think you've found the problem.

Still, an indented cord is an indented cord, and it's POSSIBLE that that's where your problem is.

It's also POSSIBLE that the radiologist is misreading the MRI, or that he's just an optimist by nature.

BTW, before they "fixed" the shoulder, what were your symptoms? Were you unable to lift the arm straight out? I only ask because cervical spinal problems can manifest themselves as shoulder pain.

 
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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Re: help with MRI

Thanks for the reply, I couldn't lift arm forward or up and back. I had severe ac joint pain and apparently when he did the arthroscopy I had a broken distal clavicle which was pressing on nerves. I agree from what I have seen I don't think I should be in this much pain and I had mri on lower back from neurologist and that came back negative or "completely unremarkable for the entire lumbar spine." Neuro also said its all from neck so I'm confused as to what could be the problem. I had nerve testing on my leg which came back to the spine but again lumbar mri was fine. Just lost and need to know how to help myself.

 
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #4
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Re: help with MRI

Your symptoms could all come from the cervical spine. It's just that your MRI, as interpreted by the radiologist, does not support that.

Did the neurologist actually look at the MRI? If so, then he's seeing more in it than the radiologist did. If not, then he's making a reasonable guess as to the source of your symptoms.

My own, less educated guess, is that the C5-6 indentation of the cord is something more than "minimal". Either that, or a truly minimal indentation is having much more than minimal effects, which is something I cannot recall seeing anyone post here before.

If the C5-6 disk is actually the problem, the solution would most likely be an ACDF, where the disk is removed from in front, donor bone put in its place, and the whole thing clamped together. It's a routine operation - as spinal operations go - and should result in only very mild loss of cervical range-of-motion.

What did the neurologist say you should do? Did he refer you to a surgeon?

 
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: help with MRI

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebDozer View Post
Your symptoms could all come from the cervical spine. It's just that your MRI, as interpreted by the radiologist, does not support that.

Did the neurologist actually look at the MRI? If so, then he's seeing more in it than the radiologist did. If not, then he's making a reasonable guess as to the source of your symptoms.

My own, less educated guess, is that the C5-6 indentation of the cord is something more than "minimal". Either that, or a truly minimal indentation is having much more than minimal effects, which is something I cannot recall seeing anyone post here before.

If the C5-6 disk is actually the problem, the solution would most likely be an ACDF, where the disk is removed from in front, donor bone put in its place, and the whole thing clamped together. It's a routine operation - as spinal operations go - and should result in only very mild loss of cervical range-of-motion.

What did the neurologist say you should do? Did he refer you to a surgeon?
My neuro said he believes I will only be able to continue in my line of work for a few more years and recommended me to my physio who I was already seeing. The neuro and physio both reviewed my MRI physio said its not yet time to quit my day job but that something will have to be done. He diagnosed me with radiculopathy and thought I might have more herniated disc in my lumbar but as I said that mri was unremarkable.

 
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