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Old 04-18-2013, 11:05 AM   #1
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Help with understanding my MRI

I just got my MRI results and need a little help understanding them.

I was diganosed with degenerative disc disease about 5 years ago, and have been "good" since then but back in January I started having problems again, the doctor sent me for an mri and i need help with the results

C5-6 demonstrates mild spondylosis and moderate disc narrowing. Small broad-based cnetral disc protrusion superimposed on and effacing the thecal sac resulting in moderate central canal stenosis. Disc bulge also results in moderate left and severe right neural foraminal narrowing.

C6-7 demonstrates moderate spondylosis and moderate disc narrowing. Broad based cnetral/left paracentral disc protrusion, superimposed on disc bulge, effacing the thecal sac resulting in severe central canal stenosis and indenting the ventral aspect of the cord edema. Disc bulge also results in mild bilateral foraminal narrowing.

Impression
Multilevel degenrative change and disc disease with a broad base central/left paracentral disc protrusion at C6-7 resulting in severe central canal stenosis and impingement of the cervical spinal cord without cord edema.

 
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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Re: Help with understanding my MRI

<< C5-6 demonstrates mild spondylosis and moderate disc narrowing. Small broad-based cnetral disc protrusion superimposed on and effacing the thecal sac >>

The C5-6 disk is bulging backward into the spinal canal. It has pushed away (effaced) the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in front of the spinal cord, but does not seem to be actually affecting the cord itself (yet). I'm not sure about the word "protrusion". I would say it normally means the same as "bulge", but his use of it in addition to "bulge" makes me wonder if he doesn't mean "herniation", where the disk's soft inner material is actually protruding though the tough outer layer.

<< resulting in moderate central canal stenosis >>

The spinal canal - the cord, with surrounding csf, inside the thecal sac - is narrowed. "Moderate" is one step below "severe".

<< Disc bulge also results in moderate left and severe right neural foraminal narrowing>>

That same bulging disk is pushing into the foraminal openings, through which your C6 nerves leave the cord and head into your arms. Worst on the right side. You might experience a number of symptoms in the right arm, all the way down to the thumb.

I would note that he said all this is being caused by a SMALL disk protrusion. That should not be, and is a clue that you may have an abnormally narrow spinal canal, such that small protrusions cause outsized problems. It's called congenital spinal stenosis, and is not very uncommon.

<< C6-7 demonstrates moderate spondylosis and moderate disc narrowing. Broad based cnetral/left paracentral disc protrusion, superimposed on disc bulge, effacing the thecal sac resulting in severe central canal stenosis and indenting the ventral aspect of the cord edema. >>

A somewhat more serious situation. Canal narrowing is "severe" here, which is a red flag. Not only has the bulge pushed away the csf, it's indenting the front of the cord. While the radiologist does not see evidence of cord damage - which might be evinced by edema - you still might have symptoms anywhere below the level of indentation. So your hands and legs/feet might be affected.

<< Disc bulge also results in mild bilateral foraminal narrowing. >>

Interesting the a larger bulge (than at C5-6) causes less foraminal narrowing, but nothing to complain about...

 
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:47 AM   #3
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Re: Help with understanding my MRI

Thank you web dozer, it makes more sense to me know. One more question do you think I will end up having surgery?

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Help with understanding my MRI

I can't really say. Depends on what your docs think about

1) what they can do about the foraminal stenosis at C5-6
and
2) how bad the cord indentation is at C6-7
and
3) whether or not those "protrusions" are actually herniations
and
4) whether you may have congenital spinal stenosis

A decompressive surgery (laminoplasty) might make sense if you have congenital spinal stenosis.

 
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