View Full Version : Help with MRI results

08-26-2015, 06:38 AM
MRI Results on Cervical Spine:
There is disc space narrowing and particularly at the C5-6 level with associated spurring at the end plate margins.

C5-C6: there is a diffuse and somewhat bilobed disc-osteophyte complex causing anterior extradural defect on the thecal sac with slight mass effect on the cord. there is moderate right and severe left for forminal stenosis.

C6-C7: there is a mild diffuse disc-osteophyte complex greater towards the right. there is mild left and severe right forminal stenosis.

There is degenerative disc disease of the lower cervical spine levels as detailed above. no significant findings are as follows :
C5-6: diffuse disc-osteophyte complex causing slight cord compression with moderate right and severe left for aminal stenosis .
C6-7: right posterolateral disc-osteophyte complex causing severe right foraminal stenosis.


Findings: there is mild straightening of the lumbar lordosis. there is slight retrolisthesis of L5 over S1, apparently on the basis of facet joint arthropathy. no pars inter articulates defect is identified. there is diffuse narrowing of the disc spaces. several small Schmorl's node's are noted. the vertebral body heights are otherwise maintained. the osseous structures demonstrate normal marrow signal intensity. the conus Medullaris terminates normally at the L 12 level.

L1-L2: mild diffuse disc bulge without significant mass effect

L4-L5: mild diffuse circumferential disc bulge with a superimposed shallow posterior midline herniation. mild bilateral facet and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy he contribute to moderate right and mild left lateral recess stenosis. there may be a slight mass effect on the right L5 nerve root. the exit foramina are patent.

L5-S1: bilateral facet arthropathy with small bilateral facet joint effusions. there is a large right paramedian disc herniation extending into the lateral recess and origin of the right exit foremen. fragment measures 1.6 cm transverse by 1.3 cm AP. it displaces and probably compresses the right S1 nerve root.

There is mild degenerative disc disease throughout the lumbar spine as detailed above the most significant findings are as follows:

L4-5: diffuse disc bulge with the posterior central protrusion contributing to moderate right and mild left lateral recess stenosis. there may be a slight mass effect on the right L5 nerve root.

L5-S1: large right lateral recess disc herniation displacing and probably compressing the right S1 nerve root.

What does all this mean? Any help I'd greatly appreciate!! Ty. God Bless

08-26-2015, 12:06 PM
Simply put, you have degenerative disc disease (DDD) in both the cervical and lumbar spine. DDD is a misnomer as it is not really a "disease" but a collection of symptoms that cause back and neck pain. It is a common finding and occurs to almost all people as they age. Unfortunately it occurs earlier, and more extensively, in some people.

The disc is the soft, spongy, hockey puck-shaped cushioning that separates the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. They are mostly composed of "water," and as we age, the discs tend to dry out and flatten. As this occurs, it starts a cycle of events that often lead to the irritation or compression of a spinal nerve. One of these is called osteophyte disc complex which is referred to in the findings. Briefly, it means that as the disc flattens it sets off a process that is the body's attempt to remain stable. The body begins to grow small bony spurs along the disc, and sometimes the facet joints enlarge. This often results in nerve compression as the osteophytes take up space and end up pushing into a nerve.

Keep in mind that we are talking about a space that is already small to begin with. When everything is "normal," there is room for all parts, but when one part grows and takes up more than its allotted space, trouble begins and usually pain begins too.

There are two main areas where a spinal nerve can become compressed: the neuroforamen and the central spinal canal. When something like an enlarged facet joint or a herniated disc outgrows its space, in can push into an adjoining spinal nerve. This can narrow the canal where the nerve is located. This process is referred to as stenosis. Any time a nerve is irritated or compressed, it can cause pain, tingling or numbness at the site by the spine or anywhere along the pathway of the nerve. For example, compression of the L5 spinal nerve may be felt in the lower back or into the groin, buttocks, down the back of the leg, even running down to the three middle toes. If interested, you can look for a dermatome map online to see which part of the body is innervated by which spinal nerve.

One more thing you should know is that radiologists use specific adjectives to "rate" a finding as an indication of just how serious something is: minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Minimal and mild findings usually do not cause much pain or require further treatment, but moderate and severe findings are usually addressed by a spine specialist for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment.

If you have not done so, you may want to set up an appointment with an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back.