View Full Version : What does this mean in Laymans terms please?

01-08-2016, 01:38 PM
Cervical spine at high-field strength without contrast. There is cervical spine straightening. There is some disc space narrowing. Particularly at C6-C7. There are no compression fractures. Cord size and signal are normal. There is no Chiari malformation. There is some edema related to the left facet joint at C3-4. Felt to be most likely degenerative based. C2-3 There is moderate right foraminal narrowing. C3-4 there is moderately severe lateral recess narrowing and mild right foraminal narrowing without substantial significant central stenosis. C4-5 There is facet arthritis, particularly on the right, with severe right foraminal narrowing and moderatly severe left foraminal narrowing with mild flattening of the anterior aspect of the thecal sac without significant central stenosis. C5-6 : There is right paracentral disc bulge with spurring. There is uncal spurring bilaterally with severe bilateral bony foraminal narrowing with some flattening of the anterior aspect of the thecal sac with only mild central stenosis. C6-7: There is broad based disc bulge with posterior spurring with mild central stenosis with mild to moderate left foraminal narrowing. C7-T1 : There is no significant central stenosis. There is minor left foraminal narrowing. IMPRESSION: Changes of spondylosis as discussed above. There is some flattening of the anterior aspect of the thecal sac at several levels without substantial significant central stenosis. There is significant foraminal narrowing at several levels as detailed above. Neck pain, stiffness Bilateral arm hand numbness.
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01-11-2016, 11:58 AM
I just wrote a post to another poster named Vitablue 53 where I explained the terms "stenosis" and "spondylosis." If you aren't familiar with them, perhaps you could look at that thread to learn about them as your findings are similar to hers.

You have quite a bit of foraminal stenosis at several levels that is most likely responsible for the symptoms you are feeling. It is a result of the spondylosis that you have throughout most of the cervical spine. The narrowing is particularly bad at the C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6 vertebral segments.

Radiologists use specific adjectives to describe "how bad" something is...those words, that form a way to rank the severity of an issue are minimal, mild, moderate and severe. You will note that your stenosis is judged to be moderately-severe to severe at several of these foraminal openings. This puts a lot of pressure on the spinal nerves that comes through this opening as it exits the spine and goes out to innervate an arm or other part of the body. It pinches the nerve, depriving it of oxygen and nourishment and results in the pain, tingling and numbness you may feel in your neck, arm or hand.

All the other words in the report describe various parts of the degenerative process that makes up spondylosis....it usually begins with a disc beginning to show signs of wear and tear, which leads to arthritic type changes in the facet joints...and all this results in stenosis.

If you are not seeing a spine specialist I would suggest you do so. With the amount of stenosis you have, an orthopedic spine or neuro surgeon is the best place to go for an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment.

01-11-2016, 12:49 PM
Thanks Teteri for your reply and info. I am 53 and was told in my early 20's I had some of the strongest bones a Dr of radiolgy had ever seen and asked if he could have them for teaching his students. lol My injuries or happened at work by 9 year at one place of lifting 50lbs every few minutes off the floor of steel. My neck totally locked up with severe pain , and was never right after that. It took a month of PT to get it undone then I went back doing same thing again. Im needing MRI done now on lower back and hip as I was also told in my early 20's I had lower and upper herniated discs in my back , had a steriod injection in lower hip joint and went on with my life and work. Now I have some severe hip and lower back issues and , trouble or pain at times trying to breath and when I stay on my feet very long , I cant pass urine, and when I try it causes severe pain inside pubic area. When I rest and get off my feet I can urinate fine without pain . Im 5'7 145 lbs have always been very active. It has taken a lot away from me. ive rode horses since I was 7, and have not been able to do that for last 2 years. My Dr has me on Cymbalta for the neck pain and compaired to all the other drugs I have been on it has been the best with least amount of side effect. Doesnt do anything for the terrible hip pain and lower back pain right now. I just need answer to hip pain to see what can be done, so I can stay mobile and do the things I love to do. I was suppossed to have carpal tunnel surgery in jan but because of hip , pain I am waiting because it is most urgent right now. At times can be very depressing because most Dr.s assume that you are there to try and get pain meds , when I dont want or ask for any pain meds I just needs more testing , to see if it can be fixed. Had hip injection dec 21 didnt do anything for it to speak of. Have had bad lower back and hip pain for over 5 years now and it has become severe. Anyway Thanks a bunch for your Laymens terms for me. I try to look up the words and understand a little of it but , not totally. Very much appreciated!

01-11-2016, 08:27 PM
Have you had a MRI of your lumbar spine? From your description, I would not be surprised if the pain you feel in the hip is being caused by a lower lumbar spine issue. Even when feeling no back pain, sometimes a compressed lumbar nerve will radiate out and create pain that one assumes is coming from the hip when it turns out to be a problem at L4 or L5.

My mother-in-law had injections for "hip bursitis" on several occasions for several years. I only saw her one time per year so wasn't aware of this. I happened to see her one summer when she was complaining about how she could barely walk because her hip hurt so badly. I suggested she see a spine specialist, and sure enough...it was instability at L4-5 and spinal stenosis causing her issues.

Also sacroiliac dysfunction can cause "hip" pain. Again, I highly recommend you see a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon for an evaluation. Your symptoms indicate you are in need of a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment before you end up with more serious spinal damage...such as "cauda equina syndrome."

01-12-2016, 04:54 AM
Thanks so much for the info! Im trying to push my GP into ordering a thoracic and Lumbar MRI because in late Nov I slepted all night on my right side and woke up with severe pain inbetween right shoulder blade and spine. The pain was severe every time I tried to take a deep breath. I can just reach for something the wrong way and it will be like a ball of fire inbetween spine and shoulder blade. I know in 1985 , when they injected my hip after a spinal to rule out MS when I had bad lower back hip pain they said I had some bad herniated discs then. I had to have c-section with both of my kids, because first was breach and would not drop into birth canal and they would not do a spinal block because of the bad discs, I wanted to be able to see my kids born. It is frustrating with these Dr.s trying to get them to refer me or order tests. Everyone Ive talked to even one of GP said he would never let them operate if he were me on my spine. I feel like Ive dealt with the pain pretty well in my neck butt right now the most debilitating is my hip because the more I am on it the worse it gets. Dec 28th I was not able to pass urine and had sever pain inside above pubic area after being on it most of the day. I have never experianced that before. I got off my feet and took clonazapam and next morning was ale to go. The MRI report I posted was from 2011. None have ever been done on any of the rest of my spine . I had carpal tunnel before the spine inuries at work. I have had to learn how to baby my neck so it doesnt totally lock up, several trips to the emergency room after lifting , and fentanyl pain patch to get it unlocked. When it locks up the pain is clear down spine between shoulder blades. I used to lift 50lbs ever 2 minutes a day of steel off the floor onto a table for 8 years working in metal fabrication . Then I worked for a Major airline loading unloading planes. And of course being a horse person years of bailing hay , has taken it tole for sure. I just want my active life back and to be able to ride again, and hip is worst right now . I cannot tolerate walking on hard surface much at all. Ive never been heavy or over weight but have pushed my muscles to the max. The pain in hip sometimes is on outer part , down back of my buttock , and I would wake up with sever stabbing pain in calf of my left leg. After injection pain went to front part of upper thigh and groin , with the pain still down back of left thigh below buttock. They wanted me to go to PT after injection, which is a joke , I have in past when not in severe pain will exercise and get moving on my own. I think there was some bursae as my GP diagnosed but he would only let me talk about 1 thing, and said pain in my buttock area and stabbing pain on outside of my calf were 2 different things , really rediculous. I dropped him and sent my 2011 report to different Dr trying to get him to order MRI on rest of my spine and hip. Hopefully I will hear something back from him today. I dont see Dr.s unless I am really hurting. lol He said the hip x ray showed some impingment , but dont have much faith in what he has to say after he did a chest x ray and said my neck was normal . lol Nothing wrong with it. Must have got a lot better from the 2011 MRI report I sent you. I dropped that off to him this sat , after he had posted on my chart that my neck was normal from doing a chest x ray. So hard to make descision when I read a lot of things and they know that injection weaken your bones. It is just a mask for pain, doesnt fix anything . They act like you dont want help if you refuse them. I read and seen to many times never ever let them inject your cervical spine. So I have not done it. I might at some point see if injecting my neck muscle area will help with the muscle spasms but that is about it. I had to take advil aleve 3 of each lol every two hours a day when I was working or my hands and arms would go numb and I would have total loss of use of them. Then at night they would go numb and my arms would feel like someone took a air hose , and pumped them as full as they could with air. Have severe acid reflux now and cannot take nsaids anymore. Anyway , I think of others that have much worse illnesses and I feel very fortunate everyday , that this is all I have right now. Keeps at times the depression that often accompanies spondylosis from getting the best of me. You have been a big help in discussing this with me , and helping me to understand it better. Very kind of you to take time to reply, and you are greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

01-12-2016, 06:22 AM
Check your insurance to see if you need a referral to see an orthopedic or cervical spine surgeon. Many (most?) spine specialists do not require a referral from a GP. You really should find out what is going on. Sounds like you have been in situations for many years where your spine has been abused!

The epidural steroid injections that are done on the spine are reasonably safe when done by a well-trained specialist using live x-ray called fluoroscopy. Most doctors will not give more than three within a specific time period. But again, I would not allow them until I had a specific diagnosis and had a good idea whether there was a purpose in giving them....

01-12-2016, 08:08 AM
I have only had a MRI on my cervical spine. They did a CT scan I think when I was in my early 20's on my back and hip , then did a fluoroscopy injection in my sacroyliac joint . The needle didnt hurt at all but when they injected the meds it felt like a elephant on my back. It would take a lot to get me to ever go through that again. I will check with insurance to see if I have to get a referral or not? Thanks for info again.!