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    Old 08-02-2011, 09:44 AM   #1
    lookingup100's Avatar
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    Location: St. Francis, MN USA
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    Question Help with MRI understanding

    I have been dealing with severe Osteoarthritis for 17 years and now have been encouraged to have a spinal fusion for the condition noted in the summary of my MRI. I would appreciate some clarrification and impute on what the summary means.

    CONCLUSION: Multilevel disc and facet joint degeneration with significant findings as follows:
    1. C5-6 2.5 mm degenerative spondylolisthesis with mild central stenosis, disc bulge abutting the ventral cord and patent nerve root canals.
    2. Advanced C6-7 spondylosis with bulge contacting the cord, patent nerve root canals and no central stenosis.
    3. Facet arthropathy at each level C2-3 through C4-5 including 1 mm degenerative spondylolisthesis at C4-5 without stenosis. Moderate right C3-4 foraminal stenosis due to uncovertebral hypertrophy with fused right facet joint at this level.

    Thank you,

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    Old 08-05-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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    Re: Help with MRI understanding

    Hi....sorry I didn't reply right away but my hands have been bad the past few days.

    I am fused from C3 to T1 so I know a couple of things about necks.

    MRI:1) the 2.5mms spondylolisthesis means that C5 is jutting out over C6 by 2 1/2 millimeters. It is causing the spinal canal to be smaller than it should be so that usually means pressure on your spinal cord. Whatever caused that upper vertebra to move backwards was probably what also caused the disk below it to herniate and it is hitting your spinal cord but not indenting it. The exit holes for the spinal nerves to your arms, however, are open and fine.

    2) At 6-7, you have advanced spondylosis...fancy word for arthritis of the spine. The disk again is touching your spinal cord(the disk when normal is right up next to the cord anyhow). Again, the holes for the spinal nerves that exit to the arms are open.

    3) facet arthropathy. The facet joints are tiny joints on the outside of the vertebrae that help with stabilizing twisting motions. But being joints, they can get arthritis too and make bone spurs...that is what facet arthropathy is...bone spurs forming on the outside of the vertebrae. And you have another small 1mms. displacement of C4 over C5 but it doesn't cause any problems with blocking of the spinal canal or blocking of the exit holes for the spinal nerves. However, at C3-4, the facet joint has fused naturally(2 vertebrae fused together at the facet joint)and another small exterior joint, the uncovertebral joint, has so much arthritis the bone spurs have blocked the exit hole for the spinal nerves to a moderate degree. They rank the amount of blockage with the terms, minimal, mild, moderate and severe.

    Disc degeneration comes with age as they dry out and shrink and become more liable to tear open and herniate. When the facet joints and uncovertebral joints degenerate, they form bone spurs that can be trouble if in the wrong place.

    Whether or not you do a fusion is your decision. I'd suggest coming down to the Spinal Cord Disorders board and talking to those who have had surgery, both ACDFs and other types.

    How much pain are you in?


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