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MRI - English translation please

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Old 10-27-2004, 03:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7
cw3849 HB User
Unhappy MRI - English translation please

Following is a copy of my MRI. I wish I knew what it meant in plain terms.

Further, my neurosurgeon is suggesting surgery (cervical radiculopathy) I have no question/problem with his doing the surgery and he comes highly recommended. However, I do have a problem with his prognosis i.e. he says when surgery is over I will be as good as new? :/ I wasn't 'new' when I went to him i.e. with 4 other prior procedures to my spine ( L4-5 disectomy, lamenectomy, fusion. C5-6 disectomy, fusion ) I fail to see as to where he says I can continue in my present occupation let alone be good as new.

I am currently a 51 year old truck driver. I run a flatbed. Drivers (esp. flatbed) do not just sit there and get fat driving all day. It is very hard and physical work i.e. strapping and unstrapping, chains, binders, etc. I put in 17-18 hours a day 14+ of that driving.

Sept 2004 I fell backwards out of the passenger side of my truck from the upper running board and landed on a plastic 1 gallon oil can on my left shoulder. I was leaving for San Diego. I knew I was going to be sore for a few days because of the fal, however, when I returned from San Diego it was all I could do to move my left arm. I went to the R and was diagnosed as having 1 maybe 2 fractures in the left arm/wrist with brusing and contusions of the left shoulder and scapula.

Followup with the ortho surgeon could not find proof of a fracture subsequently an MRI was ordered.

I am having constant left arm pain, elbow and wrist pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. I am having muscle spasms in my left lower quadrant of my torso with middle back pain and stiff neck as well. Sleeping is almost nill as when I lay down the problem manifests itself more and is now going into my right arm, right wrist and right shoulder area(s).

I guess I am looking for some truthful feedback to my situation i.e. could I or should I continue my current occupation? should I look for retraining? and dont know where to look. I am scheduled for surgery 11-5-04 and hoping to hear from some of you by then.

I feel I have no business getting back into a truck and am afraid that given the Dr's word being as close to God as you can get that if I go back to driving I am destined to see him again within the year.

[B]Thanks for your feedback.[/B]

Neck and shoulder pain

The study is performed on our 'Altaire open high-field scanner' sagittally and axially through the course of the cervical spine with both T1 and T2 weighting, thin section images.

There is normal alignment of the cervical spine. The vertebral body heights are preserved and marrow signal is normal at all levels.

There is mild degenerative disc change at the C2-3 level. There is also mild degenerative facet change, the combination of which results in mild narrowing of the left neural foramen. The central canal is patent.

There is moderate narrowing of the C3-4 disc space. Anterior and posterior osteophyte formation is present, as well as a diffuse disc bulge posteriorly which is more prominent on the right. This results in moderate narrowing of the right neural foramen, and mild narrowing of the left neural foramen. The central canal is very slightly narrowed.

Thre is mild narrowing of the C4-5 disc space. A mild diffuse disc bulge is present posteriorly.

There is fusion of the C5-6 level. The left neural foramen appeas mildly narrowed.

There is mild narrowing of the C6-7 disc space. Mild endplate lipping and bulge are present, posteriorly. The left neural foramen appears mildly narrowed.

The C7-T1 and T1-2 disc spaces are normal in appearance.

The cervical spinal cord has a normal appearance. There is no evidence of Chiari malformation.

1. C5-6 fusion.
2. 2. Multilevel degenerative changes in the cervical spine.

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Old 10-27-2004, 04:32 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 8
neil40 HB User
Re: MRI - English translation please

hi cw
i do not wish to alarm you but you have many of the same symptons as myself like you i struggled to work in construction for 15 years with a bad spine finally said enough last xmas got fusion in may 3 level i am completely stuffed now cannot walk and need oxycontin to get through day take my advice if you can stop your manual job stop before you make yourself worse
god be with you neil

Old 10-27-2004, 05:56 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7
cw3849 HB User
Re: MRI - English translation please


Thanks for the response. Yes, I had my original injusy in 1981 and lived with it for 7 years, until the last time my back went out I arrived at the hospital in an ambulance. I had the surgery(s) and actually, after that I never felt better in my life.

I tried to slow down but I had a family to support, I guess now, time and age are going to start taking their toll.

One good thing though ironically, each of these 5 procedures have not been an aggravation of an original injury i.e. they are all unique in their own so Im not falling apart in the same places as they're all different.

But when one looks at the big picture they are all still related to the same area, the spine. And you never know how much more one can take before it's too late.

While I have the time off I am looking to find some other options to return too.

[B]Thanks again[/B]

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