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justateddybear 05-31-2011 04:48 PM

help with reading mri
my neck is killing me and my left are goes numb
tylenol is not helping what does this all mean my doctor is out for three weeks help!!!

findings examination of c2-c3 reveals no significant abnormality

examination of c3-c4 reveals a diffuse posterior disc bulge effacing most of the
anterior thecal sac without herniation or cord encroachment.

Examination of c4-c5 reveals a diffuse posterior disc bulge with a small superimposed central disc herniation with focal anterior cord encroachment. the foramina are patent.

examination of c5-c6 reveals a diffuse posterior disc bulge with anterior impression on the thecal sac. there is no disc herniation or cord encroachment
there is moderate right greater than left foraminal stenosis, secondary to spur-disc complex.

examination of c6-c7 reveals mild disc space narrowing and mild disc bulging without herniation or cord encroachment. moderate formanimal stenosis is seen bilaterally.

examination of c7-t1 reveals moderate disc space narrowing diffuse disc bulging with anterior impression on the thecal sac. there is also a degenerative disc bulge at t1-t2 with a possible small central disc herniation and minimal focal cord encroachment.

the cervical vertebral body height,alignment and signal intensities are within normal limits, the spinal cord signal intensity appears homogeneous.

Impression there is diffuse cervical degenerative disc disease with a small central c4-c5 with c5-c6 and c6-c7 foraminal stenosis small central t1-t2 disc herniation also noted.

jennybyc 06-07-2011 07:27 PM

Re: help with reading mri
Hi Amherst...used to live in Westfield. Still have my spine doc in Mass(Boston).

Okay, let's take this level by level and I'll explain the terms.


C3-4....the disk between C3 and C4 is bulging but is not herniated. A herniation will show up as a bump whereas a bulge is just that, the disk is bulging backwards toward the spinal cord(think slightly squished donut). It is hitting the "thecal sac" which is the lining around the spinal cord that holds in the spinal fluid around the cord. It is not hitting the cord itself.

C4-5...the disk is again bulging and has a small herniation "bump" showing in the back center(where the cord is) and it hits not only the thecal sac but it hits the cord as well but is not showing any indentations in the cord(think jelly donut, slightly squished with jelly coming out the hole). Then you have the first mention of the "foramina". These are the holes in the sides of the vertebral bone that allows the nerves that peel off the cord, to exit out to the body. They are open at this level(patent).

C5-6...again, another disk bulge which is just starting to touch the thecal sac. No cord involvement. But the foramina have problems. Both sides are partially blocked by bone spurs along with some disk material. They grade the degree of blockage with the words...minimal, mild, moderate, and severe. You are "moderate" on both with the right side a little worse but not yet severe. This causes a lot of pain in the arms. have the same problem as above. Bulging disk but not hitting the thecal sac or cord. And both foramina are blocked "moderately".

C7-T1...same problem with the bulging disk hitting the thecal sac. No foraminal involvement

T1-2..same problem again with the disk bulge, with a small herniation, hitting the thecal sac and cord. This is similar to C4-5.

There is mention of disk narrowing. This comes from the disks drying out and shrinking and it makes them more likely to bulge. Comes with age and injury.

So there are 2 disk herniations but neither is causing a major problem. The cord can be compressed down to half it's thickness before it requires surgical intervention. Most of your pain is probably coming from the bone spurs that are blocking the foramina on the sides. Most surgeons won't operate until you get to the severe range, unfortunately. You have a neck that hurts but it not bad enough to risk fixing as the surgery can cause more problems than it fixes.

But you do need better medical management with stronger drugs. PT can help a lot. If necessary, you can get epidural injections around the worst areas and that can really help. If you do want to see a good spine doc, go to Boston. The spine docs in Springfield did more harm than good with me. I use the Boston Spine Group or the spine docs at New England Baptist Hospital. Headed there tomorrow. Worth the trip and for me, and it's almost 3 hours each way. I love them!

Jenny(fused C3 to T1)

justateddybear 06-07-2011 07:41 PM

Re: help with reading mri
Thanks jennybyc for taking the time to help me understand what all that meant . I understand it better .

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