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  • Please Interpret MRI

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    Old 04-20-2015, 08:16 PM   #1
    RMcCPatient
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    Please Interpret MRI

    Hi and thanks for reading my post. I started out experiencing severe pain in the left shoulder blade area of my back. After a couple months this progressed to left arm weakness, pain in my left triceps and forearm and terrible numbness and tingling in the first two fingers of my left hand. This progression has lasted for 6 weeks now and doesn't seem to be getting much better. Can some one please help me interpret my MRI results and let me know what I may be headed for. Thanks in advance!

    There is normal alignment of the cervical spine. The vertebral body heights are maintained throughout.

    No abnormalities of the visualized spinal cord or limited images of the posterior fossa noted.

    No abnormalities of the craniocervical junction are noted.

    No abnormalities are seen at C1-2 or C2-3.

    There are mild osteochondral changes of the right posterior lateral aspect at C3-4 without spinal canal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing.

    At C4-5 there are mild osteochondral changes posteriorly without spinal canal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing bilaterally.

    At the C5-6 level there is a large left posterolateral osteochondral bar with associated severe left neural foraminal narrowing. No associated spinal canal stenosis or right neural foraminal narrowing is seen.

    At C6-7 there is a large left posterolateral osteochondral bar which is resulting in severe left neural foraminal narrowing. No right neural foraminal narrowing or spinal canal stenosis is seen.

    IMPRESSION:
    Degenerative disc disease worst at C5-6 and C6-7 levels on the left where there is severe left neural foraminal narrowing and likely impingement on the exiting nerve roots.

     
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    Old 04-21-2015, 07:20 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Please Interpret MRI

    Welcome to the board. The symptoms you are experiencing are at least in part coming from one or more spinal nerves that are being irritated or compressed. Throughout the spinal column, there are two primary places where nerve compression is found. One is in the central canal through which runs the spinal cord, or the neuralforamen (sometimes just called foramen). These are the openings between vertebrae through which nerves leave the spine and extend to other parts of the body.

    The report indicates that there are little bone spurs or calcifications beginning at the C3 level. They do not become an issue until the C5-6 level where there is a larger spur growing on the left side and causing narrowing of the foramina on the left at C5-6. This is also the case at C6-7, again forming on the left side only. These two osteochondral bars are sufficiently large that they are probably pressing on the spinal nerves at these two levels.

    The osteochondral bars are a sign of degenerative disc disease. DDD is not really a disease but is a collection of symptoms that indicate that the spine is showing signs of wear and tear. As we age, the discs begin to lose moisture. This can cause a variety of changes in the disc that can set in place a series of degenerative changes. As the discs flatten or dry out, it can create a bit of instability. The body's way of dealing with this is to put down little bony growths in an attempt to stabilize the area. These are not harmful but they do take up space which can result in nerve compression.

    Since at two levels, this stenosis is rated "severe," my suggestion would be to make an appointment with either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon. This does not mean you will require surgery, but it would be a good idea to get an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment for your cervical issues.

    You can look up a dermatome map online if you are curious about which spinal nerves innervate which area of the body. You will see that the symptoms you are experiencing follow a predictable pattern.

     
    Old 04-22-2015, 05:47 AM   #3
    RMcCPatient
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    Re: Please Interpret MRI

    Thank you very much for your informative reply teteri66. I only just turned 50 in January of this year. Is it a little early for such DDD or is that common? I hope it doesn't progress any further until I can get proper treatment. I live in Canada and the wait to see a Neurosurgeon is about 6-8 months. Any idea what I can do in the meantime to help myself. Would calcium supplementation help with the bone spurs? Can bone spur formation indicate a problem with my bone density (osteoathritis or osteoporosis?) Does my MRI results indicate something that could possibly resolve itself given time and proper non-surgical treatment? Thanks in advance!

     
    Old 04-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: Please Interpret MRI

    The good news is that there is no central canal stenosis. While you may experience more intense symptoms while waiting to see the specialist, you are not at risk as you might be if you developed cord compression.(from central canal stenosis.)

    The human spine begins its aging process in our twenties, so many people experience degenerative changes in their 30s and 40s.

    The formation of bone spurs is a reaction to the DDD...the body's attempt to stabilize that which is becoming unstable. It is not related to osteoporosis or lack of or too much calcium. It has to do with the disc beginning to change and the cascade of events that often follow. It is just part of the disease process...and "disease" isn't really the correct term...but hopefully you know what I mean.

    Your situation will not necessarily change or progress. Part of that depends on how you treat your neck, what stresses are placed on it as you go about your daily activity, if you smoke, etc.

     
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