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  • mri help??

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    Old 08-12-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
    Join Date: Aug 2015
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    shellygal HB User
    mri help??

    Hi guys I am new to here so please bare with me if I do anything wrong. So here's a quick description of my history and I'm also looking for some new mri advice. I am a 29 female who was fit and healthy up until all this.
    In March 2013 I had an emergency disectomy and laminectomy for lumbar cauda equina I developed after a vicious assault in august 2012. My spinal cord was 90% compressed and went undiagnosed for 2 weeks when symptoms appeared. Anyway to cut a long story short I am still recovering and still suffering very bad with chronic back pain and am very limited in anything I do. I did not get a spinal fusion at the time as my back was in too bad of a condition. I was discharged from my orthopaedic Dr in April 2015. I had mentioned at the time I was suffering from neck pain since November 2014 that appeared to be getting worse so I was told I would get an mri as i was willing to oay after previous experience and to ring so anyways after much waiting it never came so I have been and got one myself through my gp in may. However now orthopaedics secretary is telling me I must join the que again as I was discharged which is ridiculously long and no one has been able to explain my mri to me as my gp is unsure of it. I have been getting increasingly sore and am now very limited in my neck movement especially turning head ie driving or sleeping and I am hoping someone will help me understand my MRI. I am debating paying to go privately as waiting list are crazy at the minute and I know I'm getting worse even since the mri was done in may. So now between the chronic pain i suffer from my previous surgery as well as this it's really taking its toll on me. If anyone could help me I would greatly appreciate it. I don't even know if this could be related to my lumbar being so weak and having 5 degenerated lumbar discs or what I just know I'm in alot of pain. (Not neck nerve pain ) Thank you in advance to replies sorry it's such a long post I just want sure if the 2 could be linked. Or if because of pre existing nerve damage from my cauda equina will this new problem affect my existing problem. Current neck symptoms are pain in right side and now left side severe headaches limited mobility pain can radiate into clavicle too. Sometimes blurry vision mostly associated with headaches. I did have tingling in right side of gace which has settled again.

    There is reversal of the normal cervical lordosis. Alignment otherwise normal. Apart from degenerative endplates changes at C4-C5, bone marrow signal intensity ir normal throughout. Atlantoaxial junction unremarkable. Cervical spinal cord demonstrates normal signal and thickness throughout.

    At axial imaging
    C2-C3 no significant disc herniation, canal dimensions are normal on both exiting foramina are clear
    C3-C4 there is a shallow broad based posterior disc bulge which indents the anterior aspect of the cord however canal dimensions are adequate. Both exiting foramina are clear.
    C4-C5 there is a dehydrated disc. Posteriorly there is a broad based osteochondral bar which indents and flattens the anterior aspect of the cord however canal dimensions are adequate. both exiting foramina are clear.
    C5-C6 & C6-C7 there is no significant disc herniation and canal dimensions are normal and all exiting foramina are clear.

    Two level degenerative disc changes at C3-C4 & C4-C5 however no significant neural compromise is demonstrated.

    Last edited by shellygal; 08-12-2015 at 11:15 AM. Reason: spelling error

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    Old 08-13-2015, 09:31 PM   #2
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    Re: mri help??

    Welcome to the board. I am sorry you are in pain and are having trouble getting in to see a spine specialist. First thing to know is that spinal symptoms develop at the level of injury or below. In other words, a cervical issue could cause leg
    pain, but a lumbar issue will not cause any symptoms above the waist. So, no, your lumbar disc problems are not causing your neck pain.

    However, it could be throwing off the structural alignment of your spine, causing muscles and soft tissue to become out of balance, etc. You may be compensating for your lumbar pain which has thrown off alignment, causing other muscles to work harder in an attempt to hold you upright. This may result in cervical pain.

    Your MRI does not show much that would indicate why you are in pain. There is some degenerative disc disease which results in a disc herniation at C3-4 and the disc at C4-5 is drying out and flattening. These two problems can result in stenosis or spinal nerve compression, but the report indicates that even though they push into the cord, neither is causing any cord compression or narrowing the central canal or the neuroforamen. In other words, there is plenty of space for the nerves in the cord to function normally. There is a loss of the curve in the cervical spine but the bones of the neck are aligned properly.

    Of course, the MRI is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The spine specialist will look at the images and correlate what he sees to what he finds upon performing a physical exam and a basic neurological exam, and after listening to a description of how these symptoms impact your daily life. Putting all this information together, he or she will arrive at a diagnosis and plan for treatment.

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