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    Old 09-22-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
    Join Date: Sep 2015
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    Virginia35 HB User
    Question Please help me read my cervical MRI

    Hello I got my results back from my cervical MRI. Doctors really haven't told me much other than you have degenerative disc disease and a bulge in my c5-c6 disc. I am a female, 5' 2" and 137 lbs.

    Results read:
    Procedure: MRI of cervical spine without contrast

    History: Neck Pain. Vertigo.

    No comparison study.

    There are minimal disc desiccation and bulge C2-C3 without compression of the cord or notable foraminal compromise. Borderline mild posterior disc bulge C3-C4. Normal C4-C5 disc.

    Moderate C5-C6 disc degeneration with bulge narrowing the foramina mildly, greater on right side with slight mass effect on the cord by disc. Normal C6-C7, C7-T1, T1-T2 discs.

    The cervical cord and craniocervical junction are normal. There is no intradural extra medullary abnormality.

    The vertebrae are intact with borderline straightening of lordosis secondary to spondylosis. No paraspinal soft tissue abnormality.

    Impression: Mild degenerative disc bulge with minimal cord compression C5-C6.

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    Old 09-23-2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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    Re: Please help me read my cervical MRI

    Welcome to the board. The doctors pretty much told you what is indicated from the MRI. You have the beginnings of degerative disc disease.

    There is a small amount of degenerative change at C2-3 and C3-4. The next disc is normal. C5-6 shows a bit more degenerative change with a bulging disc that is creating a bit of narrowing at the foraminal openings, greater on the right side. The foramina is an opening at each vertebral level that provides an opening for the spinal nerve to exit the central canal and go out to a part of the body that is innervated by that specific nerve. This bulge is also pushing into the central canal where it has a slight impact on the spinal cord.

    The rest of the cervical spine appears to be OK.

    While foraminal narrowing or stenosis can cause pain or radiculopathy, it is the compression of the spinal cord that can be harmful. While other symptoms can be ignored, cord compression is something that needs to be watched. Let me mention that radiologists use specific adjectives to describe "how bad" an issue is. These words are: minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Generally speaking, minimal and mild issues are not a "big deal," severe usually requires some sort of intervention or treatment, and moderate is right there in between! But it is something the doctor will pay some attention to.

    You will note that your "worst" issue is at C5-6 where the disc bulge is judged to be moderate. Now you look to see what this moderate disc bulge is affecting. In this case it is causing some foraminal narrowing which is described as mild...and it is noted that it is causing a little bit of cord compression.

    When you go to the doctor he/she should correlate what is seen on the MRI with what is found on physical exam and neurological exam. Then you will describe your symptoms and their impact on your daily life. All this information will be used to form a diagnosis and plan of treatment if one is required/necessary.

    I should add that most doctors do not read the radiology reports so they may judge something to be more or less severe than the radiologist writing the report! They prefer to look at the images and make their own evaluations.

    Basically your cervical spine appears to be in pretty good shape.

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