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    Old 12-15-2016, 02:30 PM   #1
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    Join Date: Dec 2016
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    DarcyBee HB User
    Unhappy Help with MRI results.

    I'm 49 years old. I have been having really bad neck pain, shoulder pain, and numb fuzziness and some lack of fine motor control of hand on my right arm. Definite lack of strength in my right (dominant arm) for many years. 10 years ago I had bulging disks and some arthritis show up on an MRI. It's gotten progressively worse since then with PT doing basically nothing.

    I got another MRI this week. This is what they found (abnormal results only)

    c5-c6: There is mild narrowing of disc height. 4mm disc osteophyte complex is present causing mild central stenonis. There is a moderate right neural formaminal due to disc osteophyte encroachment and uncovertebral hypertrophy. Mild left neural formainal stenosis is present.

    c6-c7: 4.5 mm disc osteophyte complex eccentric to the right is present causing moderate central stenosis with AP canal dimension measuring 7.5mm. There is moderate to severe left and moderate right neural foraminal stenosis due to disc osteophyte encroachments.

    c7-T1: Small disc bulge slightly indents the ventral thecal sac without causing significant central stenosis. There is marked moderate right neural foraminal stenosis due to disc encroachment without significant left neural foraminal stenosis.

    I am waiting for a referral to a specialist. In a lot of pain, every day, every night. Also had very bad migraines with vomiting, that I've never had. I also have the feeling something is stuck in my throat, and my throat has been mild/moderately sore on one side for 5 years. Doc says it's probably allergies. As for neck pain, my old doc said to call him right away if I lost control of my bladder and/or bowels, but never ordered an x ray or MRI. I changed docs, and got xray and MRI.

    Please help! Do you think I will need surgery?

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    Old 12-16-2016, 12:34 PM   #2
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    DarcyBee HB User
    Re: Help with MRI results.

    I know that no one is supposed to diagnose me or advise me, but I'm just wondering if anyone else might know if this sounds like surgery might be a good idea? I have to think it will get worse. I've been hurting for more than 15 years. Tied PT, all I can say is the massage was nice.

    I'm scared and waiting for approval to see a neurosurgeon and trying to understand the situation and what can be done about it, and if it will help the pain, or just help the pain from progressing.

    I did get a new desk platform to raise my desk to a standing height whenever I want, and a new more supportive office chair.

    Old 12-22-2016, 05:12 AM   #3
    Join Date: Dec 2016
    Location: Central Texas
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    Kajunflirt HB User
    Re: Help with MRI results.

    Good Morning,
    I understand the fear you have right now because I am going through something as well. It looks like people only reply to the regulars and not us newbies.
    It sounds to me like surgery might be an option to help reduce some of the compression and intrusion in the spinal canal. While its never a great thought to have back or neck surgery I hope that it or whatever they decide to do will provide you with some relief.
    Its hard to explain to people who don't deal with pain everyday what its like but I really do get it. I am so sorry that your dealing with this all. It sounds like its been getting worse for quite some time. They can do some amazing things now days and I hope someone will be able to offer a good solution that will help you regain some peace and function.
    Don't give up on PT. Its so important to keep as much function and strength as you possibly can because if you have surgery you will have a better end result without as long and painful of a recovery if you do.
    Good luck sweetheart. Don't let them ignore you!

    Old 12-22-2016, 11:08 AM   #4
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    Re: Help with MRI results.

    Hi. Sorry you had to wait for some response to your question. People get busy around the holidays and aren't as active on the board.

    First, be aware that the MRI is one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The images will be correlated with what is found on physical exam and basic neurological exam. Sometimes something that looks bad on the MRI will not be causing any or few symptoms, and the opposite can be true, too.

    Basically there is some degenerative changes going on in the levels you posted results on which is causing stenosis. The easy translation of stenosis is "narrowing." It can occur in two places in the is in the central canal; the other is in the neural foramina. The foramen is an opening where a specific spinal nerve exits the spine and goes out to the area of the body it innervates. There is a foramen for every spinal nerve and it is located close to the disc and vertebra on both the left and right side. It can get clogged up (from things like disc material, calcification, enlargement of the facet joint, etc.) and as a result, the diameter lessens, which results in pressure on the nerve. This can cause symptoms like pain, tingling and numbness either at the site in the back or it can radiate out along the path of the specific nerve. This path that the nerve innervates is called a dermatome. You can find a "dermatome map" online and it will show you what is innervated by the Specific spinal nerve...and you can see if your complaints match up.

    Another thing it is helpful to know is that radiologists use specific words to describe an issue, which are minimal, mild, moderate, severe. This will help you to know "how bad a particular finding is.

    For example, the issues appear to be the worst at C6-7, where there is measurable calcification of the disc going on that is pushing over toward the spinal cord, causing stenosis in the central canal and causing the diameter of the canal to narrow to 7.5mm. (Normal is about 12mm on most people...). This disc osteophyte is also causing the foramina on both left and right sides to narrow...judged to be severe on the left side, and moderate on the right.

    Since no cord compression is seen, you may not need surgery...but obviously, that is for the neurosurgeon to decide after he evaluates you.

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