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  • What does this MRI mean???

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    Old 05-21-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
    Lynnpac
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    What does this MRI mean???

    I don't really understand what the results of the MRI mean. Here it is

    Results: there is straightening of the normal cervical lordosis. There is mild desiccation at C4-5 and C5-6 intervertebral disc with more advanced desiccation with degenerative disc changes at C6-7 level

    C2-3 disc level is unremarkable
    C3-4 disc level shows minimal central disc bulge
    C4-5 disc level demonstrates central and left paracentral spondylosis with a moderate degree of left foraminal compromise. There is no central canal stenosis
    C5-6 demonstrates diffuse spondylosis with mild bilateral neural foraminal compromise, slightly left greater than right, with no central canal stenosis
    C6-7 level demonstrates diffuse spondylosis with moderate to severe bilateral neural foraminal compromise and no central canal stenosis
    C7-T1 level is unremarkable

    Impression:
    1. straightening of the cervical lordosis with mild disc desiccation at C4-5 and C5-6 with more advanced disc desiccation with degenerative changes at C6-7 level.
    2. Central and left paracentral spondylosis at the C4-5 level with mild degree of left neural forminal compromise.
    3. Diffuse spondylosis at C5-6 with mild neural foraminal compromise, left greater than right
    4. Diffuse spondylosis at C6-7 with moderate to severe bilateral forminal compromise and no central canal stenosis.


    What does this all mean and how can it be fixed? I have neck and shoulder pain for months now, more so at night when I try to sleep. Also wake up with numbness.
    Any replies would be appreciated

     
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    Old 05-21-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
    WebDozer
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    Re: What does this MRI mean???

    Unfortunately, the term "spondylosis" is not quite as specific as one would hope for. I would infer, in your case, that he's talking about disk bulging or osteophytes (bone spurs) growing off the vertebrae next to the disks. That's especially true because of the loss (he doesn't say how much of a loss) of lordosis (the backward bend of the cervical spine as it rises), which may be adding pressure to push the disks backward.

    He's somewhat clearer about the effects of the spondylosis. The good news is that your spinal canal (and thus the spinal cord) does not seem to be affected. However, your foramina are affected at three levels. The foramina are the openings in the bony cage of the spine where the nerves leave the cord and head into your neck, shoulders and arms. The C7 nerve - leaving from the C6-7 level - is "severely" affected, which is radiologist-speak for "this is a real problem", and it's affected on both sides. This certainly could be causing neck pain, a variety of symptoms in the arms, and symptoms specific to the middle two fingers. Two levels up, the problem is not so bad ("moderate" being the next step down from "severe"), but still warrants attention.

    I would suggest that you look into the possibility of foraminotomies (an operation specifically to re-open the foramina and relieve pressure on the nerves). That would be the least invasive surgical alternative. Since you have no canal/cord involvement, I would say that an ACDF (fusion) would be an overreaction. I'm not really sure how much good non-surgical options will do you.

    Of course, all this is the opinion of an interested amateur. I would strongly advise getting at least two opinions from spinal surgeons.

    Last edited by WebDozer; 05-21-2012 at 11:18 AM.

     
    Old 05-21-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
    Lynnpac
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    Re: What does this MRI mean???

    Thank you for the reply. I have to wait until mid June to have my follow up with the neurosurgeon and am curious to what he will have to say. I just want to resolve this neck/shoulder issue. It's interesting to read all the different language of the different radiology reports on the board here.

     
    Old 05-21-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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    Re: What does this MRI mean???

    You really want to be prepared when you talk to the NS, so he doesn't just rush you through. I would at least read up on foraminotomies....

     
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