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  • Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

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    Old 06-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
    mike1953
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    Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    Can someone please tell me how serious this report is. My MD is sending me to a Neuro- Surgeon.

    At C4-5, there is a minor disc bulge and mild hypertrophy resulting in minor narrowing of the right and left neural foramina

    At C5-6, there is a minor to mild disc bulge and facet hypertrophy resulting in minor mass effect on the anterior cord and bilateral neural foraminal narrowing

    At C6-7, there is a mild disc bulge and facet hypertrophy resulting in minor mass effect on the anterior cord and bilateral neural foraminal narrowing.

    At C5-C6 & C6-C7, there are small anterior and posterior osteophytes (bone spurs)

    Thank you in advance

    Mike Walsh

     
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    Old 06-06-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    One can't really tell from this radiologist's report. The main problem is that he talks about bilateral foraminal narrowing at C4-5 and C5-6 w/o saying how severe the narrowing is. Since he says the narrowing at C3-4 is "minor", I guess we can infer that the narrowing lower down is worse. Whether it's moderate or severe, we can't tell.

    At any rate, I assume you have some symptoms? Neck pain? Various shoulder/arm/hand symptoms? Most likely, they'd be caused by nerve roots being pinched as they pass through the foramina.

    The fact that a "mild" disk bulge is actually affecting the front of the cord is a little worrisome. "Mild" bulges "shouldn't" be big enough to do that, and it opens the possibility that you have hereditary spinal stenosis. That is, your spinal canal is too narrow to start out with, so you don't have much leeway when things start to intrude into the canal.

     
    Old 06-07-2012, 04:40 AM   #3
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    For the past 2 months I have severe pain in the right upper chest, right shoulder, right upper arm and down the arm to the hand with pain in the thumb and numbness. I also have pain in my right knee. I have trouble eating as I can barely hold a fork for more than a few seconds without raising my arm above my head.

     
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    Old 06-07-2012, 05:41 AM   #4
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike1953 View Post
    For the past 2 months I have severe pain in the right upper chest, right shoulder, right upper arm and down the arm to the hand with pain in the thumb and numbness. I also have pain in my right knee. I have trouble eating as I can barely hold a fork for more than a few seconds without raising my arm above my head.
    Hi Mike1953. I, too, had just about the same report for my cervical area. My symptoms are on the left, but they are the same as yours. On July 2nd, in 26 days, I will be having ACDF surgery and my NS will decompress nerves, do a discectomy on C5-C7, and a fusion. He said that he will also remove bone spurs and use the local bone along with a titanium mesh implant to replace the disc, and titanium plates and screws. I wish the surgery were today instead of 4 weeks as the severe chest pain is driving me crazy. I am a full-time college student and need to be able to start attending classed at the end of August and be able to walk across campus without the chest pain (I have a rolling book bag so I won't have to carrry books, but I will have to lift the bag in and out of my truck).

    (If anyone has any information about this type of disc implant, could you please explain what it is and if you have had that type of implant, how is it working for you).

    I wish you the best of luck and hope that your NS can help you get relief from your pain.

    Last edited by stefannsgirl; 06-07-2012 at 05:50 AM.

     
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    Old 06-07-2012, 05:47 AM   #5
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    The thumb problem could very easily come from the C6 nerve root (C5-6 level) being pinched passing through the right foramen. Likewise for the shoulder/arm, although the C5 nerve could come into play here, as well.

    IF (emphasis on "if") the right knee pain has a cervical origin, then it's because the spinal cord itself is compromised. The radiologist's report simply says the cord has been affected by the disk bulges, but he doesn't say how severely. My (completely amateur) guess is that the knee pain has nothing to do with the cervical spine, but that's just a guess.

    The fork-holding problem also may not be cervical. Possibly a pinched nerve somewhere else (elbow or wrist?). Possibly not a nerve problem at all.

    I hope this helps. The NS will, of course, look at your images and make up his own mind, independent of anything the radiologist said.

    BTW, I really hope you get multiple opinions. Your radiologist's report leaves a lot to be desired in terms of detail, but from what I see, I suspect that different surgeons might propose radically different solutions. I'd go for three opinions, if I were in your shoes. You may have to pay out-of-pocket, but it's worth it.

    Last edited by WebDozer; 06-07-2012 at 05:51 AM.

     
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    Old 06-07-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    In 2006 I underwent an Anterior/Posterior Fusion from L4 through S1 with Instrumentation and have been diagnosed with
    Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
    Central Sensitization
    Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction
    L5-S1 radiculopathy
    I had a severe reaction to the chemical Depo Medrol used in 5 of my 9 epidurals and it was also poured into my spine during my first surgery. The drug company Pfizer told me it is toxic if used near neural tissue. I have a burning sensation throughout my body after this drug was injected into my body.

     
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    Old 06-07-2012, 06:04 AM   #7
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    OK, that complicates matters. Do to my complete ignorance of drug effects, I cannot comment further than that....

     
    Old 06-07-2012, 06:09 AM   #8
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    Re: Cervical MRI Report. What does it mean?

    Wow, Mike! You have been through the wringer.

    I had a posterior laminectomy, discectomy, and fusion of L4-5 in 2002. When I received my MRI report and talked to the NS, he said I would also need an extension of that fusion into L3-4 due to bone over-growth (arthritis) causing spinal canal narrowing. (That one is going to be done when I can no longer walk or stand the pain). I developed pneumonia during surgery and ended up in ICU for 10 days. Needless to say, I had to learn how to sit up in a chair and walk all over again since I didn't get out of bed or sit up in a chair for 10 days.

     
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