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  • Please help me with reading my MRI and what it means?

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    Old 06-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
    kpcups
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    Please help me with reading my MRI and what it means?

    Hi all! I am 39 years old but if what I am reading correctly sounds like I have a neck like a 90 year old. Oh btw I already had injections in my lower back and in my neck. No help! In extreme pain and can not take any anti inflammatory's due to High Risk of Ulcers. Also had a full body bone scan and arthritis was detected in hips knees, hands and feet. I am being made to believe that the pain is all in my head and that I have fibromyagia! I need help it hurts so bad and my lower back is just as bad. These big words I am lost. Appreciate any help with this. Can a person have this much stuff looks like something is wrong and not be in pain? Thank you i n advance for your time and consideration.

    MRI:

    intervetebral discs: Disc degeneration and disc space narrowing at c5-C6 with edematous degenerative endplate marrow change.

    Individual Disc levels:
    c2-c3 mild left uncovertebral hypertrophy. No sign. narrowing of the central canal or neural foramina.

    c3-c4 mild disc bulging with bilateral uncovertebral hypertrophy. Mild narrowing of the right neural foramen.

    c4-c5: disc bulging with left greater than right uncovertebral hypertrophy, and possibly a small associated left paracentral disc protrusion. Mild narrowing on the central canal with indentation of the left ventral cord, as well as mild right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.

    c5-c6 disc bulging and endplate spurring with billateral incovertebral hypertrophy. Mild narrowing of the ventral canal as well as moderate to severe right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.

    c6-c7 small central disc protrusion. No significant narrowing of the central or neural foramina.

    c7-t1: no sign. disc bulge or herniation.

     
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    Old 06-08-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Please help me with reading my MRI and what it means?

    As I was reading through the MRI report, I was getting ready to write that yes, it was possible to have that many things "wrong" and yet not have "enough" to cause lots of pain. That was up until I came to the issues at your C5-C6 level...

    c5-c6 disc bulging and endplate spurring with billateral incovertebral hypertrophy. Mild narrowing of the ventral canal as well as moderate to severe right and moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.

    Simply put, you have signs of degenerative/arthritis-type change throughout the cervical spine. Most of it is considered to be "mild" (this on a ratings system as follows: minimal, mild, moderate and severe). Problems judged to be minimal or mild are usually noticed but ignored. Moderate can go either way and severe requires attention.

    At C5-C6 the degeneration is a bit more severe and it is affecting both the left and right side by causing a narrowing of the areas where the spinal nerves are. The central canal contains the spinal cord and the foramen are little openings located at each spinal segment on either side. The spinal nerves pass out from the spine through these openings. If anything (like a disc herniation, arthritic bone spurs, etc.) clog up these openings, it puts pressure on the nerves, causing nerve irritation or compression. Since the spinal nerves innervate a particular area of the body or limb, when the C6 nerve is compressed, for example, the patient may expeience pain running down the shoulder, lateral part of the arm and running down into the thumb....so when irritated or compressed, one could experience pain, tingling, numbness, etc. at any or all of these places.

    The various disc bulges are noticed but are not necessarily a problem because most of them are not affecting a nerve...should the bulges increase in size or should you develop an annular tear in the disc, then it will be a different story.
    Unfortunately with spinal arthritis, it often continues to develop as the patient ages.

    I would suggest you make an appointment with a spine specialist for an accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment. This can be either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeom whose practice is limited to the neck and back. All conservative treatment methods will be tried before surgery is considered, so don't worry about going to a "surgeon." These two specialists have the most education and training in the mechanics and diseases of the back and neck. An accurate diagnosis will keep you from wasting time with another doctor and should assure that you are receiving appropriate treatment.

    Then you might want to see a rheumatologist to see if you have something like rheumatic arthritis that is contributing to your problems.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 06-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
    WebDozer
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    Re: Please help me with reading my MRI and what it means?

    Something I would add to Teteri's excellent response...

    At C4-5,. he says you have "mild narrowing on the central canal with indentation of the left ventral cord". That's a bit of a red flag. Your spinal cord is surrounded within the canal by spinal fluid. If you have only "mild" narrowing of the canal, your cord should not be affected, let alone indented.

    Except... if you have what's called "hereditary (or developmental) spinal stenosis". That is, your canal is ALREADY narrower than it ought to be, before anything abnormal happens, like a disk bulge. Most likely, someone with this condition has short "pedicles" which are parts of the spinal structure that serve sort of as "spacers" along the side of the spine. There's no problem with having hereditary spinal stenosis until you get old enough to have things starting to intrude into the canal. Then, those intrusions have less distance to travel to reach the cord.

    You might want to take this up with a specialist that you see, as it can affect your treatment. For example, someone with hereditary spinal stenosis (like me) might choose to have decompressive surgery (like a laminoplasty - as I did) to open up space in the canal, rather than directly addressing the intrusions.

    A really good radiologist (which you did not get) would have been more explicit about just how the situation at C4-5 came about.

     
    Old 06-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
    kpcups
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    Thumbs up Re: Please help me with reading my MRI and what it means?

    Thank you so much (both) for your input. You both are angels! Before you responded this was all so confusing. I understand fully now. I hurt really bad and that was just my cervical I didn't even put my lower lumbar info in. It is the same language so now I will be able to interpret that MRI also. I now have insight on which doctors I need to see and what I need to do. I believe I need to revamp all of my doctors at this point. I should not have to go online and ask questions. I have to say that nothing that they wrote feels mild or small. I live it everyday and it effects the quality of my life. I can't even move my neck and the numbness is constant. Migraines/headaches through the roof! It goes right down my shoulders into my arms then into my fingers (pain and numbness). Thanks again and have a great weekend!

     
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