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  • Need help with MRI

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    Old 08-06-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
    TiredofPain70
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    Need help with MRI

    I recently had an MRI due to head aches and loss of feeling in my right hand (pinky/ring finger up to elbow)
    The MRI stated c2-3 disiccated disc 1.3mm Posterior bulge AP canal stenosis 9.4mm
    c3-4 desiccation 2.6 mm left paracentral protrusion AP canal stenosis 8.6 mm Moderate bilateral foraminal encroachment
    c4-5 desiccated left posteolateral 2.6mm protrusion with annular tear, indents ventral cervical cord, moderate left foraminal narrowing
    c5-6 4.3 mm left paracentral protrusion that abuts the left ventral aspect of cervical cord AP canal stenosis 8.6mm
    c6-7 2.8mm posterior annular bulge with tear moderate bilateral foraminal encroachment

    If anyone could shed some light on these finding my Neuro appointment is over a month away

     
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    Old 08-07-2013, 06:48 AM   #2
    WebDozer
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    Re: Need help with MRI

    Not the best radiologist's report, I'm afraid. He seemed to be trying to use as few words as possible.

    Just for starters, your ring and little fingers are innervated by the C8 nerve, which comes from the C7-T1 level. If the radiologist had nothing to say about that level, then he must not have seen anything worth mentioning. I suppose it's possible that the nerve is being impinged somewhere other than your neck. Perhaps in your elbow? A neurologist should be able to test that.


    About the other levels...

    Your disks are dessicated (dried out). This is not unusual after a certain age. Not good, but not unusual, either.

    At all five levels mentioned the disk is bulging back into the spinal canal. At two of the levels, the tough outer shell of the disk (annulus) is torn, which means that the disk may herniate sometime (the soft inner filling may spill out). Of course, since the disks are dessicated, there may be no filling left to spill out. The bulges seem to be moderate-sized (my amateur's take, that is), although I guess the one at C5-6 might be called largish. The bulges narrow the canal down as far as 8.6mm (measured front-to-back), which is moderately narrow. I have seen as low as 4mm.

    It is quite possible that your spinal canal started out somewhat narrower than normal (hereditary spinal stenosis). This means that intrusions into the canal - like disk bulges - may have greater effects than they would on someone with a normal-sized canal.

    The radiologist only mentions one level where the bulging disk affects the cord (C4-5). The front of the cord is "indented". Not terribly helpful language, as an indentation may result in many symptoms or none at all. Of course, if there were symptoms they could be pretty much anywhere "downstream"... in your case, the shoulders and entire arms and hands, but also legs.

    At several levels, the radiologist says that the disk bulges are causing "moderate bilateral foraminal encroachment/narrowing". This means that the foramina - which are the openings on either side of the front of the spinal cage, through which pass the nerves after leaving the cord and before heading down into your arms - are being obstructed. He uses the adjective "moderate", which might be translated from radiologist-speak as "borderline problematic". Of course, it's all a matter of interpretation, and his "moderate" might be some other radiologist's "severe".

    As for your headaches, I really can't say. The C3 nerve (from your C2-3 level) seems to go to the lower back part of your head. The radiologist does not indicate much of a problem at that level, and headaches can have many causes, so I wouldn't even hazard a guess.

    Last edited by WebDozer; 08-07-2013 at 07:11 AM.

     
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