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  • Understanding my mri

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    Old 01-06-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
    Join Date: Jan 2015
    Posts: 3
    lilmom10 HB User
    Understanding my mri

    Understanding my mri:
    Findings: there is restrolisthesis of c5-c6. There is mild cervical straightening. The vertebral marrow signal is unremarkable. there is no evidence of compression fracture. the atlantoaxial interval is un remarkable
    c2-c3- there is no disc herniation, spinal canal or foraminal stenosis
    c3-c4-there is no disc herniation, spinal canal or foraminal stenosis
    c4-c5-there is no disc herniation, spinal canal or foraminal stenosis
    c5-c6- there is disc osteophyte complex. there is effacement of the ventral subarachoind space with mild aspect of the cervical spinal cord. the neural foramina are not stenotic
    the spinal cord in normal caliber and signal characteristics. no intraspinal or paraspinal soft tissue mass lesions are identified
    degenerative spondylosis at c5-c6 with disc osteophyte complex which appears to be effacing the subarachnoid space resulting in mild central spinal canal stenosis and mass effect on the cervical spinal cord
    restrolistesis of c5-c6

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    Old 01-06-2015, 12:30 PM   #2
    Join Date: Apr 2014
    Location: seattle wa USA
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    Re: Understanding my mri

    There are a few interesting findings :

    Retrolisthesis of c5/c6 - means the c5 vertebra is slipping backward onto the c6. Usually there is a grade associated with this, that is : 1, 2, 3, 4. Higher grades indicate more slippage and less stability and may require surgical fusion to correct. Since there is no mention of grade in the report the clinical significance is unknown.

    Mild cervical straightening - Normally, your cervical spine has a slight curve to it. Yours still has a curve but not as much as there should be.

    c5/c6 disk osteophyte complex ... - When vertebrae rub on each other the body will form bone spurs as a defense mechanism. These are known as osteophytes. When osteophytes form on a pair of vertebra and join together this is an osteophyte complex. The problem is that the bone spurs don't always grow where they would help, and sometime grow into the spinal canal as in your case. The language is a little unclear but it appears your report is suggesting that the bone spurs are touching the spinal cord and mildly shrinking the space that the cord is in (stenosis).

    Mass effect - This would suggest more than just touching the cord, but rather pushing on it. This usually shows up as the cord being displaced slightly or sometimes as the cord actually having a different shape. There is no mention of this in the report and the report states that the cord is "normal in caliber" meaning not distorted or visibly compressed.

    Overall, it appears that your spine has undergone some degeneration at c5/c6 and has developed some amount of instability. Many times this is due to postural issues over a long period.

    Since you have no signs of neuroforaminal stenosis (nerve pinching) on the MRI, the main thing is to watch for is symptoms of myelopathy or spinal cord compression. It seems unlikely you would have these given the report but if the cord is irritated, symptoms like numbness, tingling etc can be felt in areas at or below those served by the affected spinal level. Your symptoms need to be correlated with the imaging to see if they are related or not. If you post them here we can help with that but you probably want to have this evaluated by your physician as well. A suggestion is to see a spine specialist who is a neuro or ortho surgeon with extra training in the spine and a practice limited to spine issues. They are best qualified to make such correlation. Also, you will probably benefit from PT, especially if your issues are posture related. A good PT can help you learn proper postural mechanics and exercises for strengthening muscles to help with the instability in your spine.

    Good luck and let us know how things go...

    Old 01-06-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
    Join Date: Jan 2015
    Posts: 3
    lilmom10 HB User
    Re: Understanding my mri

    Thank you for taking the time to help me better understand the results of the mri. I am waiting on a neuro surgeon to call and set up an appointment to discuss the next steps that need to be taken. I will keep you posted and once again thank you so much!!

    Old 01-06-2015, 12:45 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jan 2015
    Posts: 3
    lilmom10 HB User
    Re: Understanding my mri

    I do have a copy of the MRI. How would I go about posting it on here?

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