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    Old 03-17-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
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    MRI Cervical Spine

    I am a 60 year old female, 5'5" tall, 157 lbs. This goes back a while. In 2010-2011 I had only one symptom - intense itching on both arms from upper arm to the wrist, I saw 5 different doctors (PCP, Allergist, Dermatologist, chiropractor, and Neurologist). I had an MRI done per my dermatologist which I took to the Neurologist. Neurologist only remark was pinched nerve would not cause itching. After over 20 different medications, both OTC and prescription, nothing helped but ice. After about a year of suffering with this is stopped on its own. I just recently requested a copy of the MRI which was done in 2011 because I have started the itching once again, but this time I also have pain in my neck, shoulders and Mid-back. Sometimes the neck feels prickly, most time its a constant ache in my neck, upper back and shoulders. My arms do not hurt except when I sleep on my side, I wake up with pain. I randomly get sharp pains in my left hand. Not all the time, just from time to time for what seems to be for no reason. Mid back aches terribly when I stand or walk for just a short distance (one city block). Below are the results of the MRI done in 2011. I have been referred again to another neurologist, but do not have an appointment yet. Is it possible the results from this MRI would/could cause all these symptoms?

    Modic Type I endplate changes are identified on the left of C5-C6. There is intervertebral disc space narrowing at C6-C7. Small generalized disc bulge at C4-C5 that cause mild spinal canal stenosis and narrowing of the neuroforamina. At C5-C6 and C6-C7 there are generalized disc-osteophyte complexes that cause moderate spinal canal stenosis and bilateral neuroforaminal impingement. There is deformation of the anterior contour of the spinal cord at these levels.

    Impression: Moderate spinal canal stenosis and bilateral neuroforaminal impingement at C5-C6 and C6-C7 due to generalized disc osteophyte complexes.

    Sorry this is so long....thanks for reading!

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    Old 03-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #2
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    Re: MRI Cervical Spine

    Welcome to the board. I would have to concur that itching is not a typical symptom coming from a spinal issue of any kind, pinched nerve, stenosis, herniated disc, etc. However, nerve compression does affect a sensory nerve, and itching is part of the sensory, I guess I wouldn't rule it out entirely.

    Speaking in very general terms, this MRI, which is four years old, indicates the beginnings of what we could call "spinal arthritis." There are the beginning of degenerative changes that can be from "living" -- every day wear and tear that tends not to improve as we age.

    There is one thing in particular I suggest you ask the neurologist about:

    "There is deformation of the anterior contour of the spinal cord at these levels." I have not seen this wording before so am not comfortable defining it for you. However, anytime anything is pressing into the central canal in the cervical area, it needs to be checked by a doctor, preferably a spine specialist to be sure it is not having a compromising affect on the spinal nerves that make up the spinal cord.

    Back in 2011 the MRI indicates moderate stenosis in both the central canal and in the neuro foramina at the levels at C5-6 and C6-7. Stenosis means narrowing. In this case the segments are affected by disc osteophyte complex (a degenerative series of changes that cause the facets to enlarge and sometimes changes in the discs). These changes cause enlargement of the tissue which results in less room for the nerves in the central canal and in the openings as they exit the spine out to other parts of the body. These are arthritic-type changes that cause nerve compression and result in stenosis.

    Central canal stenosis is what often causes the pain when walking or standing. The C5-7 dermatomes run across the bottom of the neck and upper shoulders, down the outer side of arms and into the hand and fingers. It seems like your description of symptoms (other than itching) matches up fairly closely to what is found on the old MRI.

    If you are in lots of pain, you will want a new MRI.

    Good luck. Please come back and let us know what you learn!

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