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Thread: Need help reading MRI results

  1. #1

    Default Need help reading MRI results


    I have been suffering from severe neck pain, headaches and head feeling too heavy for my neck for a couple of months. I tried everything from physical therapy, nerve blocks. Currently on oral steroids. My results came back just now and my doctor is on vacation. Can somebody help me read these results?

    NDICATION: Radicular pain headache neck stiffness



    REPORT: Vertebral body alignment and height minimal retrolisthesis of
    C5 on C6.
    Disc space decreased signal and height most severe at C5-C6 C6-C7 levels.
    Marrow normal. Posterior fossa normal. Cord normal. Congenital stenosis
    extending from the C3 through the C6 level.

    Axial images.

    C2-C3: Minimal facet arthropathy uncinate hypertrophy mild left neural

    C3-C4: Congenital stenosis disc bulge effacement thecal sac facet arthropathy
    uncinate hypertrophy mild/moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing.

    C4-C5: Congenital stenosis disc bulge effacing anterior posterior thecal sac
    facet arthropathy mild uncinate hypertrophy mild bilateral neural foraminal

    C5-C6: Posterior osteophyte disc complex with effacement thecal sac
    congenital stenosis and central disc protrusion minimally flattens
    cord. Facet
    arthropathy uncinate hypertrophy moderate right mild to moderate left neural
    foraminal narrowing.

    C6-C7: Congenital stenosis central disc protrusion effacing thecal sac
    flattens cord facet arthropathy uncinate hypertrophy mild/moderate bilateral
    neural foraminal narrowing.

    C7-T1: Negative


    1. Congenital stenosis with superimposed multilevel facet arthropathy
    ligamentum flavum hypertrophy and or disc bulge/protrusion with osteophytic
    ridging with most severe findings C3-C4 effacement thecal sac mild to moderate
    bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, C4-C5 effacement thecal sac mild
    neural foraminal narrowing, C5-C6 effacing thecal sac mild flattening of cord
    moderate right mild to moderate left neural foraminal narrowing, C6-C7
    effacement thecal sac mild flattening of cord mild to moderate
    bilateral neural
    foraminal narrowing.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    S. Indiana


    Hi, sorry you are dealing with so much pain and discomfort due to your neck. One thing I have found that helps me, after trying so many that haven't helped, is deep tissue massage. The pain tightens up our muscles creating more pain just from the tight muscles. Just something to consider while you are dealing with this.

    Now for the MRI, first remember all I can give you is personal experience not medical experience. The key part to read is the impression area as that is what conclusions the tech has come up with reading your MRI. Get a medical dictionary, there is one here on BT, to look up all the technical words you don't understand. Essentially your MRI notes you have changes that are flattening your spinal cord along with other changes of the vertebra that impacts the nerves that exit your spinal cord. It definitely shows reasons for the problems you are having and it will be up to you and your doctor what action to take. I know the feeling of being willing to do anything to get rid of the pain and get back to feeling 'normal' again. Just remember, although surgery is the best choice in some cases once you make that decision you have changed your body forever and you will be dealing with those changes the rest of your life. If you choose surgery I hope the changes are minimal and are easy to overcome each day. Good luck with your decision and whatever treatment you decide on.
    1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
    2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life

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