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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I am new to this board and looking for some help in understanding my MRI report. I have an appointment with my Dr. late Monday afternoon but in the mean time would like to be able to understand this report. I am going to be referred to an orthopedic surgeon or a Neuro Surgeon and I have been asked which I prefer and I honestly don't know, because I don't understand my MRI report.

MRI of Cervical Spine:

Procedure: Sagital T2, sagital T1, sagital STIR, axial fast spine-echo T2, axial gradient-echo T2 images were performed.

Findings: Cervical alignment is normal. Cerebellar tonsils are normal in position. The cord is intrinsically normal in signal and caliber.

C2-3: There is a small central disk protrusion, which is contained by the posterior longitudinal ligament. This indents the ventral sac, but does not approach the cord. The foramina are patent.

C3-4" Normal.

C4-5: Mild disk space narrowing, mild dorsal spondylosis in association with annular disk bulging, in association with a shallow central disk protrusion are present and slightly narrow the dural sac. There is mild left foraminal narrowing due to uncovertebral spurring.

At C5-6 there is a central to right-sided disk protrusion, which abuts the cord and causes slight indention of the cord. Minimal left foraminal narrowing due to uncovertebral spurring is present.

At C7-T1, no abnormality is seen. The T1-2 level is normal. At T2-3, there is a small central protrusion. Axial images were not obtained through this level.


1. Central to right-sided disk protrusion at C5-6 with mild canal narrowing and indention of the cord.

2. Small central disk protrusion at C4-5, which in association with dorsal spondylosis causes mild canal narrrowing.

3. Central disk protrusion at C2-3, which does not approach the cord.

MRI of the Lumbar Spine without contrast:

Procedure: Sagital T1, T2 and STIR images were obtained. Axial T2 and Axial T1 images were performed.

Findings: Alignment of the lumbar spine is normal. Conus ends at L2 and is normal in signal intensity and caliber. Marrow signal is normal. The imaged lower Thoracic disks are normal. The L1-2 and L2-3 disks are normal.

There is signal loss of the disks from L3-4 through L5-S1, consistent with desiccation.

At L3-4 there is a mild annular bulge of the disk. There is no spinal stenosis or evidence of neural impingement.

At L4-5 a mild annular bulge of the disk is seen. There is a focal area of high signal intensity in the posterior annulus, consistent with an annular tear. There is no spinal stenosis or evidence of neural impingement.

At L5-S1 there is a shallow central disk protrusion, which indents the ventral sac. The disk protrusion measures 11 mm transverse x 3mm AP. There is moderate to marked narrowing of the right neural foramen due to disk material extending into the foramen and a facet spur, which impinges on the nerve root. This may be irritating the L5 nerve root Left foramen is patent.


1. Mild annular disk bulge at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1.

2. Annular tear at L4-5

3. Moderate right foraminal narrowing at L5-S1 with possible impingement of the nerve root. Small central disk protrusion at L5-S1 with mild indention of the dural sac.

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