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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Re: MRI Results
Mar 19, 2017
When I read through your report the first time, I was going to say "yes". Then I realized your pain is on the opposite side of the "issue" so I read it again to look more carefully.

The most important thing to know about a MRI is that it is one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. Without a physical exam and basic neurological exam to correlate what is in the MRI, the MRI can be misleading. This is one reason why I suggest that people see a spine specialist for an accurate diagnosis rather than relying on a PCP, family doctor or pain management doctor to read the MRI and determine a plan for treatment. People can waste time going this route!

That being said, here's what I see in the report.
Most spinal segments look OK with the exception of C5-6 where there are degenerative changes. The disc has herniated and disc material is coming out of the disc, seeping out beyond the disc space and is pushing into the thecal sac, causing it to flatten...which pushes into the spinal cord. (The thecal sac is the tough membrane that contains the spinal fluid and spinal cord.). While this is pushing into the central canal, it has not impacted the spinal cord...although the diameter of the canal is probably somewhat reduced in diameter to 8.5mm. The cord is not swollen.

The disc extrusion is however, causing some narrowing of the neuroforamina, which are openings where the spinal nerve exits the spine and goes out to the area of the body it this case the C5 and C6 spinal nerves. You can look online for a "dermatome map". Which will show you the approximate path that these nerves take...for example, C6 runs across the top of the shoulder, down the inner side of arm into the thumb.

At C6-7, there is foraminal narrowing on the right perhaps your pain is coming from this. I gather you have fusion at this level....

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