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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Welcome to the board. I will start by explaining a few basic terms, so, hopefully, in the future you will be able to better understand the language of the MRI.

If you aren't familiar with spinal anatomy, I would suggest you look online for some good illustrations so you will better understand the basic terms...vertebrae, disc, facet joint...and then the central canal, which contains the spinal cord or the bundle of nerves called the "cauda equina" if below the termination point of the spinal cord...usually at L1.

Retrolisthesis is a type of spondylolisthesis--which is a condition when one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent vertebra. It can create some instability in the segment of the spine that is affected. It can also result in pain and or radiculopathy or shooting nerve pain, tingling and even numbness if a spinal nerve gets caught up in the slippage.

An osteophyte is a small bone spur. Disc osteophyte complex is when there is a bone spur growing on more than one vertebral body, accompanied by a bulging disc.

When you see the term "narrowing," it is referring to stenosis. There are two places in the spinal area where stenosis occurs. One is in the central canal and the other is in the neural foramina. The foramen is an opening located at each vertebral level that allows the spinal nerve to exist the spine and go out to the part of the body it innervates. When the opening becomes blocked by things like a bone spur or a bulging disc, there is less space for the nerve to function normally. This results in nerve compression and the associated symptoms.

There are specific words used by radiologists to describe the degree of " how much" something is. They are: minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Generally speaking, you don't need to pay too much attention when something is minimal or mild...but sometimes with moderate and definitely with severe, you should see a spine specialist. the cervical area there are some degenerative changes going on. At C3-4, there is a bit of impingement on the spinal cord on the right side. Mild to moderate stenosis in the foraminal opening on the left side.

At C5-6 the disc osteophyte complex is slightly pushing into the spinal cord. Mild to moderate stenosis in the right where the stenosis or narrowing has progressed to severe on the right side.

"Stable" means the condition has remained the same as it was at the time of the previous MRI. The only new finding is the increased stenosis in the right foramen at L4-5...which is now judged to be severe.

Are you currently seeing either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon?

Were you told to take Lyrica in addition to gabapentin?

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