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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


Here are my new MRI results. I went to the ER yesterday because of new excruciating pain. I had ACDF C6-7 (1/11) and ACDF C5-6 (2007).

I'm going to paraphrase:

C3-4 - minimal diffuse disc osteophyte with minimal right-sided foraminal narrowing. No spinal canal narrowing.

C4-5 - Mild left greater than right broad-based disc bulge which abuts and deforms the cord ventrally. There is mild foraminal narrowing.

C5-6 - Small focus of increased T2 signal at the ventral epidural space at the level of C5-6 with T2 hypointense signal noted slightely inferiorly (5:27) is likely a combination of chronic postsurgical changes and minimal disc material and which abuts the ventral spinal cord and mildly deforms it. (WHAT DOES THAT ALL MEAN???) CSF signal is preserved around the spinal cord. There is mild narrowing of the bilateral neural foramen without impingement of the nerve roots.

C6-7 - ok (my paraphrase)

C7-T1 - Minimal diffuse disc bulge without spinal canal or foraminal narrowing.

Paraphrase: The cord signal intensity is within normal limits without evidence of atrophy, myelomalacia or edema.


My pain is located directly in my spine at the base of my neck and to the L side also. Feels also kind of like a pinched nerve on the L. The pain is about an 8 out of 10 today (yesterday a 10 out of 10). What/where do you think the problem is mostly located? or which is my biggest problem? The ER sent me home - said there was no need for any emergency surgery or anything.


Most of the pain we get is from narrowing of the foramina....those are the holes where the nerves exit from the cord out to the body. You have both "Minimal" and "Mild" narrowing in the upper spine. They rate the amount of narrowing with the terms...minimal, mild, moderate and severe. So minimal and mild are both very painful as is moderate. By the time you reach severe, you are starting to get into numbness and weakness.

What they said about the cord is that you have 2 levels where there is something abutting the cord from the front(ventral). It is "deforming it" so from the side, it looks as if there is a "dent" in the cord but they can still see spinal fluid all around the cord on the cross cuts, so it doesn't actually touch the cord itself but is pressing on the whole thing...fluid sac and cord. So the cord is not injured in any way...that is what the final part atrophy, myelomalacia or edema. So your cord is fine.

I'd venture a guess that the pressure on the nerves is your source of trouble and unfortunately, most docs won't operate until you hit the severe range.

Been waiting for that designation myself. It's the pits.


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