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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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i received my mri results today for my neck problem diffured pain down my left arm was wondering if anyone out there could simplify them for me and possibly tell me what it means and if im going to need an operation or what treatment will be offered as its left me a little shell shocked.
right heres my mri results

MRI spine cervical
there is loss of the normal lordosis with disc osteophyte bars between c3 and c7;
at c3/4 no significant foraminal stenosis.
at c4/5 there is a small central disc 0steophyte bar indenting the anterior theca but no convincing foraminal stenosis.
At c5/6 there is a large posterior disc osteophyte bar which extends into the left c6 foramen and is likely to be causing nerve root impingement. it is also causing flattening of the anterior aspect of the left side of the cervical cord.
At c6/7 there is generalised disc osteophyte bar indenting the anterior theca although no convincing foraminal stenosis.
conclusion:
large left sided disc osteophyte bar at c5/6 with left c6 foraminal stenosis and nerve root impingement.



thanks
<>

""Lordosis"" is backward bend of the cervical spine (as it rises). You've lost some or all of it, radiologist doesn't really say how much. Not terribly unusual, but if it progresses into "kyphosis" (forward bend), then not so good.

<< with disc osteophyte bars between c3 and c7 >>

Wear and tear over time has caused the vertebrae to create osteophytes (bone growths) pushing backward toward the spinal canal and the nerve roots. These may or may not be accompanied by actual disk bulges/herniations. You have them at four levels.

<< at c3/4 no significant foraminal stenosis. >>

"Foraminal stenosis" just means narrowing of the opening, with the opening in question being the hole ("foramen") through which your nerves leave the spinal cord and head down your arm. The radiologist doesn't even mention the d-o complex at this level, so he clearly thinks it's minimal.

<< at c4/5 there is a small central disc/osteophyte bar >>

At this level, the d-o complex is big enough to be mentioned, but still small.

<< indenting the anterior theca but no convincing foraminal stenosis. >>

The d-o complex is pushing back into the spinal canal. Inside the canal - and running its length - is the thecal sac, a membrane containing the spinal fluid and, with that, the spinal cord. He says it's "indenting" the theca, but doesn't say it's doing anything to the cord. That's because the spinal fluid provides some leeway. A d-o complex can also push into the foramen. The radiologist implies that at this level it is doing so, but he's not "convinced" it is affecting the nerve.

<< At c5/6 there is a large posterior disc osteophyte bar which extends into the left c6 foramen and is likely to be causing nerve root impingement. it is also causing flattening of the anterior aspect of the left side of the cervical cord. >>

This is the problem level. The d-o complex is large enough to push past the spinal fluid and flatten the front of the cord. This MAY be problematic, or it may not be. Do you, by any chance, have any problems in your legs, or pinky fingers, that might be attributed to spinal cord involvement at C5-6?

You CLEARLY have a problem with the foramen, though. That d-o complex has extended far enough into the foramen to be squeezing the C6 nerve root ("radiculopathy"). This could cause various arm symptoms. The giveaways would be symptoms in your left thumb and maybe triceps as well.

<< At c6/7 there is generalised disc osteophyte bar indenting the anterior theca although no convincing foraminal stenosis. >>

Incipient problems here but, to the radiologist, nothing that's currently problematical.

I think you need to take this to AT LEAST TWO surgeons who specialize in spinal surgery. One or both might suggest a C5-6 ACDF (disk removal and vertebrae fusion), and may even add in an adjacent level. If I were you, I would get them to tell you what's wrong with just doing a simple (outpatient?) left C6 foraminotomy, where those osteophytes protruding into the left C5-6 foramen are trimmed off. A heck of a lot easier. You can save the ACDF's for later, or never.

Keep in mind that I'm just an interested amateur and that the docs are (hopefully) the ones you want to hear from.

Also remember... AT LEAST TWO !!!

(and ask about that loss of lordosis, just for peace of mind)





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