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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

NM - I'll assume that you clearly saw nothing at the other levels worth mentioning?

The "thecal sac indentation" that he mentions should not, at this time, be symptomatic. The thecal sac is a membrane that surrounds the spinal canal and holds in the CSF (cerebro-spinal fluid). The spinal cord, which is what really matters, in surrounded by the CSF.

You have a disc osteophyte complex (bone spurs growing backwards off the vertebrae, probably with a bulging disc in between), pushing backward from the vertebral column and indenting the thecal sac. However, that d-o-c is NOT affecting the spinal cord, which is what matters. At least, the radiologist doesn't say it is, and it would be an unforgivable lapse if he missed something like that.

The same d-o-c's are narrowing the neuroforamina on both sides at two levels, worse on the left. Here, the radiologist goes so far as to say that the nerve roots are at least being touched and probably being impinged upon. This would create symptoms on the LEFT SIDE ONLY, and only from the NECK DOWN TO THE HAND. You might have neck pain from this, although your head "shouldn't" be affected. If the symptoms go down as far as your hands, you might feel them in your thumb or index finger, but most prominently in your large middle finger. Symptoms could be pain, tingling, numbness, clumsiness or just a general "sick" feeling. You might also have symptoms on the outside and front of your arms.

All in all, your MRI is not BAD, but it clearly indicates radiculopathy (pinched nerves) at one or two levels on one side. This could possibly be cleared up by an operation called a foraminotomy, which is a fairly non-invasive procedure that comes in from the back-side and clears out the foraminal openings. Some docs might want to do disc-removal-and-fusion (ACDF), but I would get multiple opinions if that's all you hear.

I'm sorry to say that your other symptoms - outside of the left neck-to-hand ones, should not be related to your cervical spine.

Good luck!

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