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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


I was a passenger in a severe car accident about 5 months ago, which I thought I was going to fully recover from without any issue. Last month, I bent down and felt something pop in my neck and immediately felt like there was a knife in the back of my neck. The pain was excruciating and sharp in the base of my neck and through my right shoulder blade area. I could barely walk at that time due to the pain. I got a cervical spine MRI shortly after this incident and this is what they found:

FINDINGS:
Straightening and slight reversal cervical lordosis is noted. Prevertebral soft tissues appear normal. Bulging discs at multiple levels are noted. C5-6 disc protrusion causing central spinal stenosis is noted. T1-T2 disc bulge is also noted.

The spinal cord is normal in morphology and signal intensity, although compressed and narrowed at C5-C6 level. The cerebellar tonsils are anatomically aligned. Right maxillary sinus retention cyst or polyp 1 x 1.3 cm in size is noted.

C2/3: Small 2 mm broad-based disc protrusion slightly contours the ventral thecal sac with AP diameter of the thecal sac narrowed down to 9 mm is noted. No foraminal stenosis is seen on the right and mild left foraminal narrowing is seen.

C3/4: 2 mm posterior central focal disc protrusion is noted slightly to the right of midline. Midline AP diameter thecal sac is approximately narrowed down to 8-9 mm. Mild left foraminal narrowing is noted.

C4/5: C4-5-2 millimeter broad-based disc bulge is noted with AP diameter of the thecal sac narrowed down to approximately 8 mm. Mild central canal narrowing is noted. No evidence of significant foraminal narrowing is noted.

C5/6: There is a large 5-6 mm central, slightly right paracentral disc protrusion effacing the cord. Midline AP diameter of the thecal sac is narrowed down to approximately 4 mm causing severe central spinal stenosis at the level of the disc protrusion. The cord signal is still preserved. Minimal right foraminal narrowing is noted.

C6/7: 1 mm broad-based disc bulge is noted. Midline AP diameter of the thecal sac measures 8 mm. Mild central canal narrowing is noted. No evidence of significant foramina! stenosis is noted.

C7/T1: Unremarkable.

IMPRESSIONS:
There is a large 5-6 mm central, slightly right paracentral disc protrusion contouring the ventral thecal sac and effacing cord. Midline AP diameter of the thecal sac is narrowed down to approximately 4 mm causing severe central spinal stenosis at the level of the disc protrusion. The cord signal is still preserved. Minimal right foraminal narrowing is noted.

There is a lot of stuff in the MRI that I do not understand, but according to the neurosurgeon, he is recommending an ACDF to C5/6. I am 37 years old and a relatively healthy guy. I am pretty shocked to hear this news especially after the sharp pains have subsided after a couple weeks now. I now only have some minor radiating pain in the same areas as mentioned above. Also, I have no tingling or numbness. In the meantime, the surgeon is ordering another MRI to confirm his recommendation since it as been a month since the 1st MRI and I told him I feel much better than before.

Please help explain the MRI in simple terms. According to the report, it looks like I have serious disc issues at all levels. Is it possible for a disc herniation or disc protrusion to heal on it's own? Any advice, support, or help would be greatly appreciated. I can post the 2nd MRI when I receive it to hopefully show an improvement.

Thanks much.





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