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Another MRI!! What is going on???

cla_guaccla_gua Posts: 186
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I know this is posted a lot but I really am not understanding what is going on.

MRI 7-23-07
2mm protrusions to c5-6 and c6-7. Nothing else noted

MRI 4-01-08
c5-6 2mm protrusion
c6-7 and c7-t1 minimal disc bulge
Nothing else noted

MRI 3-12-09
comparison made with MRI on 4-01-08
c4-5 minimal postierior osteophytic ridge/disk complex effaces the ventral subarachnoid space without cord contact

c5-6, c6-7, c7-t1 mild posterior osteophytic ridge/disk complex partially effaces the ventral subarachnoid space.

It is the same company that did my MRI on 4-01-08. I looked up osteophtic ridge/disk. It is apprently a bone spur but is also used for bulging. I am so confused on this whole situation. I am not surgical but am I suppose to wait until my whole spine goes out!

I feel so lost and cornered, in a hole that just gets deeper. I feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I am even afraid to look to the future. I am so scared this nightmare is never going to end and when it does my life will be worthless.


  • well your mri's are showing your spine worsening,your developing arthritis in those areas of bulging.Have you seen a surgeon yet? who is ordering the mri's?Have you tried any therapy for it,or injections? let us know a little more about your situation please. what kind of symptoms do you have? and what have you done up until now to help your situation?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    Even in the darkest and painful times, there are always some things that help you move along.
    In terms of MRI's, I am sure you have head me say that as a whole, this member community really can not analyze a person's MRI Image and/or report.
    But in general, Here is my view, I always present:
    Mild Should not require surgery and with physical therapy , medications and etc, you should be ok

    Medium , ok there are some disc problems that need to be addressed initially via conservative treatments and may or may note need surgery

    Severe More than likely Surgery is in ordre

    But again, this is only my views. Talk to your doctor to get ther formal opinion.

    I think it is a good thing to have repeat MRI's. To me that says two things, 1- Your doctor wants to track your progress/condition over a time period to see if anything is advancing and 2- Help to explain why you are having problems.

    Good luck, we are here to help where we can
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hello,

    I can relate to your post entirely. I too have had really confusing opinions, that left me confused, upset, scared, and afraid of what the problems were doing to my life.

    I have posted on here, when I've been confused and also when I'd had really dark days as you are.

    All the members on here are ready and able to give you the support you need. I agree with previous posts and, it helps if you write everything down, your questions, fears and your confusions, and take the list to your most trusted doctor, and seek clarity to at least alay the confusions that some of these reports and doctors opinions cause us .

    Best Wishes and keep posting.

  • I believe that your MRI's are tracking changes. In which I think is good. I take it as showing degeneration. They can see that it is progressing but they won't do surgery yet. I am in the same boat. Please stand your ground and tell them what you have to say weather they like it or not! I wish you the best of luck! :)
  • What is your opinion on the osteophytic ridge/disk? I'v done some research and I've found two different explanations. One just another word for bulge or herniation. Two arthritis. Has anyone else have any idea about this. The MRI didn't say anything about bulging or herniation which I know is there. I have a feeling it is just another name for bulging.
  • The way your mri is worded ,it sounds to me like there talking about two different things in one sentence the arthrits which it the osteophytic ridge and the herniation saying that its not touching the cord yet.
  • My Neuro let me see the images of my MRI. I don't think that it looked extemely awful, but I could see where the discs was touching my cord. He even pointed it out, but he said that it was not at a surgical level at this point. That I would be looking at surgery eventually.

    The radiologist who wrote the MRI report said their was no spinal stenosis, but if the disc is touching the spinal cord and making it appear somewhat smaller, isn't that spinal stenosis?

    Do either of you have a good image of spinal stenosis?
  • i found a few pics of stenosis on our site.if you go into conditions and look at cervical stenosis they show you a few different pic.
  • You Tammy. I really appriciate it! :)
  • I just got back from my new neurosurgeons visit. Of course he said my bulges are not big. The MRI was off the wall and there are no signs of osteophytic ridges. He did say that my pain is coming from my collar bone and neck muscles. He diagnosed it as throacic outlet syndrome. He said my neck muscles are too large for my neck and are pressing the nerves with my not curved collar bone. Who knows. He gave me some meds for the nerve pain. I am still not there into believing that all my pain is coming from this. I do think I have this becasue of things that had happened to me before the neck bulges were found. I am still nervous about my neck even though he said my neck is fine. I just don't know. I'll see how the meds work and see if things get better. If they don't the surgery is suppose to be horrible. In attempt to remove muscle to make a hole larger for the nerves to pass through a lot of nerves are pushed and moved. He explained there will be more pain from the surgery until the nerves settle down. And then you'll find out if the surgery worked or not. How great is that!
  • that sounds really horrible!you said your new neurosurgeon,what was the opinion of the other one? did they have the same idea of what is wrong? i've never heard of muscles being too large for someones frame except in people who over train there bodies.
  • My new neurosurgeon did some test and listened to some arteries on my collarbone. You either have an extra rib, which I don't, or muscles are too big. Which I have. It is a genetic defect. My mother went with me a he examined her to see if she had it and she does. Just not as bad as me to have noticed anything. I am starting to think this is all a genetic situation. This is the third specialist I go to and he is the only one to come up with this. I don't know what to think other than this does suck. He gave me some meds and I'll see how it goes from there. My nightmare is getting darker but I'll see where to go from here. I have another appt in April with my PM dr. I'll see what he says. I'll see what happens.
  • cla_gua said:

    I feel so lost and cornered, in a hole that just gets deeper. I feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I am even afraid to look to the future. I am so scared this nightmare is never going to end and when it does my life will be worthless.
    That is 100% exactly how I feel... damn DDD sucks....
  • Sounds like maybe you are heading down the right path to find what is causing the pain. There is another member here named Griff who just recently had surgery to correct TOS. Maybe she could give you some guidance and help you completely understand what is going on. I see you said you have a new NS did you change for a reason? I always think second opinions are a great idea as well. I am a firm believer in using conservative treatment when possible. What types of things are the doc's suggestion to help relieve your pain? I certainly can relate to the frustrations you are going through. I sure do hope you get some answers soon. Maybe when you see your pm doc you could have a list of questions ready so you can stay on track and really get some answers. I know for myself if I don't do that i leave and think i forgot this or that. Usually after I leave the doctor i have even more questions. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.
  • Hi cla_gua,

    A diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is scary however, no disrespect intended, a neurosurgeon isn't qualified to diagnose it. There are specialists, ususally Vascular surgeons, who are trained in TOS treatments and surgeries. After all, you wouldn't want your lawn guy baking your wedding cake, right?

    For most people with TOS it's a matter of the thoracic outlet not having enough room causing nerve pain. This is called neurogenic TOS. It ususally requires no surgery, just a VERY specialized kind of physical therapy. I had a different kind called venous TOS. While I also had nerogenic TOS I also had a blockage of the veins that went to my arm causing swelling and, eventually, a blood clot. This can't be diagnosed by listening to the veins or arteries, they have to do a veinogram or an arterialgram. Venous or arterial TOS becomes a matter of life or limb and these are taken very seriously as the blood clots and blockages can take your arm or your life. While your surgeon may be on the right track I suggest that you look for a specialist. Even the wrong physical therapy can cause the condition to become worse.

    I'm happy to help in any way I can. I've had to learn a lot about this and in a short period of time. Luckily I had a specialist in the same hospital as my neurosurgeon, who referred me there. It was no more than 5 weeks between my diagnosis and my surgery. Don't be afraid- MOST people with TOS never have to have surgery! I was an extreme case caused by a violent accident which caused a lot of scar tissue to build in my thoracic outlet space.

    I'm here for ya, just let me know what you need.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Maybe your doc. needs to have different views, maybe with dye this time. maybe with more slices'. maybe flex and extension views. not all MRI's are the same and a lot of surgeons don't explain much to us! Mine was in his own world and I guess it was up to me to figure it out. Ask a lot of questions and hope he will give you the time of day!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I am still not sold on the TOS. The NS only did the root test, so I think it is called. This is where you but your hands bended elbows in the air and squeeze your hands. Whatever right?!? I am going to go for a third opinion. I just don't feel confident about the whole diaganosis.

    With the DDD. I don't inderstand why I've gotten so bad. It hasn't even been two years. I really don't understand this. I am just trying to live my life with what I have and get by.

    Thanks for the great advice. I truly love all of you.
  • cla_gua said:

    With the DDD. I don't inderstand why I've gotten so bad. It hasn't even been two years. I really don't understand this.
    It only took me 15 months to totally fall apart, Im just a shell of my old self DDD is truly unbelievable.
  • I've stumbled around looking at TOS just enough to know that test is not really that good of an indicator of actual TOS. Ask for a referral to a specialist! Griff is our current resident guru, or as near as we have!

    You want to be sure what you are doing here and not spinning your wheels on this one!

    I hope you find an answer soon. As for the time, well, some of this stuff lays dormant for years, slowly creeping up to the point it starts to cause us problems, then when we start treating it the progression seems way to fast to make sense of. The addition of pain meds can sometimes make it seem more painful as they shut off our bodies natural endorphin thingies and we get tired of fighting. It all adds up. I'm not sure you are on pain meds, just the fatique itself does a number on our natural systems.

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