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new...MRI scan results please can anyone tell if i will need surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

Sent for MRI scan, now due to see Neurosurgen 3rd July, can anyone tell me if they think he is going to suggest surgery, my results are as follows:


At C5-C6 there is a large left posterolateral and foraminal disc osteophyte complex with severe left foraminal stenosis and compression of the left C6 root. Mild degenerative changes are seen at the other intervertebral discs and there is no other neural compression.

Large left posterolateral and foraminal disc osteophyte complex at C5-C6, with left C6 root compression.

There is mildly accentuated mid thoacic kyphosis and a mild thoracic scoliosis convex to the left.
There are multilevel mid and lower thoracic endplate Schmorls nodes, and moderate mid and lower thoracic disc and endplate degenerative changes, associated with endplate irregularity and with T6-T8 and T11-T12 vertebral wedging. The appearances are inkeeping with old Scheuermanns disease.

At T7/8 there is a small right paracentral disc protrusion, indenting the thecal sac.

Mild scoloiosis multilevel and lower thoracic endplate schmorls nodes, and moderate mid and lower thoracic disc and endplate degenerative changes with mid and lower thoracic vertebral wedging in keeping with scheuermanns disease. no compression is seen however no myelopathy.


Would be grateful of any replies, after getting results my mususkeletal consultant, said she would mark urgent and send me too a neurosurgeon. I have suffered for many years on and off with neck pain but and now at the stage for the past few years been in daily constant pain of which seems to by travelling slowly but surely down my back.

Has anyone had similar results and is it looking like i need surgery?

Sorry for long message
regards roo



  • We aren't dr's here, so don't diagnosis what would and wouldn't need surgery.... But.....just in my experience, if the nerve root is compressed, and you are having pain and symptoms, you probably will. Make sure to make a list to ask the neurosurgeon, such as what he recommends, what will be the outcome. And get a second opinion, if you don't have a good felling or you don't connect with this guy. Having confidence in your surgeon is very important.
  • The findings do show cervical nerve compression at C6 with severe stenosis so he very well may want to decompress that area surgically...that of course is just my guess. If you haven't thus far, he may suggest giving some conservative treatment a try (i.e. meds, chiropractic, PT, message therapy or perhaps an ESI) before doing surgery, just to see how you respond since at times it does work to eliminate the need for surgery.

    As for your T-spine, there doesn't seem to be moderate or severe nerve compression, stenosis or myelopathy so it's hard to say what he'll recommend there.

    In the mean time, take your meds as directed and take it easy...no heavy lifting and limit your bending, reaching, twisting and anything else that may exacerbate your pain and associated symptoms.

    Take care and best wishes -

  • HI

    Thanks for your replies they have been helpful.
    I have had many of the conservative treatments ova the past few years and in the past and they put me in more pain, i should of been sent for a scan along time ago but guess i missed the loop somewhere or just didnt shout loud enough,kept soldering on,so guessing it will be surgery of some sort as the muskeletal consultant who sent me for the mri scan told me about my results said she was going to send me to a neurosurgeon for him to show me the scan films and discuss surgery (and felt she needed to mark it urgent) i have since got an appointment of which is on 3rd July, so not long to wait.

    I have been having really bad pain at the lower part of my back for the past 3 months so think i had better mention that too him and maybe he might suggest another mri just for the lumbar area, i can just about walk sometimes but once i get going it eases slightly but, i cant keep on the move constantly, just feel that there is only one small bit of my back upto the top of my neck/head that doesnt hurt at the moment well actually on a daily basis and the meds just dont seem to touch it.

    ive found a lump too on left hand bottom of index finger, feels hard on the joint, feels like it could be an osteophyte.

    Thanks for listening, i have read a few post on here and everyone seems very friendly, i am new to all this and not use to talking about how i feel,sorry for rambling,thanks again for your replies.
    Am glad i found this site.

    Am quite nervous about seeing the neurogeon but putting a brave face on i try to be a tough cookie but neck or back surgery scares the heck outta me.

    take care
    best wishes
    roo x
  • Hi Roo,
    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Sorry to hear that you are in this much pain. One thing i may suggest is to schedule a second opinion while you are waiting to see the first Surgeon. Many times if surgery is warranted, your insurance will require the second anyway. Also this will give you piece of mind and you will fully know your options. Many times these surgeons have long wait list so by scheduling now either way you have the appointment.

    My experience has been when the pain meds don't touch the pain it is nerve pain. Have you tried any nerve meds, Ie lyrica, nuerotin or cymbalta?

    Here is a link to a list of questions to ask your spine surgeon. I always prepare for the doctor by writing everything down so will keep on track and all my questions get answered, as well. You many find it helpful to take someone with you, two sets of ears are better than one. Good luck and keep us posted on how the appointment goes. If there is anything i can ever do for you don't hesitate to pm me. Once again welcome to spine-health.
  • I am sorry to hear about your situation. I will say your pain is from the compressed nerve and your wait to get the doctors opinions will be painful for you. Until you and your doctor plan any treatments my suggestions to get you some relief are to find a pool. Get the painful areas under the water and all those areas will be less painful if any pain at all in the water. Move the areas under the water and exercise them gently. To reduce inflammation around that nerve. Anti inflams several times a day every day couldn't hurt either. If you can control that the pain will be more tolerable. I have been there and do the pool 2 to 3 times a day everyday and take the anti inflams honestly. My pain is gone when I am in the water. I also get my exercise too which is always a good thing. I hope this helps you some what dear. good luck. :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • Thanks for all your replies they have been most helpful, have just had two really bad days,(i take tramodol, diazipan, paracentamol and use tens machine which i would not be without think that helps more than the tabs at time and self acupunture) but had done far too much so guess was expected, only like many of us i dont have a magic fairy in my house lol and things just needed to be done. Although i have a great hubby and kids i just to proud to ask for help.
    Pain as eased since waking this morning, so gonna take things easy for a couple of days.

    will keep you posted as to how i go on, on friday when i see the neurosurgeon, as i am sure i will have a few questions you all will be able to help me with from your experiences.

    Best wishes to you all
    take care

    roo x
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