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Please - translation of Cerivcal MRI.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I need a translation of the MRI that was done a while back. No one has told me what it all means. Just sent me to a pain doc to get a shot.

Findings: There is straightening to miinimal reversal of the normal cervical lordosis apexed at the c5-6 level where there are degenerative endplate changes, narrowing of the disc space and mild disk dehydration Th bone marrow signal is otherwise unremarkable. There is maintenance of the vertebral body h=eights, the Craniocervical junction including tje c1-2 articulation is unremarkable. The cerebellar tonsils are in normal position The cervical spinal cord is normal in signal intensity but its caliber is indented upon ventrally at the c5-6 level secondary to disk disease described below.
at c5-6 there is a leftward mild disc herniation and endplate spurring which indents the spinal cord and effaces the ventral subarachnoid space. There is also moderate left neruoforaminal narrowing.
at c6-7 there is a mild central disk bulge and posterior annular tear
at c7-t1 there is a minimal bulging of the annulus and left neruoforminal nerve root sleeve cyst vs partial avulsion.

the c5-6 mild leftward disk herniation and osteophyte complex resulting in indentation of the ventral aspect of the spinal cord and moderate left neuroforaminal narrowing.
mild central disk bulge and posterior annular tear at c6-7
Minimal annular bulging and endplate spurring with possible partial left nerve root avulsion at c7-t1. The differential includes a neuroforminal nerve root sleeve root cyst.

I have NO idea what this all means, my reg doc saw this and said it could contribute to my headaches and sent me to pain doc. I have never seen an actual doctor about the spine. I also never had problems until a several months ago - is this something that took a while to develop? I was carrying around some heavy chairs at school for part of the quarter. Is there nerve impingement?


  • Hi redjb,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. You will find lots of people in the same situation as yourself. Besides the forums, there are many wonderful doctor written and peer reviewed articles available also. Please use the search function at the top of the page. Keep in mind we are not medical doctors and any advice here shouldn't replace the information you are getting from your doctors. Reading and interpreting Mri's is something we don't like to do, as we are not qualified to form those opinions. At the top of the page you will find the search feature. Put in some of the things in your MRI report and read the links. This will help you to gain more insight to your medical condition. If I was in your shoes, I would seek a orthor( who specializes in spine issues) and or a nuerosurgeon. Not that I am saying you need surgery but just so you have a second opinion on all your options. Many times surgery can be avoided if the proper things are done in the beginning. But key to this is finding someone who specializes in the spine. There are lots of conservative treatments that can be done to avoid surgery and I have seen many come and go with much luck utilizing the conservative approach. What made your doctor order a cervical MRI to begin with? What type of symptoms are you having? How long have these symptoms been going on?

    Anyway just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Look forward to reading more of your post.
  • Thanks for replying so quickly.

    I have been on a somewhat long journey. Last year, in August, I started having headaches, especially at that time, with eye involvement. My doctor ordered a brain scan and sent me to a neuro who diagnosed them as migraines. I had five patches on my brain, but the doc said they were not ms, but were from age (I am 58) and from my past smoking. At the time the neck involvement was not the primary concern for me - but as I told him often, my neck would burn and sometimes my shoulders would feel weak. He told me that often accompanied migraines. It all went away finally (with no drugs) and four months later I started again, but with more neck involvement. I went back to him and he insisted it was migraines. To make a long story short, I turned away from the serious migraine drugs he kept handing me and sought a doctor who I thought would deal more with the headaches in a more general way (hormones, etc). I went to a regular doc, and told him again, about my headaches and that my neck was bothering me. He ordered the MRI of my neck, which I thought should have been done long ago and this is how I finally got the information. He, however, just jotted a few notes to me in an email (not even the full list) and told me to go see a pain doctor he recommended. I was never told what was going on with my neck - even the pain doctor said only that my spine was very straight and went on to describe what would happen if he gave me a shot.
    It has all seemed so backwards to me - but I didn't understand what was going on and I was in pain. I did get an epidural which helped a little with the headaches - but the a few weeks later my back and neck became the major issues. I wonder sometimes if the shot didn't just make things worse.
    My problem is knowing who to go to. So many of the doctors seem either lacking in interest or perhaps even skill. At the same time I tore my rotator cuff which complicated my neck issues - my neck and between my shoulder blades would hurt and feel SOOO fatigued while I was teaching that I could barely make it through class. I called the PD and told him the shot had not cured the neck and back and he told me that I should try the muscle relaxant he had given me a little more and some motrin for the pain. He said another shot would probably not help, since the headaches got better after the shot, but not the neck. I have asked them to send me to PT - and he tries to keep my neck out of spasm. Truthfully the one med the PD did not suggest was of the most help. Before I went to teach the other day I took a lorazepam and that seemed to keep the spasms at bay. I know I cannot take that often, but so far it seems to be the best med when I have to use my arms alot.
    This all really sucks, because I am an artist and I cannot paint much lately.
    I agree with you though, I do need to find someone who can tell me what is going on and how, if possible to make it not progress.
    Thanks for the welcome.
  • Hi,
    Here are a few links that may help you, It sounds as though you are describing radicular pain. You can see if the pain patterns match the areas they are talking about in your MRI. Also you may want to check out dermatone mapping. Hope this helps some.


  • Make an apt. with a neurosurgeon or orthopedic and get there opinion about your mri.Sounds like you have a lot of issues going on in your neck.Some arthritic,disc degeneration-natural aging and a torn disc.and one is pushing on your spinal cord.Definitely enough issues to cause your pain.It would be interesting to find out what a surgeon has to say about the mri.Good luck.
  • Thank you so much for your information. The pictures were very illuminating. I agree that I should get an appt asap. I need to know what is going on.

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