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Can someone translate this MRI report?

wardninewwardnine Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Can someone translate this diagnostic report for me? For the past 2-3 months I've had mild/moderate pain ion the left side of my lower neck that radiates into my left forearm and hand. The pain is bearable (maybe 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10) but there is occasional mild tingling/numbness that is also uncomfortable. I believe this condition came about due to my frequent lifting of heavy weights (2-3x a week I lifted low reps/max weights and would feel pain in my neck during the exercise but the pain would go away shortly after until a few months ago).

Had MRI done last week and this was the resulting report:

"There is reversal of the normal lordotic curvature. The bones are otherwise aligned anatomically. There is no subluxation. There is no evidence of fracture or subluxation. The vertebral body heights are preserved. There is mild disc space narrowing and degenerative endplate change at C6-C7. Posterior elements are intact. Facets are symmetric. There is no prevertebral soft tissue swelling. No significant foraminal narrowing.

Impression: mild degenerative disc disease at C6-C7"

I went to the doctor last month and we thought it was a pinched nerve so she gave me meloxicam and told me to stop exercising for a while. The symptoms haven't improved since then. I'm going to the doctor next week to discuss the results of the MRI but if possible would like some insight here so I can do my own research beforehand, thanks!



  • Hello wardnine, and welcome to spine-health. You've come to the right place for spine-related information. We can't really interpret your MRI though. One thing to note though is that many spine doctors read the films themselves, and while they read through the radiologist's report, they don't rely on it solely for a diagnosis. It is best to get an interpretation from your doctor rather than reading your report.

    Spine-health has a search feature where you can put in the words you want a definition of. Top center of this page. You will find articles, animated videos, patient discussions, and other things on many spine conditions.

    Again, welcome to spine-health. There are many people with neck pain here, so please spend some time here getting to know us. The members here are supportive and friendly.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Howdy Wardnine,

    Welcome to Spine Health!!! Like Neck of Steel stated, we can't interpret MRI's as none of us are doctors here, but fellow spine patients. The key is seeing words like moderate, severe, entrapped etc. Do a search on here for MRI of the cervical spine, and you should find articles that define the terms.

    "reversal of the normal lordotic curvature" I can speak to from personal experience. Normally you have a forward curve in your cervical spine, you have lost it, or maybe even now going the opposite, but the support of the spine is stable - that is good. I lost my curve years ago from flying helicopters (see my avatar). For me it was called "loss of normal lordosis (curve)" without loss of stability. Your doctor will be able to explain this all much better.

    Keep in mind too that the MRI is only a piece of the puzzle. The doctors mix your symptoms, MRI's and any other tests to come to a diagnosis. A person can have an MRI with "Serious", "Stenosis (narrowing)", "herniation" etc., and the person can be showing no symptoms. So try not to wrap around too much from the report. Please let us know how it goes. Again, welcome aboard!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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