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MRI: Fusiform Widening of the Spinal Cord

AvaWellesAAvaWelles Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi Everyone,

I know no one here is a doctor, and I see my own doctor soon, but I got the MRI printout today and it says that I have fusiform widening of the spinal cord from C3 - C7. It recommends I have a pre and post gadolinium enahnced MRI to exclude intramedullary pathology.

As some of you know, I am on my second surgery (posterior revision was 7 months ago) and I have been experiencing SEVERE spasms, headaches, and neck swelling. My blood work shows high levels of many things, including Sedimentation rate, so my pain doctor thought my fusion might be infected.

Does anyone have experience with these type of MRI results?? I have been doing research for hours and all I can come up with from searching for fusiform widening of the spinal cord are things about spinal cord abscess and spinal cord tumors.

Thanks for the feedback!


  • We're not allowed to interpret MRI results. It's good you got your results back from the MRI and your Surgeon will be able to explain everything to you in detail. If you have a fever or swelling you should get checked out or further pain. Praying you will get some answers soon. We're here for you. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I wasn't looking for interpretation, just peer feedback on whether anyone else had something similar following a disc fusion. For medical advice and interpretation/review of tests, I have follow up with my doctors. But for peer support, I like to hear from others who have been through it. Sorry if my original post was not clear on that (I thought it was)....
  • Howdy Ava,

    My second cervical fusion was a mix - the first part was to stop progression as the disk herniated pretty fast and hard, and damaged the exit nerve. Secondarily to that, my C6 vertebra had swelling and edema within the bone, resulting in an additional fusion and too a partial corpectomy.

    Okay, with that said, you could have swelling in a location such they may suggest cleaning up a bit? My revision will be my 3rd cervical spine surgery. Not thrilled, but at least my last diagnostics at least validated my mess. Hopefully your surgeon will have answers for you soon.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks so much Brenda. My neck is spasmed and swollen all the time. My labwork indicates inflammation. My pain doctor thought I might have an infection at the site, which is one of the reasons we did the MRI. I am not happy they found something, but by the same token maybe now they found it they can fix it! I will know more next week when I talk to my doctors. This is the downside to getting MRI results on Friday afternoon. I have to obsess about them all weekend (and a three day weekend at that!).

    Was the swelling and edema that you had within the bone diagnosed through MRI? Or did you have outward symptoms?

    Best of luck on your revision!
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