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MRI results... Told there's nothing new since surgery. WRONG!

MelWMMelW Posts: 427
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Chronic Pain
So I went up and got a copy of my MRI report and films... I am not sure where on earth they got that I have no "new" damage/changes since surgery, but they're insane. I am in school for my Associates in Science and Nursing, so I have an idea of what some of this means, but some I am not so sure. If anyone knows what this all means, in a nutshell, please let me know. I am just happy to know that I am not insane and there really is something wrong (not that I was actually hoping there was something wrong, just that I am not crazy) and it's not "in my head." I was starting to think it all was just psychological...Anyhow, here goes:

Findings: Mild to moderate chronic loss of vertebral body height at C3-C4, with reversal of the cervical lordosis from C2 thru C5.

C2-C3: Minimal bilateral facet arthropathy. Spinal canal and neural foramina appear adequate.

C3-C4: Mild posterior osteophytes and bilateral uncinate hypertrophy. There is moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis. Central canal apears adequate.

C4-C5: Mild posterior osteophytes and bilateral uncinate hypertrophy. There is moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis. Central canal apears adequate.

C5-C6: The spinal canal and neural foramina appear adequate.

C6-C7: The spinal canal and neural foramina appear adequate.

C7-T1: Mild right facet hypertrophy. The spinal canal and foramina appear adequate.

There is a suggestion of acute disc herniation.

There is minimal anterior endplate osteophytes seen involving primarily the lower thoracic and upper lumbar spine. No fractures.

I am making an appointment with my pain doctor next week to see what he thinks. These pains are breaking me down.


  • I guess I should clarify... I don't need a full, indepth translation of my MRI. I know what the words actually mean, scientifically defined, I just don't understand the severity of what the findings are.

    More or less, if anyone's had these types of findings, what was the explaination you got. I just have very patience right now and I won't be able to get in to see my PM doc till next week.

    Thanks all!
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
  • It looks like on most levels that the canal appears adequate. So this means the height is all good...It just says that there is mild to moderate loss for C3-C4....but nothing major..

    Not sure where you are seeing it say there is a disc herniation?

    It's also odd they aren't noting all the previous surgery hardware and such at the 3 levels....

    What level are you saying there is a herniation?

    That's not to say that you can't have pain...Having had numerous fusion surgeries...as well as all the scarring from them....the hardware...etc. can all cause chronic pain...

    But I was thinking that you were making sure that things are ok after a fall? Is that correct? So it doesn't look like there is any damage there...

    Again...are you just going on what the radiologist has written or did your surgeon say that everything looks good but you don't agree?
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I think sometimes they lie or (misread) the reports.

    I have had a single report - commented by 3 different docs. No two reports were the same.

    They even missed some clinically significant pathology.

    I shot x-rays for 5 years back in the dark ages - so I know a little about reading films. The Dark Ages you ask?

    Where in lab blood and radioactive isotopes were simply poured down the drain.
    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Anything moderate has to be watched but really depends on your symptoms. Are you having numbness or tingling or pain in your arm/s?

    I think a referral to an Orthosurgeon would be the best although your PM Dr. can help deal with the pain issues, a Surgeon will give you a treatment plan in his perspective or decide to do further testing.

    I hope you see the Surgeon soon. I know sometimes it's a long wait. Take care. 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
  • Pain dr is no expert to read mri, Either a neuro or ortho has to look at the mri and he can look at each frame and see if anything is wrong or not,

    It mentions nothing if disc being herniated so not sure where that conclusion come from,
    Mri can often point out things we might think is significant but many times is meaningless!

    So leave it to the experts to read it, After all, that is what they do for a living!

    Good luck!
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I apparently skipped some stuff when I was typing.

    Findings: Paramagnetic artifacts from an anterior plate and screws is present at C5-C6.

    And the report contradicts itself on the acute disc herniation.

    "There is a suggestion of acute disc herniation. Normal flow-voids are identified within the vizualized portions of the vertebral arteries, with the left vertebral artery dominant."

    Then under "Impression" it says there is "No evidence or suggestion of an acute disc herniation"

    I am just confused... I am in pain and stressed out.

    And as far as the fall goes, they didn't find anything that was damaged due to the fall, just degenerative changes, which wouldn't be due to me falling. I think I was just upset and didn't process, or take into account, that the MRI was ordered to see if the fall did any damage, and therefore, that's why they said they didn't find anything "new."

    Thanks for all of your responses.
  • @ Lovetotravel - I haven't even seen a surgeon yet. I am just trying to figure out, on my own, why my pain levels have increased. More or less, I am jumping the gun trying to find out what's going on from what the MRI reported.

    I just need to settle down and wait till I can see the doctor and go from there.
  • Thanks for the link! That was very interesting to look at and compare to what mine says. you sure have a lot going on in that ole neck of yours!!! Take care.
  • Charry - I have a lot of weakness in my arm (just lifting my arm up, shoulder height makes me feel like I have been lifting weights for hours), shooting pain down it, and some tingling, no numbness. Prior to my first surgery, I had pain down my arm, numbness/tingling, it was to the point that I was dropping things all of the time, so I at least have something to compare it to. It's the pain that's so different. I feel like I don't even want to hold my head up... I am hoping for a referral to a neuro so they can tell me what is going on and what my options are.
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