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MRI Results

What does all this mean and why not refer to spine surgery. Was referred for epidural block. Numbness in hands, pain in shoulders, tingling in shoulder blade: Hyperreflex on left side. MRI done last week:
FINDINGS: The cervical lordosis is not present. Unfortunately there
is motion artifact.

The C2-3 disc space is unremarkable.

At C3-4 there is no significant encroachment of the neural elements.

At C4-5 the disc space is narrowed. The ventral cord is flattened.
There is a broad disc/osteophyte that is in apposition to the cord
with narrowing of the right neural foramina. This is not greatly
changed from the prior examination. There is mild canal stenosis.

At C5-6 there also is a broad disc/osteophyte flattening the ventral
cord and narrowing the right neural foramina.

At C6-7 there is a new central and right paracentral herniation noted
not in apposition to the cord.

The craniocervical junction is normal. The cord intensity is normal.

IMPRESSION: There is significant stable degenerative change at C4-5
and C5-6 with a new herniation at C6-7 which is right and paracentral
and not in apposition to the cord. See above for individual disc
spaces. The cervical lordosis remains absent. The C6-7 herniation is
not clearly identified on the previous study.

From Doctor July 2012:
The MRI of the thoracic spine is normal.
The MRI of the cervical spine (neck) shows 2 disc protrusions (at the C4-5 and C5-6 level) which look like they are putting some pressure on the spinal cord, especially at C5-6, where there is a slight amount of swelling in the spinal cord.
This sounds bad but actually the images don't look that bad when I viewed them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



  • One thing I can tell you is no one here is a doctor so we shouldn't be interrupting studies or images. With that said first I would ask what did the doctor say it was whom ordered the images? The one thing I can say is it sounds like they are sending you for a injection due to the swelling they are suggesting. Also depending on your insurance it might be a requirement before you can go for surgery. Keep in mind most spinal surgeries are elective, so they have to go through all of the conservative treatments first. But also spine surgery is no magic pill that will cure all of the issues you are having. Many go through it to only have to have more surgery which is a risk that is identified on the releases.

    If your not comfortable with the treatment plan they have set up, get a second opinion. Also keep in mind injections can also be used a diagnostic tool and not meant to cure or relieve your condition. So there could be other reasons the doctor is ordering this. What kind of doctor did you see? If I was in your shoes and felt uncomfortable with the doctor's treatment plan, I would go get a second opinion. Keep in mind the doctor uses all the information, your clinical exam, images and the symptoms you have told them about. Like I said they may be using the injection as a diagnostic tool, They may be unsure which disc is causing the issue, Once they fuse disc together it is like that for life, so they might be trying to figure out which one is the problem so as to not just fuse what appears bad and in fact that is not the disc causing the issue. For example many people walk around with herniated disc and never know it, as they don't cause any issues. However the next person could have a small herniation and it causing them all types of neurologic issues. So I am just suggesting that maybe they are still diagnosing what is causing the numbness and tingling. Typically if someone gets no response from a injection surgery won't gel them. But then again it depends on the type of injection they are doing.

    So as to your question about why do a injection verses surgery I would ask the doctor that exact question. But the list above contains some reasons as to why, maybe.
  • Thanks! I did just send a note to my primary to get another referral. This is my neurologist referring me to pain management.
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