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Trying to understand MRI

Hi all it has been awhile since I have been on this forum.I have been in allot of pain daily and just tend to live with it.

Anyway I had an MRI with and without contrast and this was the results.

At the C2-C3 level, there is no disk herniation, spinal canal, or foraminal narrowing.

At C3-C4 level, there appears to be disk bulge with mild anterior thecal, as well as spinal cord indention. The canal is minimally narrowed. There are mild uncovertebral hypertrophic changes without foraminal stenosis.

At the C4-C5 level,there is no disk herniation, canal or fomainal narrowing

At the C5-C6 level, mild uncovertebral hypertrophy is noted without canal or foraminal stenosis

And the rest were fine.

I am not sure what all this means but man I live with severe pain every day.

Problems swallowing and always a sore throat when talking, along with a hard time breathing. I struggle with pain headaches and dizziness.

Thanks for any info.



  • This holds true not only for MRI reports but any other diagnostic test that your doctor or team of doctors performed on you.
    There are no medical professionals on this site that are qualified to accurately interpret any of those diagnostic tests. That should be done only by your doctor and not even the technician who may have run the test.

    There could be many members on this site that have been through so many of these tests that they are pretty accurate, but you dont want to hold your life in the hands of a non-professional.

    Take a look at this analogy. Think if it in terms of reading any diagnostic report. The actual images that come back are much harder

    The Problem
    You have a 5 year old car that has been giving some trouble recently. Your brought it down to the local service center for
    them to run diagnostic tests.

    The Report comes back

    MILD - Ok, so there is a problem, but I think it can be fixed by adding some fuel cleaner and changing the engine oil. Easy thing to do, will not cost much. However, if you ignore it, down the line, this mild problem could
    developed into a bigger problem.

    MODERATE - Yes, we found a few parts that definitely show signs of wear and tear. I think if we bring it in to the shop, we should be able to do sum tune up therapy, and will probably have to add some engine and transmission medications. If you dont do this, I can almost be sure that this will deteriorate further. Maybe not in a few months, but down the line. Know do you want to be driving at night in a snow blizzard in a town you do not know. All of
    a sudden your car stops dead in its tracks, wont start or anything. Here is where you hit yourself in the head and say
    I should have listened, I should have taken care of it back then

    SEVERE - This is not good. I dont think any band aid approach is going to solve the problem.
    Sure, you can continue driving, but I am afraid if you do, you might have some permanent damage. I suggest that we remove the engine and see if we can rebuild it, if not, we are going to have to do a total replacement

    When it comes to cars, I think most people can see the picture... Well, its really not that different when it comes to diagnostic tests.

    The degree of severity as outlined above, is the same when it comes to MRI readings. Just look at those words and relate them to your situation.
  • hisbeauty4asheshhisbeauty4ashes Posts: 182
    edited 06/26/2013 - 3:53 PM
    Okay so I take it you are into cars. I know the basic's of the test results. I am talking about the mumbo jumo part like words that I do not understand. But thanks anyway.
  • Okay saw the doctor today. Have any of you heard about searing the nerve? Can you please explain this to me?
  • I could be very wrong in my guess but I think when you say "searing the nerve" you are talking about Radio Frequency Ablation where they insert a probe which heats up to 100 celcius and burns away the nerve root causing pain. If that is what you are talking about (typically called an RFA) then here is my experience. It does hurt a good bit. They take needls and insert them directly by the nerves they feel are causing your pain then they inject a numbing agent to help you through the procedure, then the probe is inserted directly on the nerve root and then all you feel is a warm sensation for about 60 seconds or so and then you are done. They do this while under live xray to perfect placement. It is an outpatient procedure and you are awake the entire time. They will not typically sedate you because they have to "recreate" the pain sensation to know that they are in the right place. Takes maybe 10 minutes total and I had mine a little over 2 weeks ago and it has already smoothed ou the majority of the pain on the right side of my neck/shoulder. In two weeks I get the left side done.

    You have to get it "redone" every 6-18 months depending on how long it takes for the nerve to grow back.
  • Oh wow thanks for letting me know this. I have to move to go to school in July so I may not have time to do all that. I need help though or I wont last at school. I am wondering if I can transfer doing that where I am moving to. Humm.

    I am glad you are feeling better though it sounds like you are doing well.

    Take Care.
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