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Opinion on MRI Results & Surgical Consult

tmorristtmorris Posts: 1
edited 01/04/2015 - 6:20 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi Everyone,

First time to post and wanted to see what some of the veteran posters here have to say. I had an MRI done on 12/19 and the results are pasted below. Even though I was in a little pain in my neck and down my left arm it was tolerable so my PCP prescribed Tramadol and scheduled physical therapy. Last Wednesday, the day I was to begin therapy, I woke up in the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced (and I've had multiple kidney stones). I tried to fight through the pain but it was stronger than I am. My wife drove me to the ER where they gave me Fentanyl in an IV and prescribed Percocet, Prednisolone, and Neurotin. Since then I've been able to go back to the Tramadol every 8 hours (don't really want to take Percocet) and just about done with the steroid pack and I also take 3 Neurotin per day. I'm back to tolerating the pain but nowhere near normal. The main thing I am concerned about is that when the ER Dr. read my results and saw the MRI she said "there's no way that PT is going to fix this issue". She diagnosed me with Cervical Rediculopathy in my left arm. She also said I should have had a NeuroSurgical consult scheduled by my PCP. I'd love for her to be wrong and get "fixed" with PT alone but not very hopeful. In my health system it takes months to get into a specialist so I'm wondering if I should press my PCP to go ahead and schedule a Neuro consult now to immediately follow PT.

Here are the findings on my MRI that the ER Dr. referenced:

Straightening of the cervical lordosis due to muscle spasm. No acute compression or subluxation seen. No abnormal marrow signal changes are seen in the vertebral bodies. Prevertebral soft tissue unremarkable. Craniocervical junction is normal. No definite changes of myelomalacia or cord edema seen in the cervical spinal cord.

C2-C3 level is unremarkable.
C3-C4 level shows mild disk bulge, facet hypertrophy without definite canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.
C4-C5 level shows mild diffuse disk bulge, facet hypertrophy without definite canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.
C5-C6 level shows focal left paracentral disk protrusion causing ventral indentation of the thecal sac. Associated facet hypertrophy without significant canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.
C6-C7 level shows mild facet hypertrophy without definite canal stenosis or neuroforaminal narrowing.
C7-T1 level is unremarkable.


Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. Isolating spinal problems can almost be like the game of Clue. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,
Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 01/05/15 00:20


  • Even if PT helps you should see a specialist to make sure you are doing the right therapy. They specialize in all spine conditions and know what's best. I would make the appointment.
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
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