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MRI results in layman's terms

juli8995jjuli8995 Posts: 1
edited 01/08/2016 - 8:43 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Can someone help me to understand MRI findings? It looks like I have been diagnosed with Cervical Radiculopathy. The MRI says this:
There is reversal of the cervical lordosis. A disk herniation is noted at C5-6. There is multilevel disc desiccation. The cervical cord is normal in signal and caliber. At C2-3, C3-4, and C4-5 the intervertebral disc, theca sac and neural foramina are normal.
At C5-6, there is broad-based posterior disc herniation and mild left uncinate spondylosis. There is mild left foramina stenosis. The right neural foramen and theca sac are patent. At C6-7 there is disc desiccation, but no herniation and no spinal or neural foramina stenosis. At C7-T1 the intervertabral disc, theca sac and neural foramina are normal. Can someone explain why this really means? I have daily pain, sometimes severe with numbness in my fingers. At this point I am unable to turn my head very far in either direction. I am 45 years old, but I have been dealing with issues for many years now. An MRI that I had about 12 years ago stated that I had 3 minimal bulging disks. The latest MRI was done 1 week ago with these results. I have many muscle spasms in the middle back through my shoulders that never go away. I am not sure what this really means, nor how bad it really is indicated.
Many thanks for any help in understanding this.

No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

  • MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
    MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
    SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary

Welcome to Spine-Health

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So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

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  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
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  • . Physical Therapy
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Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
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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.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

Liz, Spine-health Moderator



  • ChiMom1213CChiMom1213 Posts: 10
    edited 01/09/2016 - 7:41 PM
    Your MRI shows changes some could be more problematic than others, you need to see the MDwho ordered the scan and get a plan for treatment and ask them these questions. Most of the report is a atomic medical terminology that you wouldn't likely understand and it isn't important in the big picture. You need help for the pain you explain and to have this report deciphered for you. Good luck !

    Forum Rule:
    5.06 You agree not to post information that is considered to be formal medical advice.

    Your post contains wording that may be considered as giving medical advice. It is very important that everyone understand that
    there are no medical professionals on this site, so therefore any comments are solely opinions based on personal experiences.
    They should never been taken as medical fact.
    Liz. Spine-health Moderator
  • No one here is allowed to interpret your MRI for you. We are not allowed. You'll need to talk to your doctor.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    There is no one on the Spine-Health forums that is medically qualified to analyze any diagnostic image/report and provide some sort of analysis.

    There are two reasons:

    1. There is no one medically qualified. So any information you received will be personal opinions only and should never be considered as medical advice.

    2. Not allowed to ..... That is because as in reason #1 there could be mistakes made. Several years ago, we had a member who read another member's MRI report and told them that they had nothing to worry about, it was really minor. And that they could resume do anything they wanted. Well, the person receiving that message was happy, because they didnt get a clear reading from their doctor. So, they went out and did everything they did before. Within a few months, that person had another MRI and it was discovered that because of the way they did everything, they herniated another disc and increase the impingement on a nerve root. The outcome, bigger and more complex surgery and difficult road to recovery. All because they listened to another member's advice!

    Now that is not always the case. We have a number of honest , caring members, (ie Blessed Mom) that are only trying to rely their opinions to another member. They are not trying to force anyone in doing anything, but are really trying to help. But then we also have members as in the example #2 above that proves how harmful it can be.

    That is really the major reason why we have the following rules in place:

    6.02 You agree not to ask for any analysis or interpretation of diagnostic tests (ie MRI, CTScans, EMG, etc.),
    6.03 You agree not to respond to any request for analysis of diagnostic tests (ie MRI, CTScans, EMG, etc.)

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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