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Spinous processes don't line up - Cervical MRI next week

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello, I'm a new member. Thanks in advance for all the great information here! I went to see a neurologist at a local spine clinic this morning and he's scheduled me for a cervical MRI next week.

I've got numerous issues with migraines and pain in my neck/upper back/shoulder that I think stem from a fall where I broke my collarbone many years ago. I've been told I have winged scapula, scapular bursitis, and cervical arthritis by various docs over the years. Also, the spinous processes don't line up, and it's something I've worried about. On my MRI sheet my doctor wrote "attention to c5/6" so I guess that's where this is.

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2700435843_e75a0a8c86.jpg?v=0

And a larger image: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3248/2700441985_c0f07e550f.jpg?v=0

Has anyone else dealt with an issue like this, where the spinous proceses don't line up? Is it something that is likely to be a problem, or is it possible that it's just a normal deviation? I didn't have a lot of time to talk to my doc, and I probably won't again until we get back together to review the MRI results.

Also, any tips or pointers for the MRI?



  • I had a cervical MRI about a month ago. They said it would take about 30 minutes but I'm thinking mine was only 15-20. You need to lie really still you can't swallow, sneeze or cough. Well lying flat on your back for that long it is hard not to least swallow. I actually did it about 4 or 5 times but the pics turned out perfect. They'll most likely give you a pillow for your head and I also got headphones to listen to music of my choice because the machine can be really loud itself. As far as spineous processes issue, I'm sorry I don't know about that. Good luck with your MRI.
  • Thanks Angela! I didn't know that you could listen to music while you're in there. That would be nice :)
  • Hi brianala,

    Welcome to Spine Health. I have many similar issues and the NS had MRI's done of the C-spine as well as the brachial plexus on each side. Winged scapula can be caused by a multitude of things, but primarily a problem in the brachial plexus. It can also be a problem from c-5 on down. I have done a bunch of research on winged scapula, so let me know if you are interested in some good links and I'll send them to you.

    Have you had any x-rays done to see how your spine looks?

    Sorry to hear about the migraines and the rest of your pain issues. I hope that over time we can hear that this is being turned around for you.

  • Thanks haglandc!

    Many years ago I did a lot of research on winged scapula, brachial plexus injury, and thoracic outlet syndrome. I even considered taking a trip up to Duke to see Dr. Basamania (see this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010418071716.htm) and talked to his office about making an appointment but I never had the opportunity to take the trip. I gave up after my doctors didn't take me seriously though, and it's been awhile since I did any more research.

    If you've got some good info to share I'd love to read about it!

    The sports medicine doc I saw took x-rays of my neck to see if I had bone spurs and it turned out negative. He told me to do some exercises and sent me on my way. The orthopedic doc I saw took x-rays of my shoulder and said it looked fine. Gave me some exercises to do and sent me on my way. Chiropractor took x-rays of my spine and told me I had cervical arthritis, and wanted to see me three times a week and bleed my insurance dry. I went there as long as I could afford to but it only relieved the pain temporarily :(

    Thanks for the support, it would be nice to chat again with someone who understands. See you around the board!

  • Check out this website. Now please note that I am not promoting the physician, I am simply sharing a site that has some good explanations and graphics. http://www.drnathwingingscapula.com/

    You know what I find crazy, is that depending on which specialty you are dealing with, one will take the issue of winged scapula more serious than the other, just like one will take migraines more serious than the other. In a perfect world all these docs would be communicating with each other to come up with a "big picture" for the patient, but instead it is left up to the patient to advocate for themself. The sad part is, that all the signs and symptoms can point back to one main cause (hypothetically) and if these folks would have just done a little simple communication they could save the patient years of agony and possible irreversible damage.

    I really hope that some how you are able to get to the root of your problem and start on the road to recovery.


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