Welcome to Spine-health’s Neck Pain patient community. You can also read doctor approved Neck Pain Articles and watch the Neck Pain Video.
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member

In 1999, a MRI of my cervical spine showed C5-6 bulging disc, minimal spinal impingement, osteophyte, and spinal stenosis.

Due to recent increase of pain, tingling/numbness/burning sensation in left shoulder, loss of strength in right arm, etc., a new MRI was completed. The following statements are on the report:

Loss of normal lordosis. C5-6 central disc protrusion with mass effect on the cord. Under impression: Central disc protrusion at C5-6 with cord abutment.

Due to the July 4th holiday, I am having to wait to find out the appointment time with a Neurosurgeon.

In the meantime, I've been on the internet trying to figure out what all this terminology means.

What are the ramifications of mass effect on the cord?

Does cord abutment mean the stability/structure of the spinal cord is in jeopardy?

Anyone with a similar diagnosis?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/19/2008 - 6:35pm

Hi charloteer and welcome to spine health. I'm not a doctor and would hate to give you false infromation regarding your MRI. But you can use the search field in the upper right hand corner and you will find a related links on this site that can help you try and figure it out. Did you just have the MRI done before the holiday and receive the results without seeing a neurosurgeon> There are so many here who have had the same diagnosis but everyone is different. Maybe you should start researching more surgery options look for words like acdf. Once again welcome to spine health and keep us posted on you appointment and how your doing.

Charloteer (not verified)
Title: Member
Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your suggestions, Tamtam. Smile

Yes I was so impatient, I picked up a copy of the written MRI report because I did not want to wait until seeing a NS.

I am supposed to find out Monday, what my appointment date will be with a NS.

I will try the search feature on spine-health. When I searched for the phrase 'mass effect on cord' on the internet, I did not receive any results. Am not sure if that means cord compression, and maybe I should be searching for that term?

I'm not familiar with your history since I'm new to spine-health. I hope you are doing okay.

Neck of Steel Cindy
Neck of Steel Cindy's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/23/2008 - 10:28pm

Charlotte, I think what this means is cord compression, but I am not a medical professional, so it is best to wait to hear what your doctor says.

I too get very impatient and like to get copies of my reports prior to the follow up appointment with the doctor. This can lead to a lot of worry, sometimes unnecessarily. I have found that radiologists are trained to note anything that is not "textbook" perfect in the report. When the doctor sees the films, he makes a diagnosis from what he sees and from your physical examination. Sometimes the things written in the report are so minor that they really have no significance to your particular symptoms. So try to be patient and just have a list of questions to ask the doctor. Let him know that you have read the report and would like some questions answered.

Welcome to, and you have just joined a community of people who know what you are going through and will give lots of support and encouragement through your treatments. Please keep us posted, and feel free to ask any questions you have.

Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!

Cheri777 (not verified)
Title: Member
MRI- Findings,syrinx, lesion on the spinal-cord, fluid leak?

I have had 3) anterior fusions. First C 5-6 in 2000. Next 2005. Doc removed the first plate at C5-6 calls it clinically healed and plated C6-7. Few weeks later, pain from hell. Guess what? I was not healed at C 5-6. Okay long story short. May 2,2006 Doc goes back in and removes all the bank bone from C 5-6 and C6-7. New bank bone plus BMP protien. December Doc says you are healed I have done my job there is nothing else I can do for you. Pain tells alot but some people don't want to listen. ie; I stated right away that there was a new pain in my neck different from the past. Everyone says its just muscle pain from years of my muscles guarding my neck. Okay trigger points, PT, pain meds. The value in second opinions ? HUGE, the same second opinion Doc. after the second surgery,Doc said to me, you where not healed at C 5-6 and then back to table to allow the first Doc to fix his mistake. Now, after that failed the second opinion Doc discovers I am still not healed. Recommendation. Posterior. But it seems during the pre-surgery MRI I have some unknown stuff to address with a CT and MRI with contrast. Key word Syrinx,lesion on the spinal cord, fluid leak, abutment,etc. I am currently waiting for insurance approval for the texts.The second opinion Doc did not tell me of the findings on the report he just said he wants to see the CT/MRI before he desides if he thinks I need surgery. The Doc mentioned something about procrastnation on my part. He saw me in april of 2008 and I said no surgery until after my sons wedding in september. I am on the book for surgery November 24, 2008. I could really use some feed back. I read the report myself yesterday after calling the Doc's office and requesting a copy to be faxed. A lot of words. I need someone to talk dumb talk to me that I can understand.

Kind Regards,