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I'm 44 years old and I've had an aching neck and shoulders that stirs up chronic migraines for at least 10 years. I also had a bad fall 3 years ago that caused me to go to my gp, but he never had my neck xrayed. On 10/22/18 my c5-c6 disc extruded onto my spinal cord. It was a new kind of pain and a couple weeks later I went to my gp because of the pain/weakness/tingling in my arms and severe pain in my neck. They took xrays, which led to an mri on 11/13/18. There was some sort of mix up with my referral, and I ended up calling my gp's office because weeks had gone by and I hadn't heard from anyone. I eventually talked to my gp, and she said I need surgery and that my neck's "a mess" and I'm "not a candidate for physical therapy", so I'm waiting to hear back from a neurosurgeon. Hopefully this week, because the disc herniated 6 weeks ago and I've been having a very hard time functioning with the pain and weakness.
Anyway, I was hoping to be able to at least try physical therapy and wasn't expecting to have to go straight to surgery. I haven't really had my mri explained to me, and waiting for the neurosurgeon seems to be dragging on forever.
Here's the mri results I got. I've tried to decipher it all but don't have anything to compare them to, so if anyone has any input or insight, I'd be grateful to hear it. I'm sure I'll hear more from the surgeon, but I'm not sure whether I should try and get some other third opinion from someone who's not a surgeon?
Cervical vertebral body height and alignment is normal. Atlantooccipital and atlantoodontoid relationships are preserved. There are Modic type II endplate degenerative changes at the C3/C4 level. No aggressive osseous lesions. The cervical cord is normal
in signal. Visualized paravertebral soft tissues are unremarkable.
C3-4: Shallow broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex effaces the ventral thecal sac resulting in moderate central canal stenosis. No significant foraminal stenosis.
C4-5: Moderate posterior disc osteophyte complex effaces the ventral thecal sac resulting in flattening of the ventral cord and moderate central canal stenosis. Facet arthropathy and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy contribute to mild to moderate right
foraminal stenosis. The left neural foramen is patent.
C5-6: Moderate broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex with a central disc extrusion. There is effacement of the ventral thecal sac and flattening of the ventral cord resulting in moderate-severe central canal stenosis. Uncovertebral joint
hypertrophy contributes to moderate right and mild left foraminal stenosis.
Moderate multilevel cervical spondylosis as detailed above.
At the C5-C6 level there is a broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex with a central disc extrusion that flattens the ventral cord and results in moderate-severe central canal stenosis. Moderate right and mild left foraminal stenosis at this level.