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MRI translation please

98greenlude998greenlude Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:46 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
This is copied directly from the results paper work I received from the Radiology place:

FINDINGS:
The vertebrae have normal height and marrow signal with straightening of the upper cervical lordosis.
C2-3 Level: No herniated nucleus pulposus or significant central spinal canal stenosis. The neural foramina appear essentially patent.
C3-4 Level: Disc bulge indents the anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed bilaterally, most narrowed on the left.
C4-5 Level: Loss of disc hydration. Disc bulge indents the anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed on the left and patent on the right.
C5-6 Level: Disc bulge indents the anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed on the left and patent on the right.
C6-7 Level: Disc bulge in combination with hypertrophy of the facets and ligamentum flava indent the thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed on the left and patent on the right. c
C7-T1 Level: No herniated nucleus pulposus or significant central spinal canal stenosis. The neural foramina appear essentially patent.
T1-2 Level: Loss of disc height and hydration.
T2-3 Level: Loss of disc height with chronic appearing anterior wedging of the T3 vertebra without significant retropulsion.
T3-4 Level: Loss of disc hydration.
Cord signal, posterior fossa structures and paraspinal tissues appear unremarkable

IMPRESSION:
1. Straightening of the upper cervical lordosis.
2. C3-4 Level: Disc bulge indents the anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed bilaterally, most narrowed on the left.
3. C4-5 Level: Loss of disc hydration. Disc bulge indents the anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed on the left and patent on the right.
4. C5-6 Level: Disc bulge indents the anterior thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed on the left and patent on the right.
5. C6-7 Level: Disc bulge in combination with hypertrophy of the facets and ligamentum flava indent the thecal sac. The neural foramina are narrowed on the left and patent on the right. c
6. T1-2 Level: Loss of disc height and hydration.
7. T2-3 Level: Loss of disc height with chronic appearing anterior wedging of the T3 vertebra without significant retropulsion.
8. T3-4 Level: Loss of disc hydration.

I also received an X-Ray of my lower back (don't know why they would waste time with an x-ray) but they found that L4 had 4mm Retrolisthesis w/ narrowing, L5 had mild Retrolisthesis and the pars were no long attached (By "Pars" i am not quite sure what it is or the terminology they used. I know when my Ortho. explained it to me he said that both the Left and right sides have i guess connective tissue that connects the vertebra to the disk. and both connective tissue is no longer connected.)

What is the prognosis of these findings and what type of pain should i be in?

I have had to deal with back pain for probably about 3 years or so and neck pain for well over 8 years both of which are getting progressively worse. I have been just "Dealing" with it and its gotten to the point that i want someone to help but seems like none of my doctors are listening or they don't think i'm in pain...or something. After doing hours of research into my back issue (w/o having an MRI it is hard to tell whats going on) but im reading that ppl need either surgery or pain management.

I guess i just want to know what to do; who to talk to; where to go from here.


Please understand that no member on Spine-Health is qualified to provide medical analysis of MRIs or any other diagnostic tests. All that information needs to be discussed with your doctor

Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 08/04/10
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Comments

  • Welcome to spine health. Have you talked to your doctor yet? He's the only one who can accurately apply what the report says to what you are feeling.

    If you haven't already I would start a pain log. Keep accurate track of what you feel, when and what helps to relieve the pain. THis will help you accurately describe what you feel when you see your docotr.
  • Howdy and Welcome to Spine Health! As Kris said, what does your doctor say? For a diagnosis, the doctor is going to have to look at you as a whole, the X-rays, MRI's and any other diagnostic tests to get the full picture. An MRI is just a piece of the puzzle. You can have an almost perfect MRI and tons of pain, conversely, you can have a messy MRI and NO symptoms!

    There are issues shown on your report, but to state what "pain you should have" is like putting the cart before the horse. Your doctor will take the symptoms you DO have, and compare them to the tests to see if they make sense. I know not the full answer you are seeking, but aside from the fact none of us are doctors, even if we were, we wouldn't be the one treating, so same boat. I hope you get answers to your questions when you get with your doctor, and too pain relief. Please keep us posted, and let us know how it goes.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Well if you can’t tell from the original post, I am getting frustrated from doctors. It seems to me that they just push it off and give me PT. I guess it’s because I’m only 28 and in complaining about pain in my back and neck. I constantly have about a 5/10 in pain in both neck and back and have times where the pain is off the scale 13/10 (very sharp stabbing pain that radiates). When this "nerve-like" pain is in my neck it originally starts on the left side and then radiate throughout my entire neck area and with every movement I experience more intense pain. The only way it stops is remaining VERY still for extended periods of time. I also feel the same "Nerve-like" stabbing pain in my back & it radiate from the originating point throughout my lower back region, around sort of toward the front and also the upper part of my buttock.

    While doing my own online research I stumbled across something that seems so true. It stated that people find ways to stand/sit/walk etc. that alleviate or at least don't seem to put as much pressure on the areas affected and this makes the suffering person slouch and his/her posture is affected. I reflect on myself and see that I have done this for years...
  • I wish I had words of wisdom for you but I don't. I do however have some advice in regards to describing your pain levels. You say your pain is 5/10 normally and you have spikes of 13/10. I'm sure you're just trying to make a point with your description, but what a doctor hears is 2/10 and 10/10. Its a 10 point scale. Last year when I was seeing a new Doctor, his nurse asked to me to rate my pain on a 10 point scale with 0 being no pain and 10 being surgery without anesthesia. Usually when someones says they have a 10, you should be in the ER getting help. To be honest, if your pain rises to an 8 for an extended period of time you should go to the ER.

    I know you hurt, but when you describe your pain to others you have to be realistic with what you say so you can be taken seriously.

    Dave
  • I do understand your frustration. What Aviatrix and I were trying to say is that you need to communicate clearly with your doctor. You never mention what type of doctor ordered the MRI. My preference is a neurologist but many like seeing an orthopedist.

    Either is well qualified to diagnose your problem. To do this they need to know accurately where your pain is. Saying it hurts over here is not going to help. The doctor will take what you feel and compare it to the MRI. If they find something that matches that's great. But often it's not that easy. No one here can or will tell you what your MRI means. We are not doctors and shouldnt play doctor with someone's life. But we can share what we experienced both in pain and in dealing with the medical profession.

    You mention that everyone seems to need either surgery or pain management. That statement is soo wrong. Many people benefit from PT in all it's forms. Many get better just with some time and comfort. Also pain management can mean many different things, it's not just narcotics. But only your doctor can decide what is right for you.

    One last thought. Your MRI is cervical but in your pain you talk about lower back and butt. Yes pain in one part of your body can cause other parts to hurt as they compensate. But have your talked to your doctor about these pains? You need to put your care in the hands of your doctor. Not just bits and pieces.

    I hope this helps in some way. Remember we do care about you and want to hear what you find out.
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  • I appreciate the everything yall are saying. I am fairly new to this all and apologize for sounding ignorant. I will definitely be more descriptive and communicate better with my Doc.

    I was exaggerating with the pain levels but i am/been frustrated. It seems like a pain journal is a good idea so that i can better describe what is going on; where, when, what type of pain, length of time, what i was doing before and what i did to get it to stop.

    I was seeing an Ortho & general. General gave me the x-ray which says:
    mild lower lumbar levocurve less than 5 degrees
    moderate L4-5 narrowing with 4mm retrolisthesis
    mild L5-S1 interspace narrowing
    appears to be a left L5 Pars defect (but my ortho said that both the Left and right show the defect)
  • Hi,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health, have a look around and get acquainted with the different features here. One thing I find that is missing here is your doctors are saying something is not right but yet have offered up no solutions as to what to do. If you look in the FAQ section of the forums at the top of the page there is a list of questions one preparing to meet with a spine surgeon and the other questions to ask about surgery. So while you are having neither surgery and you have already met with the doctors, I would look at those and make a new set of questions when you go in. We all know that we don't get much face time with doctors just the way it is. So I say be prepared and sometimes you may be over prepared but it is your body and you need the answers. But I would make those questions very specific and not general at all and keep them right in front of you. Explain you don't understand and your just trying to learn so you can get back to your normal busy life. Make sure the doctor you see understands you are willing to try any treatment they offer. While you may not believe it will work you just never know what is the answer. Sometimes it is a blend of things that help the right therapy and meds maybe one of them. But just be open to try things even if you have already tried them before with no success.

    The journal is another nice tool to start with be sure to include what things also make the pain better. As far as the pain scale you can google them and find them on line so you understand what type of numbers they are talking of. I know it is hard when you are in pain to put a number to it, but some doctors stick to those numbers, very strongly while others don't and you just don;t know who they are.

    Use the search feature at the top of the page to look up the words in your reports and get acquainted with them and you can use them in your questioning. From my experience doctors are so willing to help when they have a patient whom is truly interested in understanding. To often patients to in and say my back hurts and it is a 10, well fortunately that just doesn't say to much at all. Not that, that is what your doing but you get the drift.

    Also have you tried some swimming? Swimming is a great place to let up some of the weight of your body. In water your body weight is down to about 20 percent of the weight. You might even just try some light swim walking or stretching or even check out a aqua class, but of course clear it with your doctor first.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health and if there is anything I can do don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep us posted.
  • Here is a kind of description of pain levels you can use to help you more accurately describe your pain level to your doctors. Using "10" to describe your pain is not usually helpful to your case- it tells them you feel like you're in a lot of pain, but it also eliminates your ability to tell them if your pain increases.

    http://www.tipna.org/info/documents/ComparativePainScale.htm

    This isn't something your doctor would use, just something you can use to give yourself some landmarks on the scale :)

    Physical therapy is the gold standard for back/neck injuries :)
  • I went for therapy for almost four years before they even considered me for surgery.I was in constant severe pain but because my neck was so bad no doctor wanted to send me to a surgeon and be responsible for whatever outcome was to happen. Sometimes i think they can be too slow at having a surgeon look at a person. Not saying that they wait to long for surgery but i think they wait too long for a surgeons opinion. You definitely have a lot of stuff going on in your spine and should have a surgeons opinion anyways.
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