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cervical arthritis

Hi,  I had an MRI done and don't know what it means.  I asked the doctor and he said it was bad.  Could you please translate this report so I can know what is happening.
Exam Procedures: MR MR Cervical Spine wo contrast INDICATION: Pain in the left arm Examination: Cervical spine MRI. Routine imaging sequences.
The base of the skull is within normal limits. The cord at and signal cannot be adequate evaluated due to artifact.
C2- 3 shows mild bulging of the disc. No significant effect on the cord. Foramen patent.
C3-4 demonstrates change at the disc level. The disc osteophyte complex emanates posteriorly. This has mild defect in the anterior aspect of the cord. The foramina are grossly patent.
C4-C5 again shows change at the disc level. This extends posteriorly. The disc osteophyte complex has more effect on the right lateral recess and left and central aspect of the cord indenting the cord. Left neuroforamina grossly patent. Mild to moderate narrowing of the right neuroforamen.
C5-C6 again demonstrates changed at the disc level. The disc osteophyte complex extends posteriorly to have affect in the central aspect of the descending cord flattening the cord. The foramen are grossly patent.
At C6-C7 again change at the disc level. The disc osteophyte complex extends posteriorly centrally to have mild to have mild defect in the anterior aspect of the descending cord. Mild to moderate neural foraminal narrowing on the left. The right neural foramen is patent.
C7-T1 is felt to be within normal limits.

IMPRESSION: Degenerative changes multilevel from C3-C4 to C6-C7. The disc osteophyte complex at several levels extends posteriorly to have some effect in the descending cord. Areas of lateral recess narrowing and foraminal narrowing are described above.
Hoping to hear from you soon.  Thank you so much, Ciel
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I can help a little at a time... The sentence... "The disc osteophyte complex extends posteriorly to have affect in the central aspect of the descending cord flattening the cord." basically says that bone spurs are pressing on the spinal cord causing pain.  A few words and their definitions are below.  I hope this helps.  Wish they would write these things in plain English!

Osteophyte = Bone Spurs
Posteriorly = Behind or toward the back
Anterior = Toward the front
Hello, I’m Kalvin a long time member of the Neck and Back community, I ran across your post when I was checking out other forums. I have quite a few neck problems myself. Here’s my thoughts on your report,

C2- 3 Minor disc bulge

C3-4 You have some bone spurs off of the disc that are mildly impacting the front of your spinal cord.

C4-C5 You have the same problem here as the level above and additionally you have narrowing (from bone spurs) in the right and lateral recesses, which are the tunnels that the nerve roots use to exit the spinal canal, and mild to moderate narrowing of the right foramina, which is the hole that the nerve roots use to exit to the spine.

C5-C6 Here you have bone spurs impacting your spinal cord (doesn’t say how serious it is)

At C6-C7 Bone spurs mildly impacting your spinal cord. Mild to moderate left sided foraminal narrowing, probably from bone spurs again.

What’s this artifact the radiologist is referring too, have you had a previous neck surgery?

Keep in mind that a lot of this might not be causing any symptoms, that’s always been the criticism of MRI’s. How bad is your pain, and what type of pain are you having?
Thank you so very much.  Now I know what it is all about.  I have never had neck surgery and I don't experience any pain except in my shoulders and pretty much all over my body.  Again, thank you, Ciel
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