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Should I be concerned?

I had an MRI of my neck a few months ago due to stiffness (couldn't turn head more than about 10 degrees to the left) and tingling in my arms, prediminately the right arm.

Below are the results.  Can someone help me understand?

The alignment and vertebral body heights of the cervical spine are preserved. Disk desiccation is seen to the cervical spine with slight loss of mid vertebral body height of C6, which is not acute. The signal within the spinal cord of the cervical spine is within normal limits.
C2-C3: The C2-C3 disk demonstrates a small, right paracemral bulge, which flattens the thecal sac anteriorly.
C3-C4: A mild annular bulge is present with asymmetric facet joint hypertrophy and mild reactive marrow edema to the left facet joint at C3-C4. subsequent to moderate foraminal encroachment present on the left.
C4-C5: A subtle annular bulge is present. which flattens the thecal sac anteriorly and mild central canal narrowing with AP diameter of the central canal at 10 mm.
C5-C6: A mild, annular bulge with small marginal osteophyte is seen. which flattens the thecal sac anteriorly with moderate central canal narrowing with AP diameter of the central canal at 9 mm and mild uncovertebral joint hypertrophy bilaterally.
C6-C7: A small, left paracentral annular bulge is present. which flattens the thecal sac anteriorly creating mild central canal narrowing with AP diameter of the central canal at 10 mm and mild narro\ving of the left exiting foramina.
C7-Tl: The C7-Tl disk is within nom1allimits.
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Avatar_m_tn
At C2-C3 you have a small disc bulge flattening the thecal sac which is a sac that encases the spinal cord. Depending on the severity, this doesn’t generally cause symptoms.

C3-C4: Another small disc bulge, some facet joint Arthritis. Mild reactive marrow edema is probably related to soft tissue inflammation. And you have moderate left sided foraminal stenosis caused by arthritis of the facet joints. The foramen is an opening in the spinal column where the spinal nerves pass through. Stenosis is narrowing; the openings are being narrowed by bone spurs or arthritis.

C4-C5: A small bulge, thecal sac is flattened and you have mild spinal canal narrowing

C5-C6: A mild, annular disc bulge with small marginal osteophyte (arthritis) is seen. which flattens the thecal sac anteriorly (front) with moderate spinal canal narrowing. Mild uncovertebral joint hypertrophy bilaterally, you have mild arthritis of the small uncovertebral joints that are located at the sides of each vertebrae body

C6-C7: A small, left paracentral annular bulge is present. which flattens the thecal sac anteriorly creating mild central canal narrowing.

Most of this is age related wear and tear commonly seen in people over 50.

Now, could you post in a little more detail about your pain and symptoms, what type of doctor sent you to have this MRI., have you had any treatments for this yet?
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Avatar_m_tn
Kalvin,

Thanks for your response.  I was referred to an orthopedist becasue I was having two (what I consider kind of major) symptoms.  I will start with the pain in my neck.  It was very painful to turn my head in either direction, and I physically could not turn it more than about 10 degrees to the left - it was not just the pain (which was pretty significant to me), it would not go any farther.  The second symptom was a "tingling" in my right arm.  The tinglingand almost like a burning was pretty constant from the elbow up to the shoulder and neck, and would on ocassion travel all the way down to my hand and fingers. The orthopedist said that the tingling was caused by a pinched nerve, probably somewhere in the c4-c7 areas, and that the neck pain was inflamation (inflammation) of the neck muscles due to compensating for the pinched nerve (or something like that).  

I went to physical therapy 3 tmes a week for six weeks.  Did neck "exercises" and had 20-25 lbs traction each session.  It helped somewhat (the traction seemed to help the most), but the stiff neck is starting to return as is the tingling, though not as bad - yet.

I had previously been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel because of the tingling in my fingers and Tennis Elbow due to the fact that I literally could not pick up a file or anything similar with my right hand - no grip.  Could that have been related to the same pinched nerve?
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Avatar_m_tn
Sounds like your Orthopedist has given you a pretty accurate diagnosis. Severe neck pain often causes the muscles to get really tight and guarded which in turn can cause severe neck stiffness. Have you tried muscle relaxants? Traction helps too by taking some of the pressure of the nerve roots.

Carpal Tunnel and Cervical radiculopathy can have very similar effects, and it is possible to have both, but the effects nerve root compression in the neck have on your upper extremity are much greater. Were you diagnosed with CTS by  EMG testing?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks again!

The traction during PT seemed to do the most good, unfortunately I wasn't prescribed home traction.  The muscle relaxer I was given (flexaril) kinda helped, but not significantly.

Unfortunately, my right arm is bothering me today (and yesterday) pretty badly.  Moved some furniture and other stuff over the weekend and now the fingers in my right hand (and to some degree the palm) are tingling, my elbow  and shoulder "hurt", and I am having grip issues (I physically cannoll put a file).  

I am about ready to go back to the Ortho doc and ask about an rx for home traction.
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh, and the CTS dx was based predominately on the tingling/swelling of my index and middle finger and wrist pain.  Nerve conduction study showed slight impairment, but not sginificant.  That was some 7-10 years ago.  I am wondering if that and the tennis elbow dx a couple of years later could actually have been related to what is going on now.
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Avatar_m_tn
There have been studies attempted to try and find a correlation between CTS and Cervical radiculopathy, I don’t know if they’ve been successful or not. CTS is very common in people with neck problems, however my necks a mess and I don’t have it, but I have enough medical problems.

You wrote:

“Dx was based predominately on the tingling/swelling of my index and middle finger and wrist pain. I am wondering if that and the tennis elbow Dx”

Maybe the nerve study was identifying the beginning of your cervical problems.

Here are some of the symptoms the lower cervical levels can cause.

C6 Patients may have numbness and tingling into the outer aspect of the lower arm, into the thumb and index finger.

C7 Patients may experience numbness and tingling into the middle finger. The Doctor may notice an absent triceps reflex. Weakness may also be noticed in the ability to straighten the elbow. With motor testing, the doctor may also notice that the patient has weakness with wrist extension and the ability to bend the elbow.

If you’re like me, you might have been ignoring some of your neck problems until they got to the unbearable point. That’s what I did.


Take Care

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Avatar_m_tn
Wow!  Thanks for you responses!  I have learned more from you that I ever got from my doc.  The last post was especially helpful - it describes exactly what is going on right now - to the letter.

Im thinking it's time for a visit to the ortho dr.  

Again, Thank You!
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