Back and Neck Surgery Expert Forum
Understanding MRI results, 2 weeks till visit neuro.
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Understanding MRI results, 2 weeks till visit neuro.

I would like some help understanding the results of my MRI of my cervical spine because I don't go to see my neurologist for another two weeks. My regular doctor made it seem like there was no issue, but from what I have researcher there is an issue. I would like some peace of mind in knowing what is causing my numbness in my left hand and arm and the left side of my body in general.

C3-4- a small central, left paracentral and foraminal disk protrusion is present which effaces the thecal sac anteriorly. There is an associated anular tear. Mild central canal stenosis is present with AP demension of the thecal sac measuring 9 mm. The left forminal componet of the disk protrusion does result in moderate left-sided foraminal narrowing.

C5-6- Moderate broad-based bilaterial paracentral disk protrusions are present, left side is worse that the right which effaces the thecal sac anteriorly. Disk material extends into the foraminal regions bilaterally resulting in moderate severe left and moderate right-sided foraminal narrowing.

C6-7- Very mild disk desiccation without significant bulge or protrusion. No neural encroachment is visualized

Not mentioned above, there is a partially visualized 9 mm T2 hyperintense lesion in the left lobe of the thyroid which may represent a cyst, but is not fully assessed.

Mind you I am only 32 years old 5'3" around 150 which over the last few years I have gained weight. No recent trauma and I have an identical twin who is not showing any signs of neck pain, which I recently starting having, but I had arm pain when I was 24, then in June of 2008 my left pinky and ring finger went numb and then I have boughts of numbness in my left and right hand and left leg and right foot.

Another question is do you believe I will need surgery to correct the issues or will they heal on their own?
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Dear Friend,
There are a few changes taking place inside your spine and disc. But as far as a decision regarding corrective surgery is concenred, we should not think about the same, presently. The treatment protocol changes from conservative to surgical. Unless all the conservative method of treatment are exhausted, we don't go for the surgical option.
You need to meet a good physiotherapist and plan for some physiotherapy. The aim would be to strengthen the muscles of the cervical spine. This needs to be augmented with life-style modification.
If this mode of treatment fails, then epidural injections many be given. Failure of 3 or more epidural injections, warrents theneed of surgery.
Hence lets begin with a proper physiotherapy and decide further.
As far as a cyst in the thyroid gland, you need to take an opinion from a general physion / general surgeon, so as to deal with it seperately.
Feel free to discuss further.
What type of lifestyle changes? I currently work and go to school and I am raising a family. There is not much that I can change directly becuase I live a very active life and cannot currently make any changes to my life. I have to work to support my family, unfortunately I work a job as a cashier that requires small physical labor due to continued standing on my feet and minor lifting. I am not sure what it is that caused the damage to my spine I have not had any major acdidents in 12 years, at which time I had a head on collision, but I was in the hospital for three weeks during which time I had all kinds of test run and was only held becuase of a collasped lung, no spinal injury noted. I don't know what I am going to do, I know that I am in alot of pain at work and at home due to my neck and the loss of sensation that I feel in my arms at times is very scary. I have actually had the feeling that I am going to fall when I lose sensation in my left leg. I do thank you for you comment, but I have been dealing with this for over a 1 1/2 years (loss of sensation in my pinky and ring finger) currently and I just now was able to afford the MRI. I quess I will learn to deal. About 8 years ago I had a CT of my head due to the loss of sensation in my left arm, so I am guession that was due to my neck then. Thank you.
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