Is the anyone out there with the expertise to decipher my MRI test. My doctor is a neurosurgeon and has advised me that I will need cervical fusion surgery. He said I shouldn’t wait and presently it’s scheduled for 3/31/11. I have no pain in my neck or arm only some stiffness. I have numbness predominantly in my left arm and less numbness in my right arm and have some numbness and tingling in left and right hands. Please note that I’ve had these symptoms for about 6 years, and I’ve recently noticed the numbness is slowly increasing. Is this surgery the best option for me?? MRI is as follows: Marked degenerative disc disease changes with moderate to marked disc narrowing at c5-c6 and c6-c7 and large posterior disc osteophyte complex at c5-c6 with underling mild stenosis with ap diameter of the canal between 7-8 mil. There is large hnp at c6-c7 more on the left than right there is also myelopathy at the c6-c7 level sm hnp on right at c4-c5. Mild to moderate spurring to right and left c6 of the uncovertebral joints into the right and left c6-c7 neural foramina and the right and left c5-6 neural foramina. Impression: Myelopathy at c5-6 and c6-7. Mild spinal stenosis at c5-c6 and c6-c7. Large left hnp at c6-c7. Prominent disc osteophyte complex both on right and left at c5-c6. Minimal right disc. Protrusion at c4-c5. Some spurring of the neural foramina as described above.
well to start, i have many problems with my lumbar spine, have had one surgery and am awaiting fusion myself. also i have been in a work comp case for 3 years fighting for treatment, so i have had to do alot of resurch to educate myself on all things spine related. so with that, on to your mri. i do not remember the definitions for all the issuse you have going on but i do know about some of them. anytime you have a large disc hurniation, you have a good chance that it will be pressing either on the spinal cord itself or the exiting nerve roots on either side. this would easily produce the pain or numbness you feel down your arms. you did not mention how many levels your doctor wants to fuse, and what else he or she wants to do in those areas. this is important because you have bone spurs which are sharp points comming off your vertibrie. these spurs can irritate your spinal cord or worse. these will more than likely have to be cleaned up along with the fusion. you also have stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal. in the cervical spine especialy, you dont have alot of room for the spinal cord or nerves to begin with. add stenosis to that and you are squeezing your spinal cord even more. i am not sure what the doctor does to clean this up but just fusing alone will not get rid of the stenosis. your stenosis however is said to be mild so if the hurniation is removed and you then have fusion this could free up the spinal cord enough to relieve the symptoms you have. also the disc narrowing can cause nerve compression. when the doctor does the fusion, he or she will most likely put in a cage to restore the natural hight of the disc space. this involves the complete removal of the old disc, then they will clean up the bones top and bottom. then they will open up the space between the 2 vertibrae and slide in the cage. the small or minimal protrusion of c4-c5 may be delt with by discectomy. i would like to hear what all the doctor plans to do. just saying fusion doesnt really say alot. kinda veige. i'm not an expert but i will be willing to bet, they will need to do more than just fuse. sounds like fusion will be helpfull and i hope my rough description of your mri helped. let me know what the full story is, and good luck!
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