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disc degenerative changes
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disc degenerative changes

I had an MRI done which showed disc abnormalities at c4/5, 5/6 and 6/7, at the latter there is a central disc protrusion, at the 5/6 level the disc shows degenerative changes with a shallow osteophytic disc ridge and a shallow central disc protrusion. At 4/5 there is a shallow disc protrusion. There is slight loss of disc signal on all, c5/6 also shows loss of disc height and slight cord deformity.There is a central annular fissure at c6/7 with a central protrusion abutting into the theca. Does anyone know what these finding's mean
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1248623_tn?1406812015
It's means you have a mild/early case of Degenerative Disk Disease. There is no way, at least not yet, of knowing how long you have had it and how fast it will progress.

You don't mention why you had the MRI, or what symptoms you are experiencing....??

Depending on the above answer... Now is the time for some rehab, developing good exercise habits, and learning to slow the process.

It could take 3 months, or 30 years, to become an issue to be concerned about.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the MRI because I got injured at work, I actually had the MRI this time last year but the doctors I have seen arn't telling me much but to stay on the pain killers. The symptoms I'm experiencing are left shoulder very sore right down my arm to the fingers, pins and needles in the fingertips, pins and needles in the neck, weekness in the arm, pain when I turn the neck and when I move the arm, pain in between the shoulder blades, most of the time I forget the arm is there because I don't feel it very good.
I have been given another refferal to see the neural surgeon because the pain and symptoms have got worse and the pain medications don't work to well anymore, I will then have another MRI again to see if it has gotten worse. It has been a year since the injury where I had a resident pull on my arm and not let it go.
Thank you so much for your answer I really appreciate it, if you know can it get worse and do you think it can get worse.?  When I had the accident I only had a sore neck and arm nothing else. Do you know what I can expect to be happening in my kneck.
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1248623_tn?1406812015
There is nothing to expect, because there are too many variables.
Yes, it can get a lot worse. Yes, it can get a lot better.
Yes, your lawyer should discuss the out of court settlement, for the Dr.s negligent actions.
As long as there was not subrogation. (you didn't follow their advice or directions)

At the time, if the MRI showed as you described, they should have started you on simple rehab. Minor exercises, plus the anti-inflammatory medications, would have made a world of difference.
If you have muscle atrophy, the nerve damage is probably permanent. No, that doesn't mean it will always be this bad, but it means you may never get a full recovery to full strength.

No matter what, exercise and anti-inflammatory medications should be continued, and will still provide improvement.
Learn proper sleep habits, and reduce sitting times. Ensure proper ergonomics in work, as well as things like watching TV and home computer.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much for your answere I really appreciate, I understand what your saying but you do mention that there are a lot of variables and it could go either way. I have been on those anti-inflammatories for so long and no improvement, I have even had social security put me on a disability pension because the pain is that bad even after a year and I can't do a lot of things including picking up any of my children. If things were going to get better I would think there would of been some sine of improvement, I even have the trembles in my left hand and it never stops moving. I just don't see it getting any better and when I get this other MRI done it will proberly show it has got worse in some way, I was told about another person who had a similar problem to me and because of the pressure from the other discs they made other discs have problems below it. So many other things I have red where it says that people are miserable with this condition and it hasn't gotten any better even with any type of surgery, I supose I'm curiouse what I may be up for that's all because from what I have learnt alot can and will go wrong and I'm only 29.  
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1248623_tn?1406812015
You misunderstood my comment. Yes, these treatments can still provide improvement. I venture a guess you are not doing them, or not doing all that is needed.
Also, improvement doesn't mean healing. There are degrees of improvement and healing.
Yes, the MRI will most likely show things are worse.
Don't let that scare you, or think the sky is falling. That will change nothing from what I have said.

Improvement doesn't mean surgery wont be needed. Permanent damage doesn't mean you wont improve.

A new MRI, compared to that 1 year old MRI, will probably show an increase in DDD progression.
It will continue to progress the rest of your life. (if there) However, there are many ways to slow it down. I already mentioned a few.

1 of the most important things, that apply to almost every medical condition, is to strengthen the muscles. The skeletal system does not provide support, it provides structure. (or framework)
The muscles, and other soft tissues, are what provide the support. The more you strengthen them, the less force is applied to the skeletal system.
This is far too greatly overlooked by all people and all the medical fields. Especially issues of unequal muscle development.
Muscle strengthening even helps diabetes, emphysema, etc..
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for response, the information you give me is much appreciated.
From what you have said this time it does make a lot more sense then the other message, but I have done everything that the doctors have advised me but I certainly haven't been given any exercise programs or anything like that. I was having some physiotherapy in the beggining but I found it made the pain worse and that I could hardly move after each session so I don't have physiotherapy anymore, waiting to see the neurosurgeon again will hopefully give me some more advice.
I actually don't spend a lot of the time not doing things, I may not use the left arm as much as the right but I still use it because I have 6 kids ranging from 9 years to 8 months and there is always a lot to do so there is plenty of exercise but going to bed at night does hurt a lot. Hurts that much that I get close to crying or screaming waiting for the pain killers and anti-inflammatries to kick in, that's sort of how I think that things have gotten worse. I drop things all the time so I don't pick kids up unless I'm sitting down, and because I use the right arm now twice as much I have bursitis in it and I can't get rid of it even though I have had treatment on it like the injections.
Like I said I have two doctors that don't seam to be saying a lot to me but to stay on the pain killers, the last time I saw my GP he said that he has done all he can and to just refer me back to the neurosurgeon again for his advice. So I'm on the internet searching for as much in formation as I can so I can understand what is happening to me and if there is anything I can do about it and what things I could be expecting because basically I don't know much yet, have bad doctors by the sounds of it as you have told me more then both of my doctors put together.
It's getting to the point that my ability to deal with this pain and the not knowing of what's really going on and what I could be expecting down the road is starting to get to me and it's upsetting. In the past I had reflux in the left kidney and I went to the specialist and he fixed it with surgery and I suppose I was expecting the same sort of thing here, I don't know a lot when it comes to the medical field and that's why Im here trying to find out as much as I can so I don't keep feeling like I'm in the dark here.  
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1248623_tn?1406812015
Again, let me clarify:
Exercising will not help, neither will the other stuff I mentioned.
SPECIFIC exercises, combined with ALL the other things I mentioned, will help.

They MAY not help, until more aggressive treatment is given, but they will slow progression.
They WILL help, after additional treatment, if that is needed. They WILL help, if additional treatment is not needed, and they are done correctly.
Part of doing things correctly is knowing what exercises, and activities, NOT to do.
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