Hi, I recently had an MRI of my cervical spine done. The results were compared to an MRI I had years ago. The doctor (not a neurologist) said everything looked fine and sent me on my way. At the checkout, I asked for a copy of the MRI results and, in part, this is what it reads:
"Thinning of the cervical cord is again demonstrated at the levels of c4-5 and c5-6. There are patchy, linear foci of abnormal cord signal at this level, unchanged and consistent with myelomalacia. There are no new regions of cervical cord signal abnormality."
I'm not sure what "thinning of the cervical cord" means, but it doesn't sound desirable. Are there any dietary supplements or exercises that will 'beef up' my spinal cord?
And what does "patchy, linear foci of abnormal cord signal" mean?
Also, I looked up cervical myelomalacia and it sounds a little scary with the possible respiratory problems (I've had throat pressure and swallowing difficulties for more than a year). I chanced upon a journal article abstract that mentioned myelomalacia may be reversible. How can I accomplish this?
Honestly, I would make an appointment with a neurologist to discuss your symptoms. Get a copy of your MRI study as well as the report you already have and take those with you to your appointment. It's your body. However, the bad news is that your insurance company may not cover this visit if you didn't get a referral. I don't know about that.
Thanks for replying. I don't know if I should bother with a neurologist. Getting a referral would mean shelling out $25 for a primary care doctor visit to just for a chance to ask for a neurologist referral. My primary care doctor may read over the MRI results, consider them insignificant, and deny me the referral. It's happened before.
And even if I do get the referral, I'm afraid the neurologist will say it's nothing and shoo me away. There goes another $50 for a specialist visit down the drain. In trying to get to the bottom of my neck pain over the years, all that's been relieved is my cash. Still not any closer to figuring out how to fix the problem. This is all so frustrating.
I'm 2 hours away from a teaching hospital, so that's not an option. Good idea, though.
I've got the ball rolling for the neurosurgeon referral. Crossing my fingers I get the okay from my primary doctor. I have so many questions to ask the neurosurgeon. Filled up a sheet of notebook paper already and I'm not done yet. Hope the neurosurgeon will be open to answering all these questions.
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