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Can this be explained to me a way I understand?

all that was recommended was PT.  Should I be looking for a neurologist to look at this information?  And am I safe to be riding my horse.  This MRI report is from October 2007 - the pain has increased enough now, that I have asked my GP to give me drugs stronger than Tylenol.  I am taking Soma and a pain pill as needed.  Not daily, but every couple of days.  This is the report my doctor sent me on the MRI results, at my request.  

MRI report

T1,  T2 and gradient echo sagittal and gradient echo axial images of the cervical spine were obtained.  No previous studies are available for comparison.  No significant abnormalities identified of the craniocervical junction, C1-2,or C2-3.  At C3-4 there is no significant abnormality of the intervertebral disk.  There are hypertrophic degenerative changes of the facets at this level on the left resulting in severe left-sided foraminal stenosis.  There is no significant canal stenosis at this level.  C4-5 demonstrates disk degeneration with disk space narrowing and bulging of the annulus.  There is no focal disk protrusion identified at this level.  There is moderate right sided foraminal stenosis at this interspace due to uncinate joint and facet hypetrophy.  C5-6 demonstrates disk degeneration with disk space narrowing, bulging of the annulus and osteophyte formation about the interspace.  There is bilateral uncinate joint hypertrophy worse on the right resulting in tight right  sided foraminal stenosis and moderate to severe left sided forminal stenosis.  There is no significant canal stenosis at this level.  C6-7 demonstrates posterior bulging of the annulus without a focal disk protrusion identified.  There is no significant canal or foraminal stenosis at this interspace.  C7-T1 demonstrates a small right paracentral disk protrusion which results in  no significant canal stenosis or cord compression The cervical spinal cord is normal in size and signal intensity.  Cervical vertebral body bone marrow signal intensities are within normal limits.

Small right paracentral disk protrusion at C7-t1. Multilevel cervical spondylosis  as described above most advanced at the C5-6 level where there is significant bilateral foraminal stenosis worse on the right side.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
The MRI results are approximately 2 yrs old and it is possible that there has been interval changes which might be contributing to your current symptoms.  Has your doctor indicated that a new MRI is needed?
The MRI findings from 2007 indicate multilevel cervical spondylosis, which is medical speak for the wear and tear that occurs to our spines as we age.  It is also called osteoarthritis.  The vertebrae start to deteriorate and the cartilage or cushion between the bones wears down and the bones start to rub together. This can lead to the formation of bony outgrowths called bone spurs.  
The intervertebral discs can also degenerate and become dried and brittle.  This can result in the disc protruding through its protective covering (annulus) or disc herniation and can cause narrowing of the disc height which could result in narrowing of the central canal through which the spinal cord travels.
The facet joints are the hinges that connect the vertebrae together and assist in movement.  Degenerative changes can narrow the neural foramen through which the spinal nerve roots travel.  
There are multilevel degenerative changes which have resulted in severe left sided foraminal stenosis  at C3-C4, moderate right sided foraminal stenosis at C4-C5 and bilateral foraminal stenosis at C5-C6.  C6-C7 has a bulging of the annulus, but no disc protrusion.  The neural foramen are unobstructed at this level.
C7-T1 has a small disk protrusion which has not caused any pressure on the spinal canal or spinal cord.
The most severe changes are noted at the C5-C6 level where there is bilateral foraminal stenosis, most evident on the right side.
The spinal cord has not been affected by these changes and is functioning normally.
The foraminal stenosis could be compressing the spinal nerve roots and can cause symptoms of pain and/or numbness of the arm/hand.
Conservative treatment with anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy is the initial course of treatment.  Steroid injections may be indicated. If conservative treatment  does not produce effective relief of symptoms, referral to an orthopedic spine specialist or neurosurgeon may be indicated.  
Riding your horse may not be harmful, but it would be dependent on whether your symptoms intensify with this activity.  Repetitive lifting could contribute to your symptoms.
Soma is a muscle relaxant and can be effective for muscle spasms that might be present secondary to the osteoarthritis.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be beneficial with the pain medication used as needed for acute discomfort.
Physical therapy may be effective in reducing your discomfort  
Post again with an update and any additional questions/concerns you may have.
Best wishes ----
Avatar universal
I appreciate your response , thank you.  My doctor has not said anything about another MRI - I've made it the past 2 years just using tylenol to help - and it had worked up until the last couple of months, at which time he did give me 'scripts for the Soma and darvocett. No riding my horse does not make the symptoms worse - unless I do a lot of turning around in the saddle to chat to someone riding behind me. - It is riding the lawn mower, or backing the trailer in - really intensifies it. I also get numbness in my right arm, when I spend too much time on the computer.  

Unfortunately - I took a spill from my horse yesterday.  I did end up going to the ER for x-rays - on my lower back and hips.  Thankfully, nothing showed up on the x-rays - and I am home.  Walking is very slow.  The neck has not been hurting.  Maybe with this lay-up both conditions can improve... hope so.    I will report back - after a few days on both conditions.

Again thank you!!!
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