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How can a back issue seem to down hill over night? What does all this really mean?

: 1. Severe bilateral C6/C7 and mild left C5/C6 neuroforaminal narrowing due to uncovertebral hypertrophy, facet arthrosis and broad left foraminal disc protrusion at C5/C6. 2. Multilevel degenerative changes as above.
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547368 tn?1440545385
Hello Bwarren,

Please excuse my tardy response. We welcome you.

I think you have some typos? Is your first questions, why you were not symptomatic as these cervical issues developed? Your second question what does the MRI results mean in layman's terms? I'm assuming these are your questions.

First it's not rare that you can have no SX (symptoms) until a cervical structure deteriorates enough for something to cause significant hurt. I have a very similar experience. I would not have known about my cervical tumors, osteophytes and much more had I not awoke with severe and acute Brachial Neuritis. It came out of the blue as did my subsequent cervical spine DX (diagnosis). So it does happen. I could site more examples but you get the picture.

In order to truly understand the terms of your MRI it's important to understand the structure of the human spine. I encourage you to continue to so just what you're doing - research these terms and educate yourself. Bravo, you're doing that. So let me try to help in your search- but don't stop with me as I am not an expert.

You're cervical spine appears a bit older than your age - as you have a normal aging process going on in your cervical spine.

Uncovertebral hypertrophy is the enlargement of small synovial joints found in the upper surfaces of the bodies (meaning vertebral bodies) of the lower cervical vertebrae and the inferior surface of the superior vertebral body.

Degenerative changes of the neck joints are a normal process of aging due to everyday wear-and-tear movements of the neck. There are seven cervical vertebrae in the neck, and each is separated from the next by a disc of cartilage. These discs are the shock absorbers of the neck and become less efficient as a person ages.

Uncovertebral joints are composed of cartilaginous material and bone. As a person ages, the cartilage between the uncovertebral joints narrows, sometimes causing bony overgrowth between the joints and contributing to foraminal narrowing. Early in degenerative disc disease, the nerve roots, which pass through a portion of the neural foramina, aren't affected by this bony overgrowth, but with passage of time and compression of the nerve roots, pain is the end result.

Spinal nerves pass through openings in the spinal cord called neural foramina. Various conditions or diseases cause the openings to narrow, causing compression of the nerves passing through the openings. This is called Neural foraminal narrowing, often referred to as neural foraminal stenosis. Stenosis is a medical term for narrowing.

Another term used in your MRI report is Facet joint arthrosis – more commonly called facet joint osteoarthritis – is a degenerative condition that affects people as they age. Most all of us have this to one degree or another once we are in our late 40s or early 50s. In some ppl these changes begin earlier - for various reasons. I won't list them unless you ask me to do so.

I wish every Radiologist, every medical school and every facility used the same terms - especially when describing what they "see" or DX. They don't! It makes it more confusing than it needs to be. A foraminal herniated disc may also be known by several other terminologies, including a foraminal disc bulge or foraminal disc protrusion. This means that the disc is bulging off center to the left or to the right. in the case of foraminal bulges, the disc blocks off some or all of the neuroforaminal opening, through which the spinal nerves exit at the affected level. This can occasionally cause compression(pinched) of a nerve.

If you researched the spinal structure - including imagines - the information I've provided will make more sense. Your medical provider will have the exact answers for you. If you are not having severe pain that's great. It's my guess that your SX will be treated initially - and should be. Whatever your provider suggests I always encourage a second opinion. I hope you are consulting a neurosurgeon - or a neurologist to begin your quest.

I'll encourage you again to educate yourself - so you can make educated decisions when presented with options.

Please let us know how you are doing. I'll look forward to hearing from you again soon. If you have more questions or require clarification please let me know. I hope something I have offered has been helpful.

Take Care,

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