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1509919 tn?1290032336

chronic neck pain_ mri report listed please help me understand. PLus a little advise

I was diagnosed with narrowing of the cervical spine. At c- 4-5 5-6 and 6-7. I need to know more about it. the the mri report says; at c4-5 revels a small to moerate paracentral disc potrusion. the disc portution is moderatly pressing on the nerve root. there is extention into the neural foramen with moterate neural forminal compramise. the right is ok.                    At c-5-6 level revels moderate disc space narrowing. there are anterior and bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes. There is mild bilateral facet degeneration. There is defuse posterior disc protrusion with associate dosteophytic ridging. There is mild compression of the ventral aspect of the thecal sac. findings are resulting in mild to moderate bilateral neual foranimal narrowing. the spinal canal is patent.
At c-6-7 levels reveal a broad based posterior disc protrusion. The central portion of the disc protrusion is hypertense. indicating a soft disc. The disc protrusion is moderately compressing the thecal sac.and slightly impinging upon the ventral aspect of  the spinal cord. There is mild to moderate left formanimal stenosis. The right neural fornamen and spinal canal is patent.
I don't really know  what all this means. can someone please help me undersand my condition. should I work. or not, I am afriad too
6 Responses
547368 tn?1440545385
Hello Cougarman,

Welcome to our Pain Management Forum. I am glad that you found us and took the time to post.

Imagining reports can be difficult to understand. You may want to visit our Radiology Forum at this address: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Radiology-/show/905

Basically your MRI says that you have numerous reasons for pain. Any time you have nerve impingement it can produce pain. You also have disc protruding out of their normal space. Stenosis is another term for narrowing....which usually compresses nerves which results in more pain.

Your MRI also says you have mild bilateral facet degeneration. The actual joints of the spine which are called the "facets" have the beginning of osteoarthritis and the body has laid down some extra bone (degeneration) at the facet which will show up on the MRI.  Moderate means that the bony changes are more significant.  There is really no specific treatment for this condition. Staying mobile is usually important with degeneration. Most ppl have some degree of this by the time they reach forty or fifty. Your stated age is far from this so I would want to know (from my physician) why you already have degeneration.

I know I haven't address every thing on your MRI report. Hopefully the Radiology Forum will do this for you. If not please ask again and I will go through each one with you.

Walking is usual a good activity for everyone as is some form of exercise. However if you can work out and how you will work out should be determined by your physician. If you are working and it is not causing extreme pain I would continue to work until your physician tells you otherwise.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. We will look forward to your updates.

Take Care,
~Tuck

1509919 tn?1290032336
thank you for the info. i am really at a loss on all that is going on. I did post the mri report on the other site, and I will keep it updated. I do go through a lot of pain after and during work.
547368 tn?1440545385
In response to your PM I will try to be more detailed in my personal opinion of your imaging results. As I indicated I am not an expert. Only your physician(s) can put this all together and tell you the significance of your MRI results.

"Narrowing of the cervical spine at C 4-5 5-6 and 6-7. This means that the actual spinal canal is being narrowed. Narrowing, also called stenosis can be caused by a variety of things. In your case I am guessing that it is the bulging or "protrusion" of your disc into the spinal canal that is causing this narrowing. Radiologists can use different terms to mean the same thing. Much depends on where they were educated and their generation as to the terms that they learned...or sometimes it's just a personal preference.  

Maybe I should begin with telling you that the vertebrae of our spine is named by location. There are several sections beginning at the neck and going downward these are the areas, Cervical (Neck) 7 Vertebrae, C1–C7.  Thoracic (Chest) 12 Vertebrae, T1–T12.  Lumbar (Low Back) 5 or 6, L1–L5.  Sacrum (Pelvis) 5 (fused) vertebra, S1–S5. Coccyx (also called the Tailbone) has 3 but they are sometimes consider one unit.  

The Spine is a very complex structure. It really is a complex arrangement of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, discs, a spinal cord and nerves. We usually don't consider all the structures that do into the make up of our spine. Each portion of a disc also has a name as does portions of the supporting structure. In a healthy spine the vertebrae, facet joints and discs are vertically stacked, held together by a system of ligaments that help support the alignment while allowing movement within a safe range. When you consider this it makes more sense how delicate this system can be and how one section or "part" can effect another.  

So back to your report. "C4-5 revels a small to moderate paracentral disc protrusion. the disc protrusion is moderately pressing on the nerve root...."  The word Para-central means next to the center. So your disc (which is jelly-like, is between each set of your vertebrae and acts like a shock absorber) is protruding in out of it's normal place and pressing against a spinal nerve. Obviously when anything compresses a nerve you have pain.  

"Disc protrusion is moderately pressing on the nerve root. there is extension into the neural foramen with moderate neural foraminal compromise."  The neural foramen is an opening between the vertebrae through which nerves leave the spine and extend to other parts of the body.  So this says that you have protrusion that is causing compression of a spinal nerve....also painful. Moderate is pretty self explanatory. For some "moderate compression" can mean extreme pain, for others it can be mild or even intermittent pain.

" At c-5-6 level revels moderate disc space narrowing. there are anterior and bilateral uncovertebral osteophytes."  Without going into a detailed and lenghly defination, uncovertebral joints are basically small joints formed secondarily in the cervical vertebrae area. Osteophytes are bony growths on the spine. Anterior means front and bilateral means both sides. Simply put I assume this means that the osteophytes of the uncovertebral osteophytes are narrowing the disc space.  

"There is mild bilateral facet degeneration."  Facet joints are in pairs at the back of each vertebra. These joints link the vertebrae above and below which makes the spine functions as one unit. Your MRI indicates you have some degeneration, which is normal as we age but you are fairly young to have degenerative changes. The next sentence in your report should be pretty clear.

"There is mild compression of the ventral aspect of the thecal sac. findings are resulting in mild to moderate bilateral neual foranimal narrowing. the spinal canal is patent." The thecal sac is a membrane of dura mater that surrounds the spinal cord and the cauda equina. It nourishes the entire spinal canal. Your canal is "patent" meaning as it should be, not occluded.  The mild compression they believe to be from the neural foraminal narrowing (stenosis). Neural (nerve) foraminal (opening) narrowing means it is constricted or narrow in the (normal) opening that nerves pass through.

"At c-6-7 levels reveal a broad based posterior disc protrusion. The central portion of the disc protrusion is hypertense. indicating a soft disc. The disc protrusion is moderately compressing the thecal sac.and slightly impinging upon the ventral aspect of  the spinal cord. There is mild to moderate left formanimal stenosis." This is repeating most of what I have explained, other then it is in a different location. Posterior means the back portion. It states the disc protrusion is moderately compressing and slightly impinging (pressing on) a portion of the spinal cord.

I cannot guarantee my accuracy at 100%. It's very close. But more importantly when you put this all together what this all means must be interpreted by an orthopedic surgeon. In my opinion it means you have multiple reasons for pain. I cannot guess how they will treat this situation. Surgery is usually the last resort and indicated only when there are no other good choices.

Please let us know what you discover when you consult the ortho or ortho-surgeon. I will be very interested to hear the results of your appointment. I hope I have been helpful. If you have a specific question please feel free to ask.

Best of Luck,
~Tuck
1509919 tn?1290032336
thank you for the time you have taken in reading my report. i am really cose to seeing the ortho sergon i have to get another mri then they will give me a referal for the specialist. keeoing you updated on my doctors conclusions is the least i can do. it is also nice to here that there is good reason for my pain. i feel like because of my age that people think i am faking or overreacting.  but your explanation makes it more understandable for me. My next mri is on this sunday but i will let you know what the ortho say when i go to that. but i don't know when that will be.......
Avatar universal
What happened? I have the same thing going on, I just had a regular X-ray and going for mri, I would really like to know your experience.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to let you know that you're commenting on a very old post. The original poster may not even be here any more.
If you would like to start your own post start at the pain forum and it will say, post a question.
I just wanted to let you know about this being an old thread because you'll probably not get any answers to your question. If you start your own post people will answer your questions.
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