New to spine universe - problems with neck
Hi I am new to this site and don;t really know where to start and apologise if this is a long post! I live in the UK and was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis about 5 years ago. Over the last 18 months my symptoms have been getting a lot worse so my family doc referred to a spine doc (orthopaedic surgeon). I initially went to see them and was subsequently given some physical therapy over 10 weeks, 2 courses of hydrotherapy, acupuncture and a nerve root block injection. All these have not helped and I am due to go back and see the spine doc in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I asked to get copies of my MRI scans (in the UK you don't automatically get copies - and had to pay the hospital for copies!). I have since got these as I really wanted to know what was actually going on in my neck, as things had got decidedly worse and had a pending hospital appointment..
My first MRI was taken in December 2008 - "mild degree of cerebellar tonsiallar herniation. Cervical cord appears normal. There is a degenerative retrolisthesis at c5/6 with a resultant indentation on the anterior aspect of the theca without any cord compression or cord signal change. Neurocentral joint arthritis particularly on the right side of c5/6 is also present. Moderate degree of foraminal encroachment bilaterally as a result of these changes, this appears more obvious on the right. Facet joint arthritis is also present".
2nd MRI October 2009 - "retrolisthesis of C5 against c6 vertebral body with circumferential disc bulging abutting the spinal cord and causing mild flattening particularly of the left and central aspect of the spinal cord. Moderate narrowing of the right and moderate to marked narrowing of the left intervertebral foramen.At c5/6 circumferential disc bulging leading to mild narrowing of the left intervertebral foramen. The c6/7 foraminal narrowing on the left seems to have slightly increased.
Opinion - c5/6 subluxation with cord abutment and deformity and particularly left sided foraminal narrowing. C6/7 disc degeneration and minor foraminal narrowing. Posterior osteophyte formation."
I would be really grateful if anyone could possible make it easier for me to understand what is going on in my neck as the consultant I saw initialy did not let me know what was the matter in easier terms! I am a little confused and upset as there seems to be conflicting results, ie. mention of cerebellar tonsillar herniation in the first MRI, but this is not mentioned in the second one! Please help!!!!