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Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar DDD, Herniations, Cord Compression, Spondylosis, Radiculopathy

From: debra072557 - on 06/08/2012 2:38am

Hi all,

New to this forum and hope to gain some answers from others whom are going through the same or from professionals who are willing to take the time to explain. I do realize most doctors today do not have the time to detail all information for us in the short amount of time allowed with each patient due to insurance regulations.

I have been suffering with back pain for many years, progressively getting worst over the years. I did not start going to a pain management center until 2011 and have found this to be just ridiculous. Great if you are a drug addict, sad if you had serious issues and would like to return to life as you once knew it.

I've had many MRI's, however they have always been of the cervical and lumbar areas...never the thoracic area until this week. My most recent MRI of cervical and lumbar were done 3/2011, since that time, I have had every 29 days been seen by no one other than the PA to prescribe heavy narcotics, NSAIDS, neuropathy meds, etc and to schedule injections. Lumbar injections (3) were fairly successful other than I felt so much better I thought I could start doing more lifting, etc than I actually should have been doing and would throw my back out. Cervical procedures were (2) medial branch block injections. There was no pre-sedation, anxiety med, nothing. I was so freaked out the second time around, it brought on a case of shingles.

After nine months of not seeing an actual doctor at this spine center, I recentlly transferred my care to another spine center which has surgeons on site. They specialize in non-invasive and laser procedures. The very first visit I was told I would be referred to their surgeon for either laser or invasive surgery on my cervical region. However, Dr. Rogriguez also believes I had significient issues within my Thoracic region and sent me for an MRI the next day. My next appt with him will be in 1 week.

Here are the findings from my most recent MRI's
Cervical-Lumbar 3/9/2011

C3-4: there is moderate disc bulge in conjunction with bony spurring across midline and preferential to the right with mild right sided foraminal narrowing. This is new as compared to previous study.
C4-5: there is focal bulge in the midline effacing the anterior CSF space coming in contact with anterior aspect of cord causing deformity of the contour of cord anteriorly.
C5-6: there is disc bulge and bony spurring effacing the anterior CSF space and deforming the cord in the midline, unchanged since prior study.
C6-7: this is disc bulge and bony spurring in the midline and preferential to the right which is similar to that seen previously. There is mild right sided neural foraminal narrowing.

LUMBAR - Moderate loss of disc space height at L4-5, which is seen in conjunction with posterior extension of disc material preferential to the left of midline with a contour most consistent with a relatively focal bulge. This deforms the anterior aspect of the thecal sac across the midline and preferential to the left.
Impressison, focal bulge preferential to the left at L4-5 with some deformity of the anterior aspect of the thecal sac at this level. This is seen in conjunction with a component of desiccation and moderate disc space narrowing.

The MRI of the Thoracic spine was done on Tuesday 6/5/2012 - the findings were easy to read, however I am very confused as to the last statements, they are as follows:

Shows maintenance of normal thoracic kyphosis. The studay shows central focal disc bulges at T7-T8, T8-T9 AND T9-T10 levels effacing the anterior CSF space and deforming the cord at T8-T9 and T9-T10. These levels are of uncertain clinical significance. Please see axial images #2, #10 and #16 respectively.

The remainer of the study is unremarkable.

I am concerned about the uncertain clincial significance...what does this mean? I've never seen this term used in any of my prior studies for the past 10-12 years.

Any input you can lend would be very helpful and would help calm my unease until my appt on the 18th.

Thank you for your time.

D

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