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help deciphering my mri results? confused and frustrated

Started by 100000278108699... on 09/01/2011 1:19pm

I am having constant pain in my neck as well both shoulders and right bicept, my head is leaning to the right when i bring it up straight i get a stabbing pain both in my neck and between my shoulderblades and my fingers tingle. I was not happy with the lack of information and help i recived from my doctor. When i asked about alternative treatments other than surgery such as steroid epidural injections , home traction, and acutpuncture he answered "sure you could try that". Then sent me out the door with a script for pain meds and muscle relaxers and told me " give me a call when you ready for me to do another discectomy and fusion." he gave me no script for PT or guideance. I am confused and trying to weigh my options and figure this out on my own. I have made an appointment for a second opinion which i hope yields a bit more information. I feel like i never should have gotten that last discectomy and fusion. I have had mild to severe pain off and on every since it was done. Having my ortho Dr. tell me I am too young to have these problems then pretty much leaving me hanging with no answers or plan of action other than call me when you decide to have me do the surgery, doesn't leave me with much faith in the doctor. I'm confused and very frustrated. The report accompanying the mri images is as follows:

There is straightening od the cervical lordosis. Again noted is evidence of c6-7 discectomy and fusion with plate and screw device transfixing the spine anteriorly at this level. susceptibility artifact does obscure detail within the vertebral bodies of C6 and C7 due to metalic fixation.

at c2-3 there is some mild disc bulge. no significant abnormality

at c3-4 There is generalized disc bulge with right lateral disc protusion. Moderate narrowing of the right neural foramen and lateral rescess is present. Left neural foramen is patent. Mild to moderate central canal stenosis is noted.

at c4-5 there is generalized disc bulge without significant central canal stenosis or significant neural forminal narrowing

at c5-6 there is generalized disc bulge and posterior spondylitic ridging and mild to moderate central canal stenosis but not significant cord compression. Mild to moderate bilateral neural forminal narrowing is present.

at c6-7 post surgical changes are noted. no significant central canal stenosis is present. The right neural foramen is patent and again noted is the mild to moderate left neural foraminal narrowing.

at c7-t1 no significant abnormality.

Impression post surgical and degenerative changes as described. A new right lateral disc protrusion is present at c3-4 which narrows the right neural foramen and lateral recess.

I just need some advice. I really don't want to have a multi level fusion in my neck but i also can't live with this pain and weakness in my arm and shoulders and intermitten numbness in my right hand and fingertips. I truly hope the second Dr. takes more time to explain what's going on or someone here can help me. I have arranged for a spinal epidural steroid injection and made an appointment with a differrent doctor who is a spine specialist.

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1 Response


Hi becky.my name is Rene, a fellow spine sufferer,(and orthopedic nurse) so I will Try to simplify ur MRI 4 u for understanding,and if anything as far as what I have read u dont neeed to b fused this time if u opt. for surgery, (which I wouldnt ,for what ur findings r)

1. Discs 2=3 slight, slight bulg

2. Discs 4-6 : generalized bulging noted

3. Discs 6+7: foramin stenosis, (narrowing) causing pressure, pain. ur narrowing is noted from 4-7,in ur neck region symptoms would b as u said,plus hand and finger numbness n tingling if u didnt state that.As far as surgery, the only thing u can shoot for is widening of your foramin to releive some pressure pain, the discs are so slightly bulged I think alot rest, a good anti-Inflamatory,and ur GOOD OLE fall back, infomous PAIN PILLS.Doent this suck.But WE must maintain mental will, and strenghth for life goes on.And about SPINE, the more surgeries u get, the harder to heal,, Rest up, and again the route of pain is coming from spinal inflamation, thats why our activities and normal duties hurt some much. Every movement of human body passes through your spinal cord, In our cases our cords,,( at ease) get inflammed at slightest movement inflickting this unbearable pain.I use celebrex,but every person reacts to different medication. And pshycotherapy is a must, meds from their also act as anti-inflammatory,Thats the Doc thats stops us from loosing our mind, ( if u dont already go ).Also look into spinalhealth vitamin suppliments, I take vitamins too,I figure every little bit hellps, and I cant rave enough about a TENS unit to help w pain, I find it takes my pain level from 10 to 2 in minutes of using,TENS unit promotes blood and electrical stimulation to our spine,( which is what it need, increased blood flow. My ins. covered it.. I hope you Get better, stay strong, and no surgery RENE :)