Cervical MRI Results

Posted by shelli1 @shelli1, Dec 12, 2022

Any ideas on how this can be treated? I am in constant pain in my neck, arms and hands.

C4-C5: Severe left facet hypertrophy, which in addition to left uncovertebral spurring contributes to moderate left foraminal narrowing. Right uncovertebral spurring contributing to minimal right foraminal narrowing. Broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex with a superimposed posterior midline disc protrusion contributing mild canal stenosis and slight cord flattening.

C5-C6: Mild bilateral uncovertebral spurring contributing to moderate severe right and severe left foraminal narrowing and possible impingement of exiting bilateral C6 nerves. Broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex contributing to mild canal stenosis.

C6-C7: Bilateral uncovertebral spurring contributing to severe moderate severe right and moderate left foraminal narrowing. There may be impingement upon the exiting right C7 nerve. Broad-based posterior disc osteophyte complex contributing to mild canal stenosis.

Thank you!

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@shelli1 Hello, and welcome to Connect. Have you just received this report and are waiting for advice from your doctor? I do remember that myself and looking at the MRI images and finding the disc ostephyte complex pressing into my spinal cord. I knew at that time, that this could only be solved by spine surgery. I did have spine surgery at Mayo and now live mostly pain free.

Osteophytes are bone spurs that grow due to pressure and inflammation because of a ruptured disc that forms the disc osteophyte complex. Stenosis means narrowing and that can happen in the central canal where the spinal cord passes through or at the foramen or spaces between vertebrate where nerves roots exit the spinal cord. Facet hypertrophy is when the facet joints widen when the cartilage is wearing out and that happens when a disc collapses which puts extra pressure on the facet joints. Facet joints allow the spine to rotate by sliding on each other. I had some damage to facet joints, and occasionally they click and I can get some minor short pain from them. I had spinal cord compression from the disc and bone spurs at C5/C6 and had a fusion there with a bone disc spacer and no hardware. I stayed in a neck brace for 3 months until it fused. Other surgeons may use different spacer cages and plates on the front of the spine particularly when there are multiple operated levels.

I know this isn't the answer you wanted to hear, but your report suggests that you may need spine surgery to remedy the problems that are squeezing the nerves and spinal cord. Do you have an appointment scheduled with a spine specialist?

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@jenniferhunter

@shelli1 Hello, and welcome to Connect. Have you just received this report and are waiting for advice from your doctor? I do remember that myself and looking at the MRI images and finding the disc ostephyte complex pressing into my spinal cord. I knew at that time, that this could only be solved by spine surgery. I did have spine surgery at Mayo and now live mostly pain free.

Osteophytes are bone spurs that grow due to pressure and inflammation because of a ruptured disc that forms the disc osteophyte complex. Stenosis means narrowing and that can happen in the central canal where the spinal cord passes through or at the foramen or spaces between vertebrate where nerves roots exit the spinal cord. Facet hypertrophy is when the facet joints widen when the cartilage is wearing out and that happens when a disc collapses which puts extra pressure on the facet joints. Facet joints allow the spine to rotate by sliding on each other. I had some damage to facet joints, and occasionally they click and I can get some minor short pain from them. I had spinal cord compression from the disc and bone spurs at C5/C6 and had a fusion there with a bone disc spacer and no hardware. I stayed in a neck brace for 3 months until it fused. Other surgeons may use different spacer cages and plates on the front of the spine particularly when there are multiple operated levels.

I know this isn't the answer you wanted to hear, but your report suggests that you may need spine surgery to remedy the problems that are squeezing the nerves and spinal cord. Do you have an appointment scheduled with a spine specialist?

Jump to this post

Hey Jennifer, I appreciate your response
Yes I was awaiting my orthopedics advice. He wants to start with a C7/T1 epidural injection and I am not confident this will resolve my issues. I just had an L4/L5 Microdisectomy and partial laminectomy in March and went thru the ringer with oral steroids, multiple epidurals and months of PT before we landed on surgery . It was a large caudilally directed extrusion. So my confidence is low after all the hit and misses prior. I am finding myself a bit short of breath, with neck, left shoulder and arm pain. I am a bit decision making impared right now.

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My neurosurgeon doesn't want to operate & doesn't like to do surgery I've Anterior cord contour deformity which with encroachment of nerves leaves little movement of neck plus the same has happened at L5 to L1 with Stenosis, only thing offered was injections to which I declined due to having had 3 before which hadn't worked…

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@shelli1

Hey Jennifer, I appreciate your response
Yes I was awaiting my orthopedics advice. He wants to start with a C7/T1 epidural injection and I am not confident this will resolve my issues. I just had an L4/L5 Microdisectomy and partial laminectomy in March and went thru the ringer with oral steroids, multiple epidurals and months of PT before we landed on surgery . It was a large caudilally directed extrusion. So my confidence is low after all the hit and misses prior. I am finding myself a bit short of breath, with neck, left shoulder and arm pain. I am a bit decision making impared right now.

Jump to this post

@shelli1 Some spine patients do have issues with breathing because of cervical spine issues. I agree with you about steroid injections. It won't solve anything. Surgeons like to do them because if you get some relief because it lowers the inflammation in your spine, that can confirm what spine surgery might be able to fix. That is often temporary and the pain returns when the steroid wears off, and there are some big risks to spine injections if done improperly. You don't have to agree to do them. It is your choice.

I had one neck epidural injection as a diagnostic and I said never again. It caused me to have a new sharp random electric pains that focused on my thumb and index finger in my dominant hand and it went on for about 6 weeks before that pain subsided. I was shaking uncontrollably immediately after the injection and for awhile, and the staff ended up staying an extra hour because my pain was uncontrolled, and nothing made it better. The advice they gave me was just stay in bed with my arm on a pillow and don't move because movement increased the frequency of the shooting burning pain. I suspect I could have had a reaction to a component in the injection. The steroid particles will also interfere with getting a good image if you need another MRI, and it would take about 6 weeks to be absorbed.

You may also want to research some other spine surgeons for second opinions, etc because this is a big decision. You need the best one you can find who's area of interest matches what you need. It is kind of shocking when you realize you need spine surgery and you know because you've been there. Cervical spine surgery usually isn't as difficult as lumbar surgery, and I didn't think it was a bad recovery at all. It takes a while, but breaking my ankle was a lot worse for pain, loss of function and going through recovery than cervical spine surgery.

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