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New C-Spine MRI results- I'm falling apart!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,008
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
You guys.....I just had my C-Spine MRI yesterday. I received the report and the CD film today. My last one was in 10-07......and I only had the one large herniation. I am falling apart! Why is happening to my spine? I have a followup with NS on Monday and I'd bet any money my proposed one level fusion on C6/C7 is going to turn into a 3 or 4 level fusion. I am just shocked at these results - they are horrible. They might as well just fuse my whole darn (for a lack of better words!) neck and be done with it. I am only 39 years old (on Halloween). I am really bummed out. Please tell me it's not as bad as it looks - Sandra

October 13, 2008 - C-Spine MRI without Contrast

Multisequence multiplanar imaging performed through the cervical spine without the injection by gadolinium.

Findings: The vertebral body heights, signal characteristics and alignment are within normal limits. Craniocervical junction and Para spinal soft tissues appear remarkable.

No focal signal abnormality is seen of the cervical spinal cord.

C2-C3 level shows mild diffuse disc protrusion/herniation involving the right lateral recess. This does cause slight effacement of the intrathecal sac. There is left facet degenerative changes. Findings cause mild left neuroforaminal narrowing.

C3-C4 level shows mild diffuse disc bulging and bony endplate ridging. There is mild bilateral facet degenerative changes at this level greater than left. No significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis present.

C4-C5 level shows diffuse bulging of the disc annulus and a tiny knee central disc protrusion/herniation. There are bilateral facet degenerative changes which appear moderate on the left. Findings cause mild left neuroforaminal narrowing and there is mild central canal stenosis.

C5-C6 level shows diffuse bulging of the disc annulus. There is a tiny central disc protrusion/herniation which does efface the anterial thecal sac and cause slight widening of the cervical cord. These findings cause mild central canal stenosis and moderate left foraminal narrowing.

C6-C7 level shows diffuse bulging of the disc annulus. There is a large left lateral recess disc protrusion/herniation. This does cause effacement of thecal sac and flattening of the left side of the cervical cord. There is moderate left lateral recess stenosis. Moderate left foraminal narrowing is present and right neural foramen is patent.

C7-T1 is within normal limits.


1. Stable left lateral recess C6/C7 disk protrusion/herniation causing moderate left lateral recess stenosis with flattening of the left side of the cervical cord.
2. Tiny central disc protrusions C4-C5-C5-C6 level with mild central canal narrowing at these levels.
3. Multilevel facet degenerative changes as discussed above. There is mild neuroforaminal narrowing left C2-C3-C4-C5 level.


  • a radiologist but it may not be as bad as it seems. Lots of folks have tons of abnormalities in the spine but not all problems cause pain. I hope that this will be the case for you. Good luck. Try not to be too worried about it until you meet with the doc. remember that stress can actually worsen pain symptoms. Please keep us posted.
  • now remembering that I am not medically trained but after reading the report it actually sounds not too bad at all. I think you may be in scared mode where everything seems worse then it actually is.
    Most of the discs only have small or tiny protursions and if you MRI'D the whole population then half would probably have the same.
    The only one that sounds to be a potential problem is C6-7.

    SO plesae relax and wait for the Dr to make a diagnosis rather then jumping to conclusions.
    and Affirm that you body is in good and heathy state. (instead of falling apart)

    Blessings Sara O:)
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  • thanks for your replies. Unfortunately, I do have pain down my right arm as well. I gave that info to my NS and he is aware of it, that's why he thought there might be something else going since my 10/07 MRI (left side large herniation). I know I got a little excited (:) about my MRI results, but honestly I can't believe how much it has changed in only one year. It's kind of scary. What if he only does a one level fusion,w hat will happen to all my other disks - they are already herniating (small ones) I know, but if he only does one, I fear I will be back in surgery very soon after that for a revision for a two or three level. I need to ask all these questions.

    One question for you - is it standard for spineys to always get a 2nd or 3rd opinion? I didn't know..... Thanks a lot. I will update you on what NS says on MOnday.
  • Let us no what doc thinks about your MRI after your appointment Monday. I'm interested in what he has to say.
    Ill be thinking bout you! Patsy
  • Hi Cindylou. I know how it is to freak out. My experience was quite opposite from yours in that I was feeling relatively little pain, but couldn't get it to go away, when my doc suggested I get an MRI.

    The Impression on my MRI Report said:

    1. Moderate to severe degenerative changes at the mid to lower cervical spine. The central canal is midly narrowed at these levels predominately secondary to disc osteophyte complex. There is mass effect on the ventral cord without intrinsic cord signal abnormality.
    2. Mass effect on the right C5 nerve root at the C4-5 level, both C6 nerve roots at the C5-C6 level and both C7 nerve roots at the C6-C7 level.

    I took this to who is now going to be my surgeon, and he was surprised that I didn't have more symptoms and that it wasn't a matter of IF I would have surgery, but WHEN. I opted for surgery, obviously.

    It's interesting because at that time (one month ago I didn't have too much pain, but it seems to be increasing every day and I have doubled my pain medication since then.

    Each person has their own reading and only your NS or OS can tell you exactly what can be done.

    Hang in there and good luck! Let us know what happens.
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