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Does viral meningitis infection impact the development of cervical or lumbar spondylosis ?

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Could you please tell me if this MRI scan i had done recently is bad??

3.0 T MRI CERVICAL SPINE (1 Part) of 08-MAR-2011:
Clinical Details:
Cervical spondylosis for MRI assessment.
Somewhat severe cervical spondylosis and discal compression extended from C4 to C7:
1-C4-C5 degeneration and discal compression with left vertebral foramina stenosis by discal
protrusion and osteophyte formation.
2-C5-C6 advanced degeneration and discal compression with bilateral vertebral foramina stenosis
by discal protrusion and osteophytes. Oblitaration of subarachnoid space noticed as well..
3-C6-C7 left intra-foramina discal protrusion obliterating considerably the vertebra foramina.
The antero-posterior diameter of cervical canal appear narrowed mainly in C5 and C6 level (less
than 1 cm antero-posteriorly).
Spinal cord morphology and signal characteristic are normal.
Somewhat severe lower cervical spine spondylosis with multilevel discal compression and
protrusion with osteophytes causing multiple veretbral foramina stenosis.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in TMJ
Answered by Dr. Prasad 20 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Can you mention the symptoms that you suffer?

To understand the scan report, you need to know few basic anatomy of the spine. Spine is made up of collection of vertebrae. Vertebral foramina is the central space through which spinal cord pas through. Its from here that the spinal nerves also arises.

Cervical spondylotic changes - osteophyte formations and disc protrusions can reduce this space. And when this space gets severely obliterated, it may lead compression of the spinal nerves producing symptoms of pain and weakness. Further compressions can compress the spinal cord producing more severe symptoms.

Accordingly, your scan reveals that there are evidence of spondylotic changes causing left side of vertebral foramina obliterations at 3 levels from C4 to C7. But it is not very severe to cause cervical nerve (spinal nerves in the cervical region) compressions.
However if left untreated, condition can progress further leading to the nerve compression. In such instances more intensive treatment that can include surgery is entailed.

Analysing the MRI scans alone (not based on clinical evaluation), I can only tell you this. At present the condition is not that bad. However if you have symptoms of nerve compression (which I do not expect though) further evaluation and aggressive treatment may be necessary.

Hope I have answered your query.

If you have any further query, I will be available to answer them as well.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does viral meningitis infection impact the development of cervical or lumbar spondylosis ? 3 hours later
Thanks for the reply. Yes i do have lots of pain when turning my head and looking up and down, I suffer from a lot of 'cricked neck' also. If i am talking to someone my neck hurts if i have to look up. I get numbness in my hands from driving my motor bike which is a cruiser in style so my hands are elevated also i get this problem when working on my laptop. I also suffer from lumber spondylosis and have problems sometimes with my leg giving way as well as a lot of pain generally, with this causing me major incapacity a few years ago with about 5 disc bulges at once. At present i have a minor bulge on L5 upon S1. I suffered from viral meningitis when i was a teenager. If this has any bearing on the neck situation?
Answered by Dr. Prasad 24 hours later

Thanks for following up.

Viral Meningitis infection has no role in the development of cervical or lumbar spondylosis.

Spondylosis occurs due to degeneration most commonly due to wear and tear. Few factors that are known to cause such changes are

1. Age - Middle aged and elderly individuals are more prone to develop spondylosis
2. Overweight individuals
3. Occupation - Such as mechanics and computer professionals

As far as your symptoms are concerned; though your symptoms are consistent with the features of cervical and lumbar spondylosis, they are not that bad to warrant immediate surgical treatment.

Preventive measures such as using antiinflammatory medications whenever possible, physiotherapy, weight reduction (if your BMI is above 25) and back strengthening exercises are essential.

Hope I have answered your query.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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