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Cervical MRI, chronic pain from neck to shoulder and left arm, tingling and numbness. Degenerative disc disease ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 43 Questions
I have a direct question that concerns the results of my recent cervical MRI. I know it’s difficult to answer this question without the actual films to look at but based on the written results, would you be able to say that I could be experiencing chronic pain from my neck down through my shoulder and left arm and into my hand with intense tingling and numbness in my pinky and ring finger? This is the pain I’ve been feeling for almost 5 months now. I only need to know that the results of the MRI could be causing the symptoms I’m having?
At C2-C3 no abnormality.
At C3-C4 there is slight disc bulging and slight posterior subluxation of C3 on C4 by 2 mm. There is moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis worse on the left.
At C4-C5 there is mild disc bulging and 1 mm posterior subluxation of C4 on C5. There is mild to moderate degenerative
facet disease and mild to moderate bilateral foraminal narrowing worse on the left than on the right.
At C5-C6 there is an anterior cervical fusion. There are plate and screws. The vertebra appear well fused. No significant stenosis.
At C6-C7 there is an anterior cervical fusion with plate and screws. The vertebra appear fused. There is slight posterior osteophytic ridging, very minimal. Spinal canal 11 mm AP. There is mild to moderate left foraminal narrowing. Right foramen patent.
At C7-T1 there is disc bulging and mild osteophytic ridging asymmetric to the left side. This left disc-osteophyte complex mildly effaces the thecal sac on the left side and contributes to moderate left foraminal narrowing. Spinal canal non- stenotic.
1. There is a prior anterior cervical fusion from C5 through C7. The vertebra appear fused.
2. At C7-T1 there a mild left posterior disc-osteophyte complex mildly effacing the thecal sac and creating moderate narrowing of the left foramen.
3. No other disc protrusion or significant spinal canal stenosis is demonstrated. Mild to moderate foraminal narrowing, most marked on the left at C7-T1, milder elsewhere as detailed above.

They had to stop the exam twice and pull me back out of the MRI machine to readjust my neck and back because I wasn’t able to hold still because the position I was in caused to much pain and made my arm shake.
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sangeet 20 hours later

Thanks for your query and pardon me for the delayed response.

I have gone through your MRI findings. It clearly states that you have degenerative disease of the cervical spine and you have had s prior surgery for the same, possibly for a protruding disc.

Yes, your doubt is true as the MRI clearly reflects your symptoms. C7-T1 nerves are concerned with your fingers. These arise from the neck bone through a foramen (canal) which is moderately narrowed to cause you symptoms.

The MRI, if reported by a certified Radiologist, has given a good pictorial view of your cervical spine( neck bone) and its OK if you don't send me the films.

I hope I have answered your query to the point. I will be available to follow you up.

Thank you.

Wish you good health.
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