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Cervical spondylosis. On Lortab for pain relief, missed taking it. Will urine test show it?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi there,

I see PM Specialist for my cervical neck bone spurs, spondylosis etc., I am prescribed 4x 7.7/325 Lortab daily for pain. I take my contract very seriously, I don't drink while taking them and take them as prescribed. I go to my clinic on Wednesday morning and they ask me do a urine test. Bi'm worried b/c I did not take my prescription on Tuesday as I was driving home from St.Simons Island from Christmas with my 2 kids andvdidn't want to be impaired. I took 1 when we got home at 3pm. Test was Wednesday morning. I'm afraid they are not going to see enough in my system. I've read all these terribe articles about people getting dropped. I was merely trying be a responsible mom and fellow driver.

Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Follow-up: Cervical spondylosis. On Lortab for pain relief, missed taking it. Will urine test show it? 50 minutes later
Can someone please interpret these MRI findings?

C7-C7 disc level: left-central and paracentral disc/spur with left ventral cord flattening. There is a moderate left formaminal narrowing with uncinate hypertrophy.

Impression: mild left asymmetric canal stenosis with disc/ and left uncinate hypertrophy at C6-C7, left for amen stenosed.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 15 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Lortab contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen which is used in mild to moderate pain conditions.

Urine testing is done to detect drug abuse by patients who use hydrocodone for its recreational effects rather than pain relief. Since urine levels generally assess the drug intake in one week prior to the test and abstinence may show a false low reading, you need to report the incident to your treating doctor frankly so that a repeat test may be done at a later date or by using different method.

Your MRI results suggest the following

The spinal cord is being compressed at the level of 7th cervical (neck) vertebra on the left side due to stenosis or narrowing of the vertebral foramen.

The uncinate process is a bony development posterolaterally on the vertebral body that enlarges with increasing age and presents a bulwark that prevents herniation of the intervertebral discs. In your case, it's hypertrophied or enlarged and is causing pressure on the spine.

But since the changes are mild and there is no disc herniation or bulging or gross compression of nerve roots, it's still not a major worrisome situation.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.

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