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X-ray showed diaphragm on right higher than left. Suggestions

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14625 Questions
I had an x ray of thoracic spine, history of Harrington rod In thoracic area, degenerative disc and arthritis. I went to doctor due to tremendous back pain moreso on right side scalpula area. The x rays show my diaphragm on the right is much higher than the left. My doctor hasn't called me and I called his office today and the receptionist said there was nothing about this on the report. Can I email you my x ray to look at? I have also been having a lot of intestinal and stomach issues, but need to go back to GI doctor as they wanted to do a breath test like 2 years ago.
Posted Wed, 1 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 50 minutes later
Brief Answer: due to curvature of the spine Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic As you mentioned in your medical history there is scoliosis of the spine, the curvature is towards the right. Because of this curvature there is an apparent increase in height in the right hemidiaphragm. This is the reason your doctor did not mention it, the apparent difference is due to the scoliosis, the curvature makes it appear higher. The radiographer (the doctor who would have read the x ray) and your doctor would not consider this significant. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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Follow-up: X-ray showed diaphragm on right higher than left. Suggestions 17 minutes later
Can you tell me anything more about my neck and do you see or note anything else in particular?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 23 minutes later
Brief Answer: arthritic changes seen Detailed Answer: HI The film exposure is not the best, this means that it is difficult to distinguish soft tissue from bone. In the neck , however,at the lower aspect, there is some evidence of arthritic changes. Please feel free to ask anything else
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Follow-up: X-ray showed diaphragm on right higher than left. Suggestions 30 minutes later
So no concern of phrenic nerve impingement? No cracked ribs or area of concern in scalpula shoulder area?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 35 minutes later
Brief Answer: no rib fractures Detailed Answer: HI In terms of the phrenic nerve dysfunction, there are different causes and in most persons a specific cause can be pinpointed such as trauma, inflammation secondary to previous infection, the presence of a mass, neuromuscular disease (disease of nerves and muscles). Though some persons may not have symptoms, other would have shortness of breath because the elevated diaphragm is affecting lung expansion. In most cases , if one diaphragm is elevated more than 2 cm compared to the other, it is said to be elevated but with the spinal curvature ,this cannot be used. The radiologist would have indicated, since it is his or her speciality if there was anything significant with the diaphragm. There are also no cracked ribs. In terms of the shoulder, there is no evidence of any fractures, dislocations or major injury If you remain unsure you can consider repeat x rays for a second look
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