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Cervical X-ray showed calcific density in spinous process, nuchal ligament calcification, osteo-degenerative changes. Conclusion?

H! Kindly explain to me the result of my mother s cervical, ap, lat, open mouth x-ray? Thanks you very much.k Age: 61, Height: around 5 feet, Weight: around 140 pounds X-ray results are as follows: 1. A calcific density is seen overlying the spinous process of C5. (bone island?) 2. Another calcific density is seen posteior to spinous process of C6. (nuchal ligament calcification ) 3. Minimal osteophytes are seen in the cervical spine . (Osteodegenerative changes) 4. The rest of the vertebral body heights, intervertebral disc spaces, posterior elements are intact. 5. Alignment and curvature are well maintained.
Asked On : Fri, 5 Oct 2012
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Pathologist and Microbiologist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to HCM

Before explaining you the interpretation of X-ray report of your mother, I would like to give you a brief introduction.

There are seven cervical vertebrae in the neck region.

With ageing various degenerative changes take place in the joints due to wear and tear. This wear and tear causes destruction of cartilage which is a structure capping the appositional surfaces of the joints. There is deposition of calcium at sites where it is not normally found like ligament (nuchal ligament in your mother's case). Destruction of cartilage causes rubbing of bony surfaces and subsequent destruction/ Osteophytes are formed secondary to this destructive process.

This entire sequelae of destructive changes is termed OSTEOARTHITIS.

Now, this degenerative and destructive process is involving the cervical vertebrae 5 and 6.
You need to visit your orthopaedician for treatment of symptoms. It is not possible to reverse the changes but the progression can be slowed down.

Thanks and take care
Dr Shailja P Wahal
Answered: Sat, 6 Oct 2012
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