help understanding MRI

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/19/2008 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
C4-5 Broad based central disc protrusion indents the ventral thecal sac with disc material abutting the ventral surface of the cord. Mild spinal stenosis with AP diameter of the canal measuring 10.0 mm. Ample CSF space is preserved dorsal to the cord. There is no neural foraminal stenosis.

Impression: 1 Small broad based disc protrusion at C4-5 with mild spina stenosis as described.

Report: Included images of the cervical spine demonstrate mild degenerative disc disease at C4-5

T5-6 Small right paracentral disc protrusion indents the right ventral half of the cord. No significant spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis.

The Lumbar spine without contrast - No significant lumbar spinal stenosis. Mild lumbar facet arthropathy.

According to the MRI report the rest of the spine seems fine.

Any thoughts?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9152
   Posted 4/19/2008 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jonathan!

And welcome to the Chronic Pain family. You his the areas of the spine where I have no I have issues at L5/S1, but I do know we have quite a few people here with spinal problems and they'll be along to share their experiences with you.

In the mean time search around the site and read previous thread. See if you can find some tidbits of information there. Also, join us in the chat rooms. Most often someone is in one room or another. Join in no matter what room they're in. We all love to visit no matter what our disorders.

Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

A. Nonymous
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 4/19/2008 9:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Who ordered this MRI??  If you have the report, so does the ordering doctor, who should at least have the courtesy to share his views with you.  Sorry, doctors are not high on my list this week.....
I'm not a radiologist, and I don't know what symptoms prompted the MRI, but a disc protrusion into your spinal cord is not a good thing.  However, it could be entirely asymptomatic.  Stenosis is the medical term for a narrowing of the spaces in the spine where nerves travel through.  Therefore, a mild stenosis could represent impingement of a nerve root.  The "broad based disc protrusion" at C4-5 could cause impingement as well, and probably cause neck, shoulder, arm, or hand pain, or all of the above. 
I suggest you call your doctor's office and ask someone to explain this to you.  However, I applaud your effort to decipher it yourself and get advice from this forum.  I just recently found out that an MRI I had 3 years ago showed a small disc protrusion at L4-5, although my doctors reported it to me as a "clean" report.  Most people have some small "imperfections" that show on an MRI, so many docs dismiss any "small" protrusions, stenosis, etc., as normal.  However, research clearly shows there is no correlation between the size of a disc bulge/protrusion/herniation and the amount of pain it causes.  Very small bulges can cause excruciating pain and disability, while complete herniations remain asymptomatic.  Needless to say, I have been suffering in chronic pain ever since, and required another MRI and a discography to properly diagnose me. 
Hang in there, learn all you can, make your doc explain everything in detail to you, and seek out the best specialists you can find.  Good luck and God Bless.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 4/20/2008 1:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Jonathan, you'll find some good advice here.

I am not my pain, it does not own me.

Cyborg Ninja
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 660
   Posted 4/21/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Jonathan, you have a nearly-bulging disc around the middle of your neck (C4-5) and it has caused some scarring (stenosis) around the spinal cord. You also have a nearly-bulging disc near the middle of your back, around the shoulder blades (T5-6) that has not caused any scarring. It seems possible that you have had the disc problem in your neck for some time, and that the one in your back is relatively newer. You have some mild arthritis in your lower back. It seems remarkable that someone your age would have these issues with their spine, as it does not usually occur until at least middle age.
Current DX: Graves' disease, Crohn's disease, gallstones, scoliosis, syringomyelia

Post Edited (Cyborg Ninja) : 4/21/2008 10:45:52 AM (GMT-6)

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