Calcified Disc on MRI Scan

///Calcified Disc on MRI Scan
Calcified Disc on MRI Scan
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  • Jellyhall
    Participant
    Post count: 70

    Could you please explain to me how a calcified thoracic disc can be diagnosed from an MRI scan?
    Or perhaps a CT Scan is needed.

    I have read that 50% of herniated thoracic discs are calcified. Would you agree with this?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6438

    An MRI will identify a thoracic disc herniation but may not easily identify if the disc is calcified (but should distinguish if the disc is ossified many times). Calcification takes at least 6 months to one year between the time the disc herniates and when the disc tissue gathers calcium. CT scans are always better demonstrating bone or calcium deposition but probably not needed in the scheme of treatment unless ossification is suspected.

    I would disagree that 50% of herniated thoracic discs are calcified. Maybe 20%.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
    If this forum has helped you, please let Dr. Corenman know!

    Jellyhall
    Participant
    Post count: 70

    Thank you for your reply Dr Corenman.

    Could you please explain to me what an ossified disc is, compared with a calcified disc?

    Jellyhall
    Participant
    Post count: 70

    Also, is it common for an MRI scan that showed a herniated thoracic disc compressing the cord, for the disc herniation to reduce in size in a repeated scan done over a year later?

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 6438

    Ossification is bone deposition (a bone spur that projects out of the disc edge of the vertebral body) where calcification is disorganized calcium deposition that infiltrates into a tissue but is not rigid like bone is.

    It is not uncommon to see a disc herniation shrink over a years time.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
    If this forum has helped you, please let Dr. Corenman know!

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