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  • mikemounce2009
    Post count: 1

    This is my first post here. My wife is actually typing it because I am too disabled to do so. I’m 40 years old and I’ve had back and neck surgery once, and just had another MRI last week and this is what it says. I wish someone that is very knowledgeable about MRI’s would respond and give me their best medical opinion on this.

    MRI of C-Spine

    C2-C3 Normal for Age.
    C3-C4 Normal for Age.
    C4-c5 Moderately large central disc herniation with moderate severe canal stenosis narrowing the canal too 6 mm. There is moderate compression of the cord centrally at this level. (HOW BAD IS THAT?)
    C5-C6 Status post inner body fusion. (this was my last surgery).
    C6-C7 Moderate sized broad based protrusion slightly narrowing the canal and 9 mm but does not cause cord compression. There is mild to moderate narrowing of the lateral recesses. (what does that mean?)
    C7-T1 Normal for Age.

    Conclusion: Fairly Advanced degenerative disc disease with the most significant findings at C4-5 and C6-7, Post anterior fusion changes C5-6. Given these findings I would recommend neurosurgical consultation.

    That scares me so bad and has me worried to death.

    Here is my L-Spine MRI. It’s just as bad.

    L1-L2 Normal for Age
    L2-L3 Disc Dessication and moderate disc space narrowing with a nominal disc protrusion.
    L3-L4 Normal for age.
    L4-L5 Disc dessication and mild disc space narrowing with a moderate sized left lateral protrusion which produces moderate narrowing of the left lateral recess and neural formina but is unchanged.
    L5-S1 Disc dessication and moderate disc space narrowing with a moderate sized central disc protrusion which narrows the canal to 10 cm.

    Paraspinal area: Tiny enhancing lesion along the posterior elements at the L2 level of unknown etiology. However it appears to be stable since 2011 indicating a benign process with this area measuring only 9 mm in size. (what does that mean?)

    Conclusion: Degenerative disc disease very simmilar to previous study.

    I’m worried I am going to end up paralyzed, or in so much pain the rest of my life that I’ll be miserable.

    If anyone can offer any knowledge to me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you.


    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8660

    In general, MRI findings have to be compared to the symptoms to be valid findings but in your case, this is an exception.

    “C4-c5 Moderately large central disc herniation with moderate severe canal stenosis narrowing the canal too 6 mm. There is moderate compression of the cord centrally at this level”. This means that you have a large herniation that is compressing the spinal cord. The canal measures 6mm when a normal canal should measure at least 13mm.

    You most likely need surgery for this. A good physical examination should be able to reveal how significant the cord compression is. See the section under cervical spine regarding central stenosis and myelopathy to understand what this could mean.

    The C6-7 level has some degenerative changes but probably is not significantly symptomatic.

    The lumbar spine has degenerative changes and some nerve compression findings but your symptoms would have to be compared to the images to make some sense of this.

    The findings of an enhancing lesion along L2 is probably a finding that was present for a long time. Since it has not changed, it is something you probably do not have to worry about.

    You need to see out a consultation by a spine surgeon who can help you to understand what problems you face and can perform an ACDF to the C4-5 level to take compression off the spinal cord.

    Dr. Corenman

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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