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    Post count: 8

    MRI results :
    c6-7 Eccentric right broad-based disc bulge with bilateral unconvertebral and facet joint protocols and near complete effacement of the CSF space and moderate to severe right and mild left foraminal narrowing.

    Questions: is compression on my spinal cord or root nerve? Dr said I also have a bone spur, but don’t see those words.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8455

    The wording of an MRI report can be colorfully descriptive and interpretable but there are some general rules that most radiologists use.

    “Near complete effacement of the CSF space” can mean multiple things. Effacement is a term used to indicate “touching” of the surface of the structure or some slight compression but not overt compression. In this context, the radiologist seems to indicate that there is stenosis or narrowing of the central canal. By his terms, he does not state significant cord compression is present. This however is my interpretation of his wording.

    “Moderate to severe right and mild left foraminal narrowing” means significant foraminal stenosis at the right side (see website for description) compressing the C7 nerve and mild compression of the left nerve.

    The radiologist does not report what structure is compressing the canal and nerves but typically with this pathology, it will be a broad based bone spur that is causing the compression.

    Some radiologists are incredibility descriptive and paint a picture of the spine with words and some radiologists are dry. This is why I like to read my own MRI images as terms such as “mild”, “moderate”, “severe” and “effacement” are shades of gray and those modifiers are in the eyes of the beholder.

    Dr. Corenman

    Post count: 8

    Thank you Dr. Corenman. I have very painful right arm and shoulder pain with tingleing and numbness in my index finger and thumb. Therapy and injection helped for 3 weeks. Dr. wants fusion of C6-7. Question: Why not just a discectomy or lamenectomy? I already have a fusion at C5-6.

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