mri report i am in complete misery from pain

Question: i had an mri on easter to see what was going on in my back here is what it says the findings are this
cerveical spine;;c3-4 demonstrates left unconvertebral osteophytes and associated with bulging disc resulting in mild foraminal stenosis….impression mild spondylitic change with unconvertebral disc osteophyte complex on the left at C2-3,C3-4 AND C4-C5
NOW IS THE THORACIC SPINE REPORT;;; I WILL GIVE THE IMPRESSION NOTES,,,,,1.THORACIC SPONDYLOTIC CHANGE WITH LEFT PARACENTRAL PROTUSION SEEN AT T6-7,T7-8 AND T8-T9.AT T6-7 THERE IS INDENTATION OF THE CORD WITH MILD DEFLECTION ,FINDINGS WHICH WERE ALSO SEEN AT T8-T9. #2. AT T10-T11,T11-T12,PROMINENT FACET OSTEOPHYTES,LEFT GREATER THAN RIGHT,RESULT IN INDETATION OF THE POSTERIOR ASPECT OF THE THECAL SAC AND CONTACTS THE CORD.AT T11[12 THERE ARE SIMILAR FINDINGS OF FACET OSTEOEPHYTES AND THICKENING OF THE LIGAMENTUM FLAVUM INDENTING THE VENTRAL AND POSTERIOR ASPECTS OF THE THECAL SAC…COULD YOU PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS REPORT AND ALSO LEAD ME IN A DIRECTION IN WHICH I CAN GET HELP IN HEALING.I AM TAKING MORPHINE AND VICOPROPHEN BUT IT ISNT SAFE AND I WANT HELP AND TO GAIN MY ACTIVITY LEVELS BACK,I CANT EVEN LIFT MY HEAD UP MOST MORNINGS AND MY ARM IS WEAK AND I HAVE SEVER HEADACHES AND HEART PALPATIONS ALL THE TIME BUT IT DOES UNANSWERED BY DR. I HAVE NOT SEEN HIM FOR THIS MRI YET .PLEASE ASSIST ME IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE
Answer: Laurie;

First let me say that I am sorry for what you are feeling.  Disc pain is some of the worst.

Starting with your neck MRI:  UNCOVERTEBRAL OSTEOPHYTES:  these are like small saddles in your neckbones that help stabilize the bones.  OSTEOPHYTES are enlargements of that bone. It usually is referred to as arthritis of the disc, but that’s not accurate.  It means that the bone is growing to stabilize your neck.
It is VERY disconcerting that you have FORAMINAL STENOSIS, especially with weakness in your neck and arm.  The FORAMEN is the the “hole” formed by two vertebrae, where the nerve (in this case the one that powers your arm and neck muscles) is literally being forced to squeeze through, and it’s getting smaller.
The Prefix SPONDY- means vertebra-related.

USUALLY: the impressions section is “ranked” in order of severity.

The spinal cord is like a really thick noodle, surrounded by a sac.  Think of a thick noodle in water, in a Ziplock bag. IF your disc pushes hard enough, it will deform the bag (THECAL SAC), which COULD affect the nervous system.  If it pushes on the NOODLE (CORD), it WILL affect the nervous system at that level, and what that nerve influences in your body. Hope that analogy helps.

AS for the FACET, that’s the word we use to describe the back hinges… it’s a nice way of saying ARTHRITIS.

Your doc needs to see these pictures.  If you are getting weakness, though, it’s time for a neurosurgical consult.  You may get benefit from decompression treatment at a chiropractors office, but it’s expensive.  These problems, however, do not occur overnight. Hope this answer helps, for information about LUMBAR DISCS (very similar), you can read my patient paper on my website, www.dynamicclinic.com

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