Just received MRI results. Can you please put in simple terms and offer possible fix / solutions?
Large left paracentral disk extrusion C5-C6 associated with annular fissure. Large inferiorly extruded component extends down almost to C6-C7 level with further mass effector the cord. There undoubtedly is compression of the left C6 nerve root as it enters the foramen. A smaller superiorly extruded component extends above the disk level.
Thank you for the detailed MRI results. The difficulty is that MRI's are of little value unless correlated clinically through a good history and examination. So... here first is the translation of what is being said:
"paracentral disk extrusion" = The disk is significantly damaged, and the soft center portion is squeezing out to the back and slightly off center.
C5-C6 ... simply the level of the spine where the disk that is damaged is located, between the 5th and 6th bones of the neck.
Annular Fissure... The outer layer of the disc is torn...
Inferiorly extruded component... part of the disc that is squeezing out, or pushed out of the disc, a fragment... that is in the spinal canal and migrating downward, toward the next joint level (C6-C7).
Mass effect on the cord... the piece of the disc is placing pressure on the spinal cord.
Compression of the left C6 nerve root.... not only is the disk fragment pushing on the cord, but also on a nerve root that goes to the left thumb side of the lower arm and hand.
superiorly extruded component extends above the disk level... another fragment of the disk is moving up the spinal canal as well.
What are you to do? 1)there is nothing that will make you grow a new disk. It will continue to degenerate over time. 2) If you are not having excruciating pain and/or are not loosing function in your arms, you consider giving this time to heal as much as possible. I must admit, that it looks to me like you are likely to have significant neck pain and pain radiating into the left arm, possibly right as well. 3) If you can't stand it anymore, you find an excellent neurosurgeon, and he/she performs a cervical spine discectomy and possible fusion. If you do this, again, it doesn't give you a new disk. It simply helps to take away your symptoms.
There are difficult questions and complex answers. You need to find doctors that you trust, doctors that have your best interest in mind... doctors that have examined you and given you options. Ask them for their opinions of what the ultimate outcome would be with and without surgical intervention.
I hope that this helps you. If you feel that this is beneficial, and worth my time and expertise, please consider contributing to my linked paypal account.
God bless, good luck. I hope that you feel better soon.
Keith Biggs, DC