Moderate left foraminal stenosis at C3-4

Patient

Q: Just had an MRI done and here are the findings.
The C2 and C3 vertebrae are congenitally fused. No fracture or subluxation is seen. The cervical cord demonstrates normal signal characteristics. There is no evidence of a disc bulge, protrusion, or central canal stenosis. There is moderate left neural forminal stenosis at C3-4 secondary to bone spur formation with no additional areas of neural forminal stenosis identified.
What exactly does this mean and what can be done to help it?

Symptoms:  Neck and shoulder pain
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. We will attempt to explain each aspect of this MRI report.
1) C2 and C3 vertebrae are congenitally fused: This means that from birth the C2 and C3 cervical spine vertebrae were fused together and functioning as a a single unit.

2)No fracture or subluxation: Subluxation means dislocation of a vertebrae from its normal anatomical and functional position. This is no evidence of this in your MRI.

3)no evidence of a disc bulge, protrusion, or central canal stenosis: You are free of any herniation or abnormal displacement of the intervertebral discs in your cervical spine. The disc is a cartilaginous structure found between vertebrae which cushions and facilitates movement. The central canal is a portion of the spinal cord that is hollow courses the entire length of the spinal cord. It is normal.

4)moderate left neural forminal stenosis at C3-4 secondary to bone spur formation with no additional areas of neural forminal stenosis identified: This could be the cause of your neck and shoulder pain. On left side of the vertebrae C3-C4 of the cerivical spine (neck), the opening through which a nerve suppling muscles of the head, neck and shoulders, is narrowed. This would cause compression of this nerve, leading to pain. This is caused by a growth of bone into the foramen (bone spur).


We hope we have explained your MRI for you. We wish you a speedy recovery.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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