The cervical spine MRI can be viewed in two different planes a side view plane called sagittal plane and a bottomup plane called an axial plane on the side view what we do is we take a samurai sword and literally slice the spine like a loaf of bread into different sections and that is what is represented up here by the side view of the cervical spine or the sagittal view you can see the individual discs here which are represented by the discs here and in the center where the spinal cord is you can see the spinal cord coming.
Down in the center there you can see these spinous processes which are projecting out of the back right here the bottomup view which is noted here is essentially this view the vertebral body is here which is represented by the first part of the image here the spinal canal with the spinal cord is here which you can notice in this area and the two paired facets on either side here which you’ll notice here and here on the MRI we’re going to talk about a new normal cervical spine MRI.
To remember the anatomy what we do is we have two views we have the side view of the spine and we have bottomup view of the spine on the side view you are looking in the center now we can tell because we can look at this image and we can see where this cut lines and the cut line is that right in the center of the canal that reflects where we are we can move this image and you’ll see by moving the image of the cut line moves off the.
How to Read a MRI of the Normal Cervical Spine Neck Colorado Spine Expert
Center to the side so we can move it in either direction and see the spine in multiple dimensions we will start with the center here we see the brain stem the medulla oblongata and the pons we see the cerebellum in the cerebellar tonsils and then we see the structure of the spinal cord which comes all the way down the spine from the top to the bottom and ends in the lumbar spine the white stuff on either side of this is cerebral spinal fluid which is simply water your.
Brain and spinal cord float in water you can see the individual vertebra here and you can see the discs in between the vertebra here the first and second vertebra are very different than the rest of the vertebra the first and second have a big head on the second one and a small ring on the first one we can see the back where we see these spinous processes and these are little bumps that we can feel when we press on the back of our neck through the skin.
Here to feel those little processes you can see muscles here and you can see fat here and here we start with the vertebra in between the vertebrae of course are the discs the discs are named for the vertebra they are sandwiched in between this is C two this is C three so this is the C two three disc this is C three and C four or the C three four disc and so on C four five five six C six seven and now C seven T one.
As this is the first thoracic vertebra we can look at the back of the discs to make sure there are no herniations or significant spurs and we can pull to either side to look for that we can see here that everything looks normal we can look at the cord itself to see if there’s any compression what we’d like to see is the csf or this water on either side of the cord because it acts has a cushion we want to make sure the cord has no change in its uniform dark.
Signal because light spots in the cord can indicate an injury or some disease processes with him then look here at the top down view what we’re doing is we’re making a cut through this part of the spine and looking essentially up at it from the bottom here we see the spinal cord sitting in this sac the dural sac and this is the water or the csf we can see the exit zones for the nerve on either side and these exit zones are defined by the vertebral body here.
And by the back of the facet here and these are nice large exit zones we can start to move down the spine and then we get to the vertebral body and then we pass that level to get to the next one here again is the cord and here are the two exit zones for the nerves that are leaving this cord we then march down again to the next level and again see the normal cord and the normal nerve exit zones and we can continue down all through the spine.