Now we’re going to look at a cervical spine MRI of a patient with arm pain the patient doesn’t have much neck pain and he has no spinal cord dysfunction in this MRI again you can see the spinal cord in the center surrounded by the white cerebral spinal fluid or water and the vetrebral bodies and the discs you can see a small disc bulge here and smaller disc bulges here and here since there’s no real compression of the spinal cord the patient has no spinal cord dysfunction symptoms.
But if we do come to the right side we can see these spurs that are compressing out of the canal at these two levels and those are the spurs that are catching the nerve root on the right we can look at it from the top down view and we come up to the first level at C two three again spinal cord is clear the white csf water around it these are the nerve exit polls here in here the C two three level looks normal we march down to the C three four level.
And again spinal cord has room the nerve holes have room this one is a a little tight but it still has plenty of room come down to C four five again the nerve holes are free the spinal cord is free come down to C five six and here we see a nice big spur on the right side the left nerve root is exiting quite nicely the right nerve root here is compressed by the spur and this is one of the spurs causing this patient right arm pain.
How to Read a MRI of Cervical Nerve Compression Neck Pain Colorado Spine Surgeon
We can pass by this level and go to the next level at six seven and again see the same thing the left nerve hole is free there’s a big spur on the right nerve hole and this nerve is compressed and this is what’s causing him the arm pain from the C seven nerve this is a side by side example of a normal level of the cervical spine and a level where there’s nerve compression again we noted before this nice large spur is compressing the exiting nerve route right here where the nerve root on the opposite side is open.