ZocdocAnswersHow should I interpret this MRI report?

Question

How should I interpret this MRI report?

suggestive of cystic structure. Mild degenerative disc disease at T8-T9 and T9-T10 levels. No evidence of focal disc herniation, spinal cord compression, or nerve root compression of the thoracic spine. No tumor prosess seen.Degenerative disc disease at C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels.1.5 cm mass in the left thyroid gland likely represents a cystic structure such as colloid cyst. It is incompletely evaluated. Findings: This dictation is based on the assumption that the patient has five lumbar type vertebral bodies. T12-L1 There is mild broad based disc bulge.L3-L4 There is mild facet joint hypertrophyL-4-L5 There is mild facet joint hypertophy and small right side facet joint effusion suggestive of legamentous laxity..

Answer

Most of the time an MRI of the spine is done because of back pain that is of an unclear source. Although you do not mention why you had the MRI done, I will assume that this is the reason. In that case, the only doctor who can accurately interpret these MRI results for you is the doctor who ordered the study, whether that was your primary care doctor or an orthopedic doctor. I say this because, whenever an MRI of the spine is done, it is very common to discover multiple minor findings, such as arthritis at various levels of the spine. However, if these findings do not correspond to the type or location of your pain, then they are not meaningful. You do have a number of findings consistent with degeneration and wear and tear in the spine, at multiple levels. However, again what is needed is for your doctor to sit down with you and help you determine if any of those findings could potentially be the source of your symptoms. Also, you have a cyst like growth in your thyroid gland, which was discovered incidentally and is probably a benign structure. However, your primary care doctor may want to get more imaging to explore it further. Please see your doctor soon.

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