What does uncovertebral hypertrophy in C5 and C6 mean?

Q. Please explain my MRI report in layman's term.

Answered by
Dr. Solanki Chirag Natwarbhai
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 14, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 31, 2023

Hi doctor,

I would just like to have my MRI (Magnetic resonance Imaging) reports in layman's term. At C3-C4 there is mild bulging of the annulus fibrosis. The facet joints and uncovertebral joints appear normal. At C4-C5 there is degenerative disc disease with disc space narrowing. There is a broad-based focal disc protrusion extending from the right to the left lateral recess with associated bilateral uncovertebral joint hypertrophy right greater than left causing predominantly right-sided foraminal stenosis. At C5-C6, there is diffuse bulging of the annulus fibrosis. Also, there appears to be a superimposed focal disc protrusion within the intervertebral foramina on the right associated with right-sided uncovertebral joint hypertrophy and to a lesser extent facet arthropathy causing on axial image severe right-sided foraminal stenosis. The patient is status post cervical fusion at C6-C7. The facet joints and uncovertebral joints appear normal and there is an obliteration of the intervertebral disc space. At C7-T1 the intervertebral disc seems normal. Sagittal images of the conus medullaris appear normal. The impression is reported as degenerative changes and focal disc protrusion at C4-C5 and C5-C6.


Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com.

According to your MRI (attachment removed to protect patient identity), you have undergone surgery at the level of C6-C7, which are the 6th and 7th bones of the spine in the neck. At the level of C5-C6, due to disc protrusion and joint thickening, the space around the nerve is narrowed and so compression over the nerves, which is more on the right side as compared to left side. Similarly, one more level above, at the C4-C5 level also there is a mild disc bulge. There is not much of compression of nerves. Because of that, you might be having neck pain as well as pain in the arms. To come to a conclusion about the problem, you need to see a doctor and get clinically examined.

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