We’re going to now look at a thoracic spine MRI which is normal so that you can use this to compare against any kind of images that you wonder if they is something that looks normal or not the thoracic spine like the cervical and lumbar spine has two separate sets of images the side view which we see here and the bottomup view which we see here again this line will know where we’re making our cut in the middle so we can see where we are on the side view.
The thoracic spine is obviously a continuation of the cervical spine the spinal cord comes down from the cervical spine here and goes through the thoracic now it’s not that the cord dissolves away here but the patient has a little bit of a curve in their back and you’ll see that we can see the curve and the cord down here but it disappears here we look at the other image again we see the cord here and it disappears here that is normal and nothing to worry about but the cord itself.
Should have a nice signal consistency it should be dark they should be no spots in it there should be no lines running through it again on either side of the cord is the cerebral spinal fluid which is the water that the brain and spinal cord float in the vertebra that you see are the thoracic vertebra and they’re separated again by the disc just like in the cervical lumbar spine a jelly filled donut the jelly on the inside under high pressure and the donut on the outside rings of collagen that.
How to Read a MRI of the Normal Thoracic Spine Mid Back Vail Spine Specialist
Hold that jelly in there are sometimes you will see these black lines within the cavity of the thoracic spine and even sometimes cervial and lumbar this is because there’s something called flow artifact the MRI is a very still image it’s like the old time pictures in the eighteen nineties where if you didn’t sit very still you would have a ghost image well even though the patient is sitting still on the table there’s still fluid in the cervical thoracic spine that’s moving up and down and it creates these.
Linear lines which are normal and have nothing to do with anything that’s wrong you can follow the spine out until you get to the foramen and again you can see the nerve root which exits out on the foramen here you can see the pedicle coming into the facet which connects the back of the vertebra above with the vertebra below we can look at it from the top down view here and what we’re looking at again is the front of the vertebra the back of the vertebra the spinal canal the spinal cord sitting in this.
Cerebral spinal fluid here and these are the nerve exit zones here and these are the ribs which come out from the spine and these are the lung fields here and here and your aorta and vena cava in this area here and you can follow this canal up and down and you can look at every vertebra you can get to the center where you have the veins you can get to the area where you have the disc and then continue on again veins and get to the next disc.