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Spine and Back Health

Reversal of the Cord Lordosis C4-C5

12/22/2008

Question:

Recently had MRI on my neck. Results came back as Reversal of the Cord Lordosis C4 C5. Everything else is fine. I was just wondering what this means.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. Normally the cervical spine (neck) curves in a way that when you look at a person from their left side it would look like a “C” shape, or more accurately, it would look like an open parenthesis: “(“. We call this curvature “lordosis”. When the spine starts to look straighter, we call that “loss of lordosis”. If it starting to curve the opposite way, like a “)”, we call that “kyphosis”. Loss of normal lordosis can occur with muscle spasm, like after a whiplash injury. It can also occur with degenerative changes of the cervical spine, but the loss of lordosis itself isn’t usually what’s causing the pain, it’s a consequence of whatever’s causing the pain. I hope this helps.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University