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Narrowing can lead to stenosis, especially when progressive over time. However, when the narrowing become stenosis is not clearly defined and is a judgment call on the part of your doctors. Certainly, if there is evidence of spinal cord damage or nerve damage, this would strongly support the diagnosis of stenosis. One thing you could ask your doctors about in this regard is nerve conduction testing (EMG/NCV). These are related tests that are done together to look for evidence of nerve damage (usually in the arms and legs). This could be very helpful.
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You're very welcome...and I admire your intellectual curiosity and determination to make sense of what can be very confusing even under the best of circumstances.
Hi there. How are you doing today? Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
Bulging discs and stenosis are pretty common in the neck and low back where the vertebral bodies lack ribs to stabilize them. They are less likely in the T spine, but arthritis can occur here, especially in the joints, and lead to pain and stiffness. As for the earring, if it had created significant artifact, the radiologist would have mentioned it in the report.