Love2Draw Member Posts: 15
edited 16. Jan 2013, 14:29 in Say Hello Archive
Hello all :) .
I joined a couple of weeks ago, but I'm quite shy so have only just had the confidence to post now.
I have OA of my lumbar spine and both SI joints, and BOY does it hurt :cry: . Diagnosed by X-Ray, November 2007, and MRI, March 2008. I also suffer from depression. I'll be 46 in just over a week.
The X-Ray Results -
Loss of disc space at L5/S1, secondary degenerative changes of the L5/S1 facet joints, minor degenerative changes of the L4/L5 facet joints, degenerative change and loss of clarity of the SI joints.
Opinion - Degenerative disc and facet joint disease of the lower lumbar spine and sacroiliac junction. Degenerative change and inflamation at the SI joints.
The radiology report was completed by a clinical specialist/consultant radiologist, and verified by a second consultant radiologist. The degenerative changes seen on the X-Rays didn't account for my severe leg pain.

I was off work for the next 3 months, my employer's occy health wouldn't let me return until I'd had a MRI scan. Due to the NHS taking too long to give me a scan appointment, occy health recommended that my employer paid for a private MRI. My employer agreed to this and I had my MRI shortly afterwards. I returned to work on shortened hours and light duties.
MRI Result -
At L5/S1, a significant, right paracentral disc protrusion with right S1 root compression. Minor degenerative retrolisthesis at L5/S1 - 2mm, (a backwards vertebral slip - opposite of spondylolisthesis where the vertebra slips forwards). Small vertebral haemangiomas, most prominent at L1 and L3. Central canal spacious throughout. Distal cord, conus and cauda equina appear normal. No foraminal stenosis.
This report was completed by a (BUPA) consultant radiologist.

My next appointment was with an orthopaedic consultant, who referred me on to a neurosurgeon.
When the neurosurgeon showed me my MRI scan image, practically the entire disc at L5/S1 had prolapsed and was severely crushing my sciatic nerve. I had back surgery, (microdiscectomy), in May 2008 to remove the prolapsed disc. I had a weeks holiday from work leading up to my surgery, went in on the Friday morning and went down to theatre at 8am. I woke up at around 1pm in a small ward.
The sciatic pain had gone, I just had a very sore back now. I was given morphine in addition to my pain meds, and was back home on the Monday afternoon. I was off work for just 6 weeks after surgery, then went back on rehab to build my hours back up. My employer provided me with a "made to measure/built for my needs" orthopaedic chair, and changed my duty to light work only. I was back on full time hours (8 hour shifts/5 days per week) 5 months after having surgery.
I do still, to this day, have permanent nerve damage in my right leg and foot, as a result of the disc prolapse having crushed my sciatic nerve.

Over time, my joint pain was worsening, so I was given ill health retirement in August 2011.
My joint pain has continued to get worse since then, and I'm now feeling pain & numbness again in my right leg and foot. Also now having wierd tingling sensations in my lower back, my bottom, back of my thighs. The tingling isn't there constantly, it comes and goes, but I'm also having bladder problems where I don't feel it when its full. This has resulted in me wetting myself a number of times :oops: . The pain in my SI joints and lower back is getting worse, constant burning pain & sometimes with sharp pain in my SI joints. Lumbar joints are burning and my back muscles are in spasm almost constantly.
My GP took blood samples last Thurs and I got the results back yesterday. All normal, but there is inflamation there. (Sorry, I don't know much about blood tests concerning arthritis). My GP didn't go into any detail re my blood tests though, probably because I'm having a bad bout of depression too right now. He is doing a report for me (for ESA appeal :x, but THAT is another story :cry: ), and he is going to arrange a new MRI scan to try find out whats going on with my very painful joints.
Meds I'm on currently are 2 x 500mg paracetomol 4 times daily, 1 x 400mg ibuprofen 4 times daily, 1 or 2 x 30mg dihydrocodeine 4 times daily (I was managing on 4 dihydrocodeine daily, but with the big increase in joint pain I'm now needing 8 daily), plus 20mg citalopram once daily for my depression. I also have Voltarol (1% diclofenac) gel.
My GP did try me on Naproxen back in 2008, but it gave me severe stomach pains. I can't take oral diclofenac for the same reason. The meds I'm on were working fine until my back pain started going through the roof recently.

So, that's my arthritis history so far.
Sorry it was so long. :)