Do i have arthritis

stevefox442
stevefox442 Member Posts: 5
edited 29. Apr 2009, 13:37 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi,

I have had back problems now for 7 years and i have annular tear, 3 disc bulges, worn sacroiliac joints. I have been told my back is very worn? both by by pain clinic and a private chat with a neurosurgeon, spine surgeon. My gp said they mean arthritis? but i had no test, they just looked at my MRI scan, so do i have it.

I'm 35 and in loads of pain everyday, i have had epidural and facet injections but nothing has worked. So i'm waiting for my next appointment.

Thanks

Steve

Comments

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steve :)

    Welcome to the forum. I see that you posted in October 08 but I was probably not on the site that day as I appear to have missed you!!

    You have and are going through the mill aren't you? You have my sympathy. I take it that any meds you are taking at the mo are not touching the pain at all or much.

    If you are being told that your back is very worn then it may be osteo arthritis. There is no test for this as I understand it, but xrays and mri's show up wear and tear/osteo arthritis. Arthritis can be brought on by joints being damaged in accidents. Rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed through a blood test. You go to see a rheumatologist. Some people with osteo arthritis see a rheumatologist.

    Have you been to see a physiotherapist or been offered acupuncture?

    You say you are waiting for your next appointment. I wonder who that is with? Why don't you ask what kind of arthritis you have if that is what you are being told by your gp. If you are going back to the painclinic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, ask them if you have arthritis and if so, what kind. There are about 100 different types of arthritis.

    I wish you all the best.

    Look after youself,

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,675
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI Steve
    Welcome form me too!
    I have to agree with Elna it does sound like OA with the word 'worn' having been used and MRIs are one of the tools they use to diagnose this.
    I too was wondering who you are seeing next?and if you are on any pain medication too.
    I hope you find the forum useful - you can't fail to! :wink:
    Take care
    Toni x
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • eckstardeluxe
    eckstardeluxe Member Posts: 1,192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to the Forum Steve

    It could very well be you have arthritis. I had an xray which said there was a problem. An MRI the following day stated 3 bulging discs, spinal stenosis and end stage OA. The fact you have bulging disc could be the only cause of the pain, some people are completely immobile with one. However, my disc and stenosis issues were caused by the fact my OA is so advanced, that could be the same in your case. My back pain lasted 21 years before it progressed to end stage so hopefully you are not so far along. An MRI will confirm this and tell you if you have OA what stage it is in. There are 3 stages, early, advanced and end stage. Good luck
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steve

    As Eck says an MRI will show up how advanced the oa is so you should be able to find that out from the MRI you very had recently.
    If the MRI was done privately you are in possession of that, aren't you?

    Best wishes,
    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • stevefox442
    stevefox442 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi,

    Im waiting to see Dr R Walker at Coventry Hospital (pain management)

    Im on 30mg Codeine, 500mg Paracetamol, 20mg Amitriptyline and 20mg Citalopram=depression.

    My MRI is about 2 years old now and then they could see wear and tear, 3 disc bulges and the annular tear at L5 S1, im gueesing the disc has now disintegrated. Also as this has been going on since 2002, will there be pernament nerve damage.

    thanks for your replies so far, x
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Steve
    Welcome to the site I have Osteo Arthritis in lots of joints. The doctors call it all sorts of things (as do I! :oops: ) Wear and tear, degeneration, degenerative disease, it seems to be the fashion. I HATE this, it gets confusing and I end up wondering what on earth is going on. I am lucky, I have a good GP who tells me the proper terms! It sounds as if you have something similar.

    I am so sorry you are in such a lot of pain, it makes you tired and depressed. The drugs help the condition, but sometimes the side effects make the depression worse. I've just had my pain killer changed to co-codamol, and that gave me nausia! But I think I thoght I could take the full dose straight away, (I was in bad pain from my neck), today I've only taken a smaller dose and am better.

    I haven't been to a pain clinic, but I know people who have and they have had good experiences. So I do hope you find some help quickly. Love Sue
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again Steve

    Has anyone talked of an operation for you? I have read you can have discs replaced by artificial ones. Have you ever had a myelogram performed by a neuroradiologist?

    If you are not happy with the situation and I knw you are not and I would not be either, perhaps seeking a second opinion and even a third may help. You are young and all this has been going on for a very long time. Unfortunately we often have to make a fuss and keep on going back to our gps or the pain clinic or wherever we go so they begin to realise that our pain is real and severe and getting worse. Do not hesitate to "make a nuisance" of yourelf.

    Wishing you all the best
    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,675
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steve
    My back was bad on and off since I was in my v early 20's. I had op 5 tears ago to remove disc and a small bit of bone which had damaged my nerve. It IS still damaged and I can't feel part of my rt foot, back of rt knee and bit of rt bum cheek(!)
    The surgeon DID say if he had been able to operate 2 years earlier It would be ok :( Still have pain I suppose sciatic(ish), but I'll live!!! :wink:
    My advice - don't leave it too long.
    Take care
    Toni xx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • eckstardeluxe
    eckstardeluxe Member Posts: 1,192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi,

    Im waiting to see Dr R Walker at Coventry Hospital (pain management)

    Im on 30mg Codeine, 500mg Paracetamol, 20mg Amitriptyline and 20mg Citalopram=depression.

    My MRI is about 2 years old now and then they could see wear and tear, 3 disc bulges and the annular tear at L5 S1, im gueesing the disc has now disintegrated. Also as this has been going on since 2002, will there be pernament nerve damage.

    thanks for your replies so far, x


    Hi Steve, it is good you are being referred to pain specialists, I am being seen by them also. One of my discs is also at L5/S1. Do you get sciatica? I have this, this is often worse than the OA. If so go to your GP immediately as this could be an underlying issue such as stenosis and should not be left alone. I cannot have surgery as mines is too advanced but it is a solution for many others. The nerve damage can be limited if they can manipulate the discs or if there is any narrowing of the spinal canal you can get a laminectomy to have this corrected. My auntie has spinal stenosis also and has had this to great effect. My other tip would be to try Tramadol, I find this is far more effective than codeine or Solpadol, it can make you queasy at first but the pros far outweigh the cons for me.