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Would a doctor consider a facet joint injury "minor arthritic changes"? You can clearly see the problem with my facet joint on the MRI image, yet doctor said there were "only minor arthritic changes" seen. I can barely sit, stand or walk because I am in so much pain. Could facet joint be the problem? Should I get another doctor to read the MRI? Thank you!!


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    If the surgeon told you that he sees facet joint arthritis , then he did diagnose the condition he saw on the MRI if that is where you are feeling pain. Even when something can be seen on MRI does not mean that it is serious or severe. Facet joint problems can be very mild, mild, moderate or severe.......
    You are always free to get a second opinion if you feel that the surgeon isn't taking your condition seriously, but if all he found was a bit of facet joint arthritis, what treatment options did he mention?

  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 09/09/2014 - 7:57 AM
    Hi Copilot. I'm sorry you're in so much pain. Spines are very complicated & sometimes it takes a frustratingly long time to correctly identify your pain generators. I'm assuming that your doc couldn't see anything else of concern on your MRI. I have severe arthritis in many of my facet joints & it's incredibly painful but just because they look 'damaged' it doesn't mean that they're causing most of your pain. Quite a lot of people don't get the answers they need from an MRI. It's just a 'snap-shot' of your spine in the laying position, at that moment in time.

    What kind of doctor have you seen, was it a GP or a specialist spine surgeon who took you though your MRI? If it wasn't a specialist I'd ask for a referral. Did he take time to discuss your type of pain & what effects it for better or worse? We're you fully examined? Did your doctor bring up the images from your MRI or just look at the summary? If you feel you didn't have a complete consultation then definitely get a second opinion.

    What did your doctor say was the next step in diagnosis? Has he recommended further diagnostic tests? Has he suggested a nerve block to see if nerve 'burning' could help with your pain? What's your current 'action plan' for treatment? Have you been referred to physical therapy?

    You're clearly really suffering. If you were just told 'minor arthritic changes' & this doc didn't seem interested in finding the cause or treating your pain you need to push for answers. Do you have another appointment scheduled?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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