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MRI Results: Congenital Spinal Stenosis & Acquired Facet Arthropathy at L5-S1

blakeaf96bblakeaf96 Posts: 1
edited 02/18/2015 - 8:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
My lower back has been hurting for about 4 months since I slipped and fell back on my slipper lawn mower deck early morning from the dew on my mower deck. Ever since, I've had lower back pain, but could deal with it.

I was taking Norco 7.5/325 mg for my headaches 2-3x per day which was taking the edge off. Again, it wasn't too bad. I replaced my mattress thinking that was the problem, have stretched quite a bit nearly every day... And again, no relief but I dealt with it.

About 3 weeks ago, I have noticed it getting progressively worse, so I scheduled an MRI. The results came back as this:
MRI Results: Congenital Spinal Stenosis & Acquired Facet Arthropathy at L5-S1

Now I know what the Congenital Spinal Stenosis is (narrowing of my lower lumbar section), but unsure as to what the Acquired Facet Arthropathy at L5-S1 is. The pain was so bad, I can't stand for longer than a few minutes. If I try sweeping, I have to stop after about 2 minutes because my lower back feels like it's going to snap in half on me.

Right when the pain was getting significantly worse but before the MRI, my doctor switched me from the Norco 7.5's to Percocet 10's. I take 3 of those per day and all it does it take the edge off. I don't get "high" (Thank God), but it's not helping the pain that much.

I have a specialist appointment being setup by my PCP right now with a group of very good neurosurgeons here in Georgia.

My question is, can someone who has experience respond as to what my diagnosis really means? Doctors don't seem to take the necessary time with you to explain everything.

Thanks so much for helping! And btw, I'm 29 years old and in my landscaping business, so this needs to get fixed ASAP.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi. Just a suggestion. I work out and have my entire life. Did a lot of lifting lately. My own fault but started getting lower back pain. Have had since December and have tried theraphy, stretching, etc. end result MRI. Was living on Advil 800 bout every six hours. I have congenital L5/S1 as well. Pain severe by my sciatic through my hip flexor and numbness like a shin splint. In tears sometimes when I take a step. Not sure where you live but highly suggest going to or finding a spine clinic. A place where they ONLY do spines. I just went and although my MRI results are scary I am very hopeful. I just went to my specialist yesterday. I drive 2 1/2 hours but he is one of the best with over 20 years. On top of my congenital problem which hopefully they explained that you were born with a part of your L5 is fused to your S1. Your L5 should be your work horse but since it is fused it can't do the work cause it is fused so your other lumbers (L1-L5) have to. This is how it was explained which made since. So my wear and tear over the years on my lumbers along with lifting crossfit has herniated by L4/L5. I got a steroid injection yesterday and within 10 days will know if it took and my pain will be gone. If not, it is like a laser surgery to remove the fragment which is trapped in these small narrowing canals causing my pain. The surgery if needed just removes the piece that is causing my pain from being herniated. My spine isn't touched at all. I tell you my story because my MRI didn't show my congenial problem but showed massive severe problems in all my lumbars. My fear now would have been what if I just went to a orthopedic that specialized in spine. They may have only viewed and addressed my problem not seeing my L5/s1 problem. And my lumbar problems are not what has caused my pain at all.

    Good luck and hope it helps.

    Following is what acquired facet arthropathy means

    help keep the normal alignment of the spinal vertebrae and limit motion. The pain and discomfort that is caused by degeneration and arthritis of this part of the spine is called facet arthropathy, which simply means a disease or abnormality of the facet joints.

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