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Bilateral Facet Hypertrophy
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Bilateral Facet Hypertrophy

I was recently diagnosed through an MRI with bilateral facet hypertrophy in my lower back at L5-S1 and L3-5. Also degenerative facet disease along with a disc bulge and a tear. I had a previous MRI two years ago which claimed I had scoliosis, but never mentioned the facet problem. I am wondering, is the hypertrophy arthritis or stenosis? It says somewhere else on the report that I have no canal stenosis, but I also have an EMG to prove that I have some minor nerve damage, which causes foot numbness??? I am very confused. Does anyone know the correct definition of hypertrophy? Thanks in advance.
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469901_tn?1276567223
From what I am reading, it sounds like bilateral facet hypertrophy is a degenerative condition in which the facets are enlarged from inflammation.  This would not be the same as stenosis.  Which disc is bulging?  This condition can press on your nerves and cause numbness in your legs or feet.  What symptoms are you experiencing?
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975514_tn?1325001538
Sorry for the delayed response. I am still learning how to use this site. Yes, I kind of figured out that the hypertrophy means enlargement and basically is osteoarthritis of my facet joints. I don't have my report handy right now, but I believe the joints affected are the bottom two or three. The disc that is bulging and torn is L5-S1. The nerve damage is above that I think. I was also diagnosed two years ago with mild scoliosis on an earlier MRI. The first X Ray I had I was told that there was something wrong with the formation of my bones.

I have pain in my legs and buttocks. Sometimes it is difficult to walk. My left foot is always numb. It gets worse when I sit and creeps up my leg if I sit on a wood or plain chair without a cushion (it's bad at restaurants). It also sometimes bothers me when my lower back is swollen- even if I am lying down, but not usually. Sometimes I have to cross my legs in bed and put my left foot under my good leg to try not to notice the strange numbness I feel. I am having a hard time getting my Rheumatologist to understand how bad things sometimes get because she has also diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, so she's always attributing my pain to that, which irritates me because I think the Fibro is secondary.

Anyhow, I don't think I have stenosis yet, but I certainly think I am on my way. I had an MRI in 2007 and in 2009 and there was significant degenerative changes just in those two years. I am nervous to find out what I will learn in 2011.
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469901_tn?1276567223
It sounds like you may have some sciatica and that numbness in your foot could be from the problems in your spine, too.  What are they doing to treat your back?  I think I would pursue that with the docs first.  You may need to change docs.  Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is the key to progress.
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975514_tn?1325001538
Yes, sciatica was my very first diagnosis when I was 17. It's gotten much worse since then with the nerve problems. I just visited my PCP doctor yesterday. I am so confused about everything. She is sending me for a CT Scan since I have never gotten one yet- just MRIs. She wants to find out if they can locate the nerve that is being compressed and possibly see if surgery is an option.

I know this is is off topic, but I keep wondering if I could possibly have AK. It keeps running through my head. How bad do I have to be to have it? Can it be mild and progress? My dad had Reiter's Syndrome and I know that's related somehow. My Rheumy tested my SED rate ANA and my RA factor and said my results were "essentially normal." So does that mean AK is completely ruled out?

I've had trouble with my SI joint since I was 17. I also had tendinitis trouble with my knees and wrists when I was young without any serious repetition. I had shoulder spurs and a surgery to remove them already. DDD in my spine plus the other stuff I've already mentioned. I can't believe all of this stuff is not related???    
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997349_tn?1288351331
I have the same thing as you plus more....I use a pillow when I lay on my side to sleep and that really helps back. You have to find one that is soft. I use an old pillow I had on my couch and that works great. I have a real bad back and general osteo.
take care
Hugs;
Deebelle
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997349_tn?1288351331
Sorry I had to read more.....I have always had numerous issues inc. bursitis when I was a teen, bursitis now in my rt. hip, tendonitis etc.....I am sure all this stuff is surely related although they give me the dx. of generalized osteoarthritis. W are so lucky!!!.NOT!!!
Take care;
Deebelle
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975514_tn?1325001538
I just was reading back over this older post of mine and noticing the area where I stated my doctor said my test results were "essentially normal." When I now know that my ANA test was positive. This confuses me so much. I am switching PCP doctors next month and going to get a second opinion from another Rheumy very soon just for piece of mind. Perhaps she's right, but maybe not right???
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469901_tn?1276567223
BRAVO!  I am glad you are going to get a 2nd opinion.  Changing docs can be scary and take a lot of effort, but sometimes you just have to shake things up.  Cannot wait to hear how it goes for ya!  Sending many positive thoughts your way.
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3157939_tn?1343586334
want is diffuse disk bulging? want is degenerative facet hyperophy? want is widely patent spinal canal? want is degenerative changes in the facet joint? want is neural foraminal?
bilateral degenerative facet hypertrophy
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