Well it looks like you have the beginnings of osteoarthritis, possibly DDD in the future, and facet arthritis with constant compression of the vertebrae affected by the ligamentum flavum. As well as stenosis. I have facet arthritis, stenois, early DDD and a herniated disk and it's very painful. I'm also in my mid 20's so I know how hard it is to be taken seriously. I've been to 2 primary doctors, a neurosurgeon and now finally I'm in pain management. It took me over a year to get where I am so I totally feel for you.
I would ask your doctor for a referral to pain management. You cannot cure what is going on in your back you can only manage the symptoms to try and live a normal life of a 20 something young adult. I've had 3 steroid injections which worked for about a month. I'm on anti-inflammatory pills which don't work but my PM wants me to take them anyway. She's sending me a TENS unit to try and if that doesn't work we are going to look into a spinal cord stimulator. So there are a lot of different things that can be done to minimize the pain. But I would for sure ask your doctor to refer you to pain management as most primary doctors will not take on a pain management case long term. And trust me, you will need pain management long term because arthritis is a degenerative problem meaning it will only get worse.
I want to Welcome you to the Pain Management Forum and tell you that we are glad that you have found this Forum. I need to let you know that there are NO Doctors on this Forum at all.
I want you to know how terrible I feel for you. Just like Runitskat I got my diagnosis when I was in my 20's. It's NO fun having to deal with all of this for the rest of your life. Like Runitskat said when you ar young it is difficult (sometimes) to get the help that you need. However, SINCE you have the MRI to support it then you should be fine.
Did your Doctor discuss your MRI with you since you have posted this 4 hours ago? If so what did he say? You ask where do you go from here? That depends on what your DOCTOR says. He will discuss the different options available to you depending on WHAT the MRI says.
I have SEVERE DDD and osteoarthritis, 2 hip implants and getting ready for my 3rd replacement hip implant. My Osteoarthritis began when I was in my teens. I had my FIRST hip implant when I was 35 years old (I needed it when I was diagnosed BUT the implants weren't maed for a young person and wouldn't have lasted very long, so I had to put it off until I was 35 years old). I have Facet Arthritis and have had the RFA (Radio Frequency Ablation). Plus so many OTHER things that they are too numerous to mention right now. :)
I'm not qualified to answer your question about your MRI as I'm not a Doctor. So I hope that after your Doctor calls you and discusses the outcome with you that you will let us know what he said. I'm quite sure that your Doctor will have a plan in mind. Your Dr. will send you to whatever Specialist HE/SHE thinks is the best for you. Depending on what is going on right now I'm guessing that the FIRST Specialist would be a Rheumatologist. From there the Doctor will decide what is best for you at the point that you are at with your health. The one thing that I can tell you is that whatever is going on it is MILD, just beginning and there is a chance that you may not need meds that possibly PT might give you some help. I hope that is the case for you, my Dear!! The chances are ALSO since it is mild that whatever it is you have MANY years before it would get worse.
PLEASE try to be patient and wait and talk to your Dr. I don't want you to worry unnecessarily.
I wish you the VERY best and I hope and Pray that your news isn't very bad yet!!
I look forward to your update and I hope that you get some encouraging news....Sherry
I agree to try to get your dr to send you to a pain dr so you can start getting your pain treated. It is so hard to do everyday things when you are in so much pain. Now that you have the MRI results your dr knows there is something going on and I am hoping he dont ignore your pain anymore.
A pain dr can work on treatments on getting your pain under control. You are young and I hate to see anyone in so much pain.
Best of luck to you
Could you go into a little more detail about your symptoms. If you want, post over on the Neck and Back Forum. We have a little different approach and have a lot of experience dealing with problems like yours.
Here's the Link: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Back--Neck/show/63