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Questions about low back pain, mri words. Does anyone know what these mean?

What are bridging osteophytes, are they bone spurs cause Ive never heard of a bone spur that bridges? Apparently they are doing something to the back of my SI joint. Why is that important? I've never had an si joint fusion.

Also, my doc says my L5S! disc is bulging, but what is a high intensity zone? The Google machine said that is an annular tear, but I'm not sure?

I'm feeling okay, but it's just the variety of pain meds, pt, massage, tens, RFA and injections that I have to keep up with in order to keep the pain down to between a 2 most days and 4 on worst days.



  • I had two doctors read my MRI report. 

    Got some answers about What's going on with my spine. The bridging osteophytes on my SI joint means that on one side of my joint there are bone spurs lining the joint so they are forming a bridge, like interlocking fingers. Doctor said the radiologist who took the image thought it looked like i had a fusion already, or a more serious form of arthritis. But the doctor disagreed and said it means I've got bone spurs that bear watching but not surgery.

    The high intensity zone is an area where the l5s1 disc is extremely dried out. He didn't say it was an annular tear, but the disc itself is degenerated. 

    The other disc, l3 and l4 also have bone spurs which are starting to impact the nerves, the discs themselves are somewhat twisted. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,441

    I've always thought it funny that you know you are in pain and when you finally find out why, it's like, take a deep breath, now I can hurt and let myself hurt without trying to figure out why.

    Did he mention DDD, degenerative disc disease? I3-I4 are starting to impact the nerves? What is the game plan now?

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  • superdecooperssuperdecooper Posts: 16
    edited 09/17/2017 - 8:50 PM


    I was sorta relieved about it actually. I told Mrs. Supes that she shouldn't expect me to be getting off of pain meds and that I would be spending lots of time in the basedment and in the gym pool exercising. She was sorta worrying about me taking pain pills, but that seems to have backed off now.

    Yes, the doctors said it was DDD and spondylitis.

    As far as L3L4 go, i think its wait and see. The doc and PT are super focused on my SI joint right now. I had an RFA in May/June so the upper discs and l5s1 are tolerable and quiet for now. Plus I asked the doc to up my meds a little so that I could stop walking around in pain. 

    I think for my December/January appointments,  I'm going to have to have the RFAs and the SI joint injections repeated. I'm not a surgical candidate, just a permanent pain management patient. Maybe i can push the injections off until April. Or maybe not. Maybe I shouldn't wait until I'm in miserable pain. Right now it's between 1 and 3 most days. By the time the injections wear off, it's between 3 and 6.


  • I have lower back &hip pain. Looking for a new mattress.  Any suggestions to help with the pain?

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