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The end of last year some of my various doctors and I decided I was having issues with my SI joint — the sacroiliac joint between the spine (sacral vertebrae) and the iliac — a bone in the pelvis. I had it injected (not fun) in December and it’s been pretty much okay up until recently at which time the whole situation came unraveled and I started having pretty consistent pain again in my lower right back.

So I went back to the doctor who did my injection and discussed that, in fact, the pain also seemed to be coming up a bit higher up in my back so he said he would also do an injection in the joint spaces right above the SI joint.

I have this love-hate relationship with steroid shots. When they work, they’re wonderful. When they don’t, well, they don’t. Spinal injections have to be done under anesthesia with the assistance of a fluoroscope. (Not quite like popping into my knee doctor for a quick touch-up.) The doctor injected four separate spots and initially the combination of steroids and pain killers really helped. But by a week later when I had my follow-up visit, I could tell that it didn’t really help at all. So he sent me out for anlumbar MRI.

This is what the MRI report said:

There is advanced degenerative disc disease at the L3-4 level, collapse of the disc space, endplate sclerosis, marrow edema, and exuberant anterior and posterior marginal osteophyte formation. These findings are new since the previous studies. There is a broad-based disc/osteophyte complex lateralizing right, and there is a right-sided caudally directed fragment of disc material extending into the right L4 lateral recess. There is moderate central canal stenosis. In addition, there is an extraforaminal component of the abnormal disc contour within and lateral to the right L3-4 foramen. This impinges on the exiting right L3 nerve and ganglion.

This is what the MRI report means:

I’m pretty screwed. I’ve blown out a disc in my lower back and the two associated vertebrae are a degenerative mess of bone spurs. All this has happened in the last 24 months because it wasn’t on the imaging studies I had done when I had my previous back surgery.

So yesterday I went back in and had my back injected AGAIN, but this time in the correct spot, hoping that it will at least calm down the pain. I go see the neurosurgeon on Tuesday to see what he says about the situation.

Not the best news I’ve had in a while. Sheesh. But I hope whatever news you have in your day is good.

Thanks for checking in.

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