Hi, I am 27 and I have had at least 6 years of back pain, ranging from discomfort to being imobilized and unable to stand upright. My brother has several problems with his back picked up by a scan, so when it flared up last week I got booked in for a CT scan earlier this week. These were the results:
the L5/S1 disc is mildly narrowed. Further mild disc space narrowing an end plate irregularity above L2 suggests past Scheuermann Disease. No vertical compression or lysis defect or evidence of sacroilitis is apparent. Mild osteoarthritis is noted in the L5/S1 facet joint, L4/5 facets bilaterally, the right L3/4 facet.
Soft tissue windows demonstrate small broad based central dorsal disc protrusions at L4/5 and L5/S1. The former mildly indents the anterior margin of the thecal sac. The latter is associated with slight deformity on the exiting right S1 nerve root.
Conclusions: mild facetal osteoarthritis with small dorsal disc protrusions at L4/5, L5/S1.
The Dr (a GP) focused mainly on what I can't do anymore: run, impact or jarring sports, lift anything over 2 kg. Said when the pains gone to walk, find a pilates class that will take me with my back problems (could be difficult apparently), do back strengthenig exercises and go to a physiotherapist. She said I would have been born with some of these problems and they've just gotten worse over time. She implied it's going to keep getting worse, and said I would need back surgery one day. She also said back surgery could/should only be done twice in your life time so it's best to push it off as long as possible.
I've looked up a lot of the rest of it and I think I understand what most of it means, but what I don't know is how serious this actually is?? Is it serious now or just in the future?? The restrictions the Dr gave, plus the future back surgery make it sound quite serious, but when I read it, it all says "mild" or "slight", so that makes it sound not so serious....
I don't know how serious it is, how serious it's likely to get, or how quickly it could get worse. Is there anyway of telling this?
I also didn't ask what the back surgery would be likely to entail? Any ideas??
Should I see any other specialists about this, besides the physio? Is that needed now or not really? If I should see someone else besides the GP and the physio, who should that be, and what would they be able to do for me?
Right now I'm managing the pain ok with antiinflams and tramal, but I would really like to have a clearer idea about how serious this is and what to expect in the future.