L3/L4 Spinal Stenosis-Systemic OA-severe facet arthritis
I recently had a 2nd opinion with one of the leading spine clinics in the nation. It was confirmed that I do need a Laminectomy on L3/L4 but more importantly, as with the first surgeon, this second opinion spine specialist was amazed at the severity of my facet arthritis. He has not seen a case this bad in someone my age (48). Furthermore, I've had 2 surgeries on my ankles (arthritis on the talus..OCD lesions) and a bilateral PFJR (patella femoral joint replacement) all within the past 2 years. (The talus and the patellas are lined with articular cartilage-or-hyaline cartilage, which is different than meniscus or discs. The facet joints are lined with hyaline cartilagae) Because of my arthritis history this spine specialist believes that I have systemic osteoarthritis, which is different from rheumatoid arthritis. He also believes that I have it throughout my entire spine. (My MRI is only on my lumbar spine). He also believes that most of my joints will get affected by this.
My brief understanding of this disease is that something in my blood stream attacks my hyaline cartilage-my joints aren't able to bear normal loads. This isn't the "wear and tear" OA that is common as we age-this is much more severe.
So, I am a bit upset by all of this. My low back is so painful (as are most people's on this board). There isn't a lot of research on systemic OA. Does anyone else have any insight to this disease, or ideas? Anything?
On the positive, I am trying to put off the Laminectomy till fall. The ESI that I had a month ago is giving me some relief in my legs.