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Dr. D. Evans
Dr. D. Evans, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4464
Experience:  MS in ENT and Head and Neck Surgery , Attachment to Neurosurgery.
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what is moderate facet arthropathy

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My MRI came back with my lower back worsening as follows: larger disk bulge and central disk prolapse with high signal intensity zone at L3-4 and L2-3 and moderate facet arthropathy noted at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1. At L5-S1, there i a small left paramedian disk prolapse with HIZ identified. Also slight progression of multilevel degenerative disk disease with multilevel central disk prolapses and HIZ, as described above. My doctor just said he doesn't know what the high signal intensity zone is but said that basically, my lower back has gotten worse. I want a better explanation of what is happening to my back. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

Between two vertebra, there are two small lateral joints called facet joints. These joints may become hypertrophied and this will cause pressure on the nerve roots. Hence this also causes pain in the nerve roots.

So, basically there are two ways in which pain in the nerve roots can occur from the spine, one is discogenic, which is when the discs prolapse, which is already a known factor for you.

The second is non-discogenic, when there is pressure on the nerves due to causes other than the discs. Facet arthropathy, or hypertrophy of the facet joints, is a non-discogenic cause of nerve pain.

So, you basically have both the discogenic and non-discogenic causes of nerve root pain.

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