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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Help with MRI
Feb 17, 2011
Your report is somewhat unique in that you have an extra lumbar vertebra...which is listed as L-6. Most people have five lumbar vertebrae, but it is not unusual to have an extra one. About 10% of the population are born with an extra vertebra. It provides no advantage or disadvantage, and rarely is responsible for lower back pain.

You have several things going on in your lumbar spine, which are degenerative in nature. Arthropathy simply means joint disease. In the case of the spine, as mentioned in your report, it refers to arthritic issues in the facet joints. What often happens when there is arthritis in a facet joint is the formation of a rough surface on the joint, similar to small bone spurs...these can protrude into the central spinal canal and the foramina, which are two areas that need to remain open as the spinal nerves pass through them. When arthritis is present, it can result in nerve irritation or compression, which results in pain, either in the back or radiating down the hip, leg and foot.

The anterolisthesis mentioned at L6-S1 is a small slippage of the top (L-6) vertebra forward over the vertebra (S-1) beneath it.

Your doctor will be able to explain what all this means to you specifically and what he or she can do to relieve your symptoms of pain.

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