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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: What is sclerosis?

 nancy08 - Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:25 pm

I just got my x-ray reports of my lumbar spine, SI joints and hips and they show sclerosis around the SI joints right greater than left. They also show significant facet joint narrowing which is most severe at the lower two levels. Can someone explain?

Thanks for your time and help!

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:32 pm

User avatar Sclerosis is essentially thickening or hardening of the bone.

This can be associated with sacroiliitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, some infections and several other illnesses.

Depending on your age and other symptoms, certain diseases become more likely.

Follow up with your doctor is important. You may also need to see a rheumatologist.

Best wishes.
 nancy08 - Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:04 pm

Thanks for your reply.

I am 46 and have been seeing a Rheumatologist regularily for about 3-4 years because of a +ANA and polyarthralgias, skin rash, elevated Sed rate etc.... She diagnosed Sjogren's syndrome about 2 years ago. She continues to watch for Lupus and RA, but I don't have enough criteria to be diagnosed with either. She ordered the xrays because of ongoing back pain (located to the side over PSIS) and groin/hip pain. Those x-rays came back showing the moderate sclerosis around both SI joints.

She mentioned spondyloarthopathies and wanted to get a follow up MRI of my SI joints/lumbar spine and hip which I just got the results of. They showed osteoarthritis of the facet joints in my lumbar spine and no signs of erosive arthritis or arthritic changes in my SI joints. My HLA-B27 test was negative.

Incidentally she also suspected a torn labrum in my R hip that was confirmed on MRI-arthrogram, I am scheduled for arhtroscopy in a few weeks. I go back to see her in a couple weeks but don't know what to focus the visit on...too many things going on at once! Should I not be concerned about the SI joints even though that is where I have most of my pain (SI joints/over both PSIS and in my R hip/groin which I think is probably the labral tear).

Sorry to sound so anxious, but I guess I am. I feel like my body is falling apart!

Thanks for your reply.

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:34 pm

User avatar Given your MRI report and HLA status, ankylosing spondylitis is less likely. Osteoarthritis can affect these joints and can cause a significant amount of pain.

I would recommend that you talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you given the osteoarthritis as well as the rheumatic issues.

Best wishes.

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