Diagnosis of degenerative arthritis is confirmed. The MRI also shows significant disc bulging into the T1-T2 range, which is depressing but unsurprising. The vertebrae themselves show spurring throughout. It's likely that imaging of other back regions would say the same thing, but unless there's a particular problem there doesn't seem to be a pressing need for more pictures. It wouldn't change what we do.
Lifestyle-wise, I need to avoid impact activities, which I generally don't do anyway. People with stressed discs are at much higher risk for ruptures under impact that wouldn't bother healthy spines. There are some things I don't do anymore that I wish I was doing more and maybe I shouldn't be doing. Sigh.
The Ortho and I discussed the prednisone effects I blogged about last time. He feels that the appropriate next step is to start working with a pain clinic that will help me treat the condition more holistically rather than reactively. So I'll continue the ibu-as-needed and get a referral to the pain clinic that'll take a couple weeks to set up. PT is a good plan in the interim.
Basically my back is fucked and it's going to be (more and more) fucked for the rest of my life. Go me.