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DDD how long the pain

ChetCChet Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I have been experiencing pain now for 17 months. I had L5-S1 surgery in 97 and all was somewhat ok til 07..Since then the pain has not let up, I'm prensently taking oxycontin and oxycondone for pain. My doctor says its due to past surgery and trauma to lower back. W/C doctor states its DDD.
I've been reading alot about DDD and it states after time the pain will ease or subside...I've been waiting now for 17 months...If indeed my pain is DDD when does the pain subside or after so long is it another hernitaed disc. My doctor think surgery is needed.


  • Chet,
    That is an excellent question. My understanding is that the typical presentation of ddd (though not every case) is that the pain will wax and wane over the years. Eventually it should subside, but this can take many years. Typically after age 60 the pain is lessened. There is a ton of information on this site - explained by dr's - that will hopefully be helpful with regards to your questions:

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    That if patients find ways to manage their back pain and maintain function, the long term outcome can be favorable.
    As DDD progresses the proteins within the disc space will eventually burn out and the disc will actually become stiffer, which should help overall. I guess over time I will see if this is true or not. Some readings have stated that some folks by the time they are 65 and had DDD for years and have taken care of it, will actually feel better later on.
    I sure hope so
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I just wondered if your doc had done new xrays or MRI or anything to see what's going on in your back for sure?

    DDD is painful sometimes but shouldn't be screaming pain all the time unless a disc is chipped off, torn, or herniated into a nerve or the spinal cord. DDD dries out the disc and makes it stiffer like Ron was saying.

    Since you've had L5/S1 surgery in 97, what did you have done then? If it was a disc trim, you could have more bulging again. If it was a fusion, you could have scar tissue or arthritis or something wrong with the hardware. There's so many possibilities for your pain.

    I would push the doc into helping you find out the exact cause for the pain now if it's where you can't stand it anymore. 17 months is a long time and you must be exhausted and mentally whipped. Chronic pain is terrible. I am trying my best to not accept that it's my life and get answers and get fixes. If your doctor suggests surgery, what does he want to do now??
  • I just finished reading the article and it is very informative. It is reassuring that DDD doesn't mean that you will end up in a wheel chair and that the pain can actually plateau or even get better.

    The question---once all the jelly-like substance dries up, how does this not cause pain? The bone on bone--wouldn't that cause pain? Or does the dried annulus act as some kind of cushion?
  • thanks for answering. missed your post.
  • So if pain from DDD subsides after age 60, I only have 25 more years to deal with this pain! Now what to do for the next 25 years...hmmmmmm.
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