Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test


AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in New Member Introductions
Hey all, I'm 47 and after dealing with back pain for about 10 years, I was formally diagnosed with DDD on Tuesday (cervical and lumbar). Cervical MRI revealed 2 discs that were flat and herniated. In February '09 I received the cervical injections, from my physiatrist which did little to nothing for the pain in my neck and numbness, and tingling and pain in my right arm. Then he did the facet injections (9 in all) with the same results. So now I have constant neck/arm pain. I have had lower back pain for as long as I can remember but never went to the doctor (used ice, heat, rest) until in June '09 I woke up one morning and stretched and experienced the worst pain in my life. I could hardly get out of bed and was hysterical as I was frozen and couldn't walk for several minutes. I waited for my chiropractor to open and with the help of my husband he saw me immediately and ordered an MRI-results again 2 discs herniated and flat. Well, since June I have had five of those "episodes" and am so scared. How do I keep my job (I love my job)? I can't possibly work during the extreme pain. I missed work all of February and here I am again out till who knows when. I am starting to be able to walk again without extreme pain, but who knows when it will happen again. Is there any way to tell?


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of support, knowledge and help here on the forums and there is a ton on information on every aspect of the spine on the other SH areas.

    Have you been referred to a spine surgeon? I'd think it would be the next step since the injections didn't help. Try to find a fellowship-trained spine surgeon (one that only works on spines) in your area to take your MRIs to.

    I can't tell you about keeping your job or how to tell if you'll have another episode. Are you on any medication to help?

    Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor, not even close, so these are only my opinions. But with four herniated discs, you need to do what you can to take care of them. Otherwise, you risk permanent nerve damage.

    Take care and keep us posted.
  • Sorry to hear of your double whammy. I so agree with Cath, I think(my personal opinion) that your physiatrist should refer you to a spine specialist, whether ortho spine or neuro spine. Sounds like you've done conservative treatment and injections, but a spine specialist might have something further to help.

    As for your job, I don't know. What I do know is that if you don't take care of yourself, you cannot do for others(your job.) Your health is most important, get this figured out so you can be more comfortable and know where you stand. Sounds like your episodes are getting more frequent, so you really need expert advice.

    Please keep us updated, I would like to hear how you are progressing.
  • Thanks so much for your reply to my posting. I did see a neurologist (who finally provided me with a diagnosis) on Tuesday. She wants me to try the lumbar injections (I've only had cervical injections that didn't work well. They took away most of the extreme pain but still have some neck/arm pain and numbness and tingling). If the lumbar injections aren't successful, the only option she gave me is fusion. Is that because she is a neurosurgeon and not a spine specialist?
  • Thanks so much for your reply to my posting. I did see a neurologist on Tuesday. She wants me to have the lumbar injections (I've only had cervical injections so far that weren't very successful). The only option she gave me is fusion. Is that because she is a neurosurgeon and not a spine specialist?
  • i have no answers for you as your health issues are different to mine but i am sure that you will find people on here with similar to yourself
  • I don't know if the doc is suggesting fusion because she's a neurosurgeon. But it does seem like fusion might be an option for you.

    Many surgeon will prescribe injections before surgery for two reasons: First, it always best to try to fix the problem with conservative measures before doing surgery. Surgery should be a last resort. Second, many insurance companies require conservative measure be exhausted before they will cover surgery.

    Whatever the case, be sure to do as much research as you can on your condition and on your surgeon. I'm still suggesting that you get another opinion from a fellowship-trained spine surgeon.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

    Welcome To Spine-Health

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact (PM) any one of the Moderators here Priestess , Jeauxbert, Bruce , Paulgla, DiLauro
    In addition, you can always contact any one of the members of the Authority team haglandc , tamtam , Neck of Steel , Cath111

    The Spine-Health Web site offers so much more than these Member Forums.
    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

    Please remember that all information you receive from members on this forum is NOT
    formal medical advise. You should always consult with your doctors.

    To get back to the Forums, you can always click on Forum Home

    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    Its so difficult to explain or predict various spinal problems.
    What the other posters have said so far is very true.
    I would stict with a neursurgeon and forget about seeing any chiropractor for the time being.
    Which discs were identified as herniated? Different image reports and different doctors may use various terms, what did your doctor mean by the discs being 'flat'? And do we assume that the second MRI identified two more discs as being herniated and flat? At what levels ? are where they the same discs?
    Epidural Spinal Injections (ESI) are just one form of conservative treatments. They work for some, but do little for others. What other conserative treatments does your NS have you on? What are the current medications that you are taking?

    The DDD for the most part could be the least of your worries. Degenerative Disc Disease is probably the most misunderstood of spinal conditions. It really is the natural aging of our spines. Most people by the tim they are in their late 20's will show some sign of DDD. It can happen earlier or later. For those that it happens sooner, it could have been results of trauma, previous spinal surgery or genetic conditions.
    For the most part, surgery is not required to treat DDD. Through a course of approved exercises and NSAIDS most DDD conditions can be managed and controlled.

    Its hard to comment on your job, since I do not know what you do. Different jobs will different impacts. Today, I firmly believe desk jobs/computer jobs are where we are seeing so many spinal problems. The repetitive process in using your hands and the positions that you are in just lead up to trouble.

    What has your NS said in terms of the course of action he/she is outlining for you?

    Good luck
    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
  • Like Cath said, spine ortho surgeon or spine neurosurgeon, even if just for a second opinion. I think you should always have a second opinion from someone NOT in the same practice group. You(and us) are not surgeons, but we can try to educate ourselves as best as we can to make an informed decision.
Sign In or Register to comment.