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Hi All - Newbie Here!

renomelrrenomel Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all! I am 27 and have been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc. L4 & L5 are completely dehidrated and bulging and I have minimal bulging in almost all my discs all the way up my spine.

Both of my legs, hips and knees ache daily. Some days worse then others. I get horrible muscle or nerve or something spasms in my back. When that happens the pain is debilitating. I can't move or get out of bed or anything on my own. Some days the pain gets so bad my husband has to help me put my clothes on.

I have had 7 cortisone shot and found no releif. I have also had an epidural and a nerve block. They both gave me releif for about 8 - 10 days.

I am now completely lost as to what to do next! Surgery terrifies me.

As I am fairly young for this, I don't have anyone who really relates to me. I can't tell you how excited I am to find this place!



  • i was about your age when i had my first operation .these days they can do microdiscectomies and recovery is very quick ,don't be in a hurry to jump on the surgeons table tho ! get at least 2 more opinions before you make your mind up.are you in Th uk/usa ? meanwhile try a TENS and ask your doctor for some stronger pain killers .
  • I am trying all I can to avoid surgery. I have gone to physical therapy for several months and get to a point where I can do very low impact exercises to start strenghthening the area. The problem is I can never get more than a few days of excercise in and then I have a weeks worth of horrible days where I can hardly move.

    I don't seem to get any releif from the muscle relaxers or celebrex. Any suggestions on pain killers? I have hydrocodone and lortab at home from dental work, but have never tried it when I am in pain.

    I am also considering Spinal Decompression through my chiropractor. My physical therapist (who is very against surgery) says that it is not a good idea for me and that I will probably come out worse then when I started. I have gotten mix reviews about decompression. What's your take?

    Thanks again for responding!
  • Welcome to a great site. Two thoughts for you.

    First NO CHIRO !!! With a spine like yours no chiro should even be willing to touch you. The type of treatment they do can cause more damage. Decompression only works if your discs are able to move back into place. For DDD this probably won't help or at least not for more than a few hours.

    Second you need to get to a major spine center. Not sure what is closest to you. Possibly Mayo clinic in Arizona but you would have to do some research. SpineAZ is a memeber from Phoenix. She will probably have some ideas.

    Before doing anything you need a complete assessment of your spine. If you have all this at 27 it means you have a life time of spine issues ahead of you. You need to make the right decisions now.
  • Thank you so much for your input. I am done with Chiro and being adjusted. I gave up on that about 6 months ago. Hoppefully no more damage was done.

    I am looking into a neurosurgery group here in Reno. The Doc who has extensive background in spine issues comes highly recommended by other medical professionals, family and friends.

    I am not mentally ready for surgery as I have read so many of the horror stories, but I do know I can't live like this forever.

    You advice on decompression is consistant with what I have seen in other posts on this sight. I was so glad to find the info as I was really starting to consider it as an option, albiet a VERY expensive option.

    I agree about making the right decisions, my problem is I don't know who to trust and what is the "right" decision. I am very scared - if I have this many problems and this much pain now - I can't imagine how I will age.
  • Prepare yourself and you can handle this. You are going to want to get several opinions. So you need to have all your info organized.

    First start a pain log. Date, time, part of body, type of pain (ache, zing, etc), what you were doing and what you did to help.

    Second is a mediation/treatment log. Again Date, what, where, how much and side effects and effectiveness

    Third is to keep a list of questions you have. Leave room to get answers. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You are paying for the doctors time so you have a right to get answers.

    Fourth enlist an advocate. Find a family member or friend who is smart, informed and available to go with you to appointments. Four ears are better than two and two mouths are better than one.
  • I am in the process of getting opinions now. I have been keeping a pain log for many months, but never thought about a treatment log. Great suggestion!!

    I also like the list of questions suggestion. By the time I get in to a Doc I am usually in a lot of pain or get upset talking about it all. This would keep me on track.

    My husband is my rock. He is more assertive than I and is a great support for me. He puts the docs on the spot and is insistant on my care, which is invaluable.

    I can't tell you how much I have learned in just one day of discovering this site. I have felt very alone in my pain and lack of mobility for a while now. It does wonders for me to see what other people are going through and what they are doing to help themselves.

    Thank you again!!
  • Once again, Welcome to Spine-Health! If you look, you will see a "search box" on the top of the web page for this site. You can type in "DDD" or "Bulging disks" etc., and you will find a wealth of information!

    Kris is a zillion percent correct on Chiro 101! I loved my Chiro, helped me for close to 20 years, but once the disks begin to bulge, dry up, break down, most "real" chiropractors won't manipulate your spine affected anymore. As she said too, if they did try to "move things" back in place, you could not only have more damage and pain, but accelerate your issues forming in your spine - you're way to young to induce more damage.

    In addition to Kris, I would add "research, research, research, and extra opinions, opinions, opinions!" Now a days more than years ago, we have to become our own strong advocates for our care! It sounds like your hubby is similar to mine in that he makes the doctors tow the line! Glad to hear that! Glad you found this site, lots of great members and great info here! Please keep us posted. *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I third that motion. I started with a chiro and am convinced that it did more harm than good.

    The others have given you great advice about getting several different opinions from spine specialists. You really do have to take charge of your own medical care and knowledge is key to doing this.

    Do not be discouraged. At least you have a diagnosis which is a stepp in the right direction. It took years for many of us to even get that far.

    Stay persistent and you will find a doc that is able to help you get some relief.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find some great articles and videos on the site and, as you've already discovered, the members of the forums are friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. I'm very glad you found us.

    Everyone has given you great advice. The only thing I want to add is to find someone, a spine specialist, who you have complete confidence in and then follow path they send you down. I think everyone here would agree that having 100% confidence in your surgeon is really an important part of the spine process.

    It's always comforting if you can find a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, ortho or neuro, but one who only works on spines. And for the record, going to a surgeon doesn't mean surgery - most times all conservative measures will be exhausted before surgery is suggested. Surgery is a last resort and a very personal choice, but if you have what you feel is the right team on your side, it makes knowing what to do easier because it's coming from someone who knows what's going on, what's available and can keep good tabs on your progress.

    I wish you luck finding the right doc to help you and hope to see you start on the road of help and healing.

    Take care and keep us posted. And don't hesitate to ask questions along the way - that's what we're here for.

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