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Clem96CClem96 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain

I'm really glad I found this board.

I'm a 36 year old former athlete that's had all sorts of disc trouble the last two years--herniations, ruptures, etc and now the diagnosis is general DDD.

I'm not good with the lingo yet but the doc says I have no space between the base and the first vertabrae and there's almost no space between the next level.

Some days I feel perfect. Others are just horrible.

Am trying to avoid surgery at all costs. I've just heard too many bad stories.

Anyway, great board here. It's comforting to know I'm not alone.



  • Hi and welcome.

    Glad you found us. None of us are medical professionals but we do have a lot of experience. I've found the board very helpful to share experiences, learn what questions to ask my doctor, and learn what works for people to manage pains.

    It's tough to tell from your post but sounds like when you say 'base' I wonder if your pains are lower lumbar area (since it's also the section you posted under).

    Don't worry about terms...you'll learn. As for lumbar issues, I agree to try other alternatives before opting for surgery. There are lots of options including Physical therapy, anti inflammatory meds, and even ESI injections. Surgery can be a slippery slope but in some cases there is no choice.
  • Yes, you are correct. This is the lower lumbar area. Right at the base of my spine.

    I have taken cataflam, robaxin and some vicodin and done about six months of physical therapy thus far.

    I have to talk to my doc, but I think I need a new physical therapist. I don't think it's a great personality match. I feel like I need someone a little more positive and optimstic.

    I've been to three doctors over the last three years--first one was great but went on maternity and never came back. Her "boss" was pretty much like "your screwed" which wasn't constructive, and now I like the new group I found.

    There's such a mental element to dealing with the pain and it's much better for me to deal with positive attitudes.
  • Oh, and what is an ESI injection. Is that epidural steroid injection?

    I had one under my old doc but the new one is of the opinion that the long-term bone degeneration potential (given what he already sees) is a bad long-term idea.

    He said his practice group has pulled a 180 on these over the last few years.

    They really don't like doing them on the under-45 crowd.
  • Hello Clem and Welcome to SH!! You will find alot of great knowledgable people here who can relate to what you are feeling!!

    I wont bother you with my background...LOL...I am one of the "horror" stories!! :)

    I look forward to getting to know you better and I hope you are having a "less" pain day!!!
  • Hi Clem,

    Welcome to the Spine-Health support forum. We're glad you're here and hope you find the information and support you're looking for.

    So far, I feel like I'm one of the "success" stories. I had a 2-level lumbar fusion 7 weeks ago tomorrow and am doing great. Am doing everyday things like housework and shopping, although I leave heavy lifting or extreme bending to my husband. The only post-op problem I'm dealing with is nerve pain in my right leg which is similar to what I was experiencing before surgery, only this is worse. My surgeon feels this is probably just the nerve reacting to all the work that was done around it, as well as to it being moved in the process of the surgery. I'm on Lyrica, a nerve pain med, for control of the pain and will be weaning myself off of it, as well as taking some "vacations" from the medication to see how I do.

    I should mention that I have DDD (all lumbar discs are flat), arthritis, degenerative scoliosis, as well as two disc herniations in my past. I have a strong sense that this surgery was a very good thing for me and that I will be free of all pain before too much time goes by. I hope you find the treatment that best suits your problem. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Thanks all.

    I'm still hanging in there and have actually had a few good days.

    Actually got on the stationary bike today and I'm hoping to bring my 3 year old son to the Jets game tomorrow.

    The one who has really born the brunt of all of this has been my poor wife. We had our second son in late June, moved to a bigger place in July and she has had to do so much darn extra "heavy lifting."

    The positive is that I don't think there's a three year old in new York that listen to his dad read him more stories than I do. Some days all I can do is lie there and read to him but I guess that's a blessing in disguise maybe . . .
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