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Compression fractures with chronic DDD

jwentzdvmjjwentzdvm Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi to all. I am coming to this site for support because I know that unless you have experienced back pain, you really don't understand.

A brief history: Have experienced back pain since 2002 when injured during lifting a dog (I am a veterinarian). Had 2 pregnancies after injury, so that did not help.

2005 diagnosed with DDD at L5/S1 and treated with steroid epidurals X 3--moderate relief--was recommended for disc replacement/fusion--I declined

2008--Torn annular ligaments L3-5 with mild herniation at L3/4 and SI pain while lifting a dog (again). Again treated with steroid epidurals, which was mildly helpful.

2/5/11 I was taking a box down my basement steps and tripped on a cord so I basically launched down all the steps and landed in a seated position (trying to protect arms, legs and head). I felt the explosion in my T/L region. I ended up with compression fractures of T10 and T11 and torn ligaments at T9. I also aggravated my pre-existing lumbar/sacral issues.

I was in the ICU for 5 days and went home in a custom TLSO which I have been in since then. I am now in PT 3 times a week to regain strength.

I have horrible reactions to narcotics, so have been on only Tylenol since week 2. Have had 2 steroid injections for L4/5 pain and radiculopathy in addition to being in the brace.

I need someone to tell me that still feeling pain (level 3-5) on a regular basis at the fracture site is normal 9 weeks out, and to give me some hope that I will ever have some semblance of normal activity tolerance.

I am getting very discouraged and I am supposed to go back to work in 3 weeks, which terrifies me.

Thanks for reading if you got this far...turns out there is not really a brief history at all! Looking for honest opinions and experiences.



  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you have certainly been through alot as far as injuries and falls goes!! i am so sorry for that! i am not famaliar with your brace but i did want to say hello! please have a good look around the different forums and make yourself at home.. i am sure some spineys will be by to help with your quesions..good luck to you! i do hope you find some pain relief soon.. it is too bad about your reaction to narcotic medications for pain.. stop by anytime! Jenny :)
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Wow...You're job is really physically demanding. I would be terrified to return, also.
    I have a screwed up back..but never surgery. When I have had some treatments...epidurals..what have you..when feeling the pain lessened.. I feel able.. so I do stuff like lifting, bending...things I have been instructed not to do..and then of course I suffer intense pain afterwards.
    No matter how I feel I need to always try to "stay aligned"..no bending, twisting, lifting. The pain is so awful even without the aggrevation to the back.
    I live in a pain of 6-8 usually everyday. It gets on my nerves..it's so exhausing and a full time job trying to control it.
    I had to quit work..2 1/2 years now. I just can't do it.
    My answer may not be useful since I haven't had surgery..I just wanted to share..and let you know that the unbelievable pain...you're not alone.
    Take care, Julie!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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