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Back Pain, worried

ulinbacuulinbac Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hi Everyone,

Randomly found this site online earlier today and amazed at the stories and sense of community on here. Compared to most my story is miniscule but looking for replies of people who are on a similar road but further down the line. I don't have a lot of the jargon that goes with most of the posts but will explain as best I can.

Up to 4 years ago, when I was 19 I played rugby 6 days a week. I made a tackle that pushed my neck back and started the problem with my neck/back. So over the last 4 years I have had MRI's X-Rays etc. and was pulled from physical sports. Turns out C3/4 have been fused since birth leading to no cartillage between these joints and a small amount in the joints above and below. Anyway, had intense physio and still had the odd game of soccer, gym etc. At 21 it got a lot worse, intense study justs kills me. Went back to consultant again and found another fusion in the lower spine so had the spinal injections and muscle relaxants.

Around Xmas the pain started again. The year leading up to that I had hit advanced Pilates and working hard. It started being sore once a week then twice, up until my Masters exams and the pain was all day every day, getting pins in my arms, losing power in my arms in the gym and a sharp pain in my upper left-arm. I understand that some of it is due to staying in one position but this was unbearable. The pain starts at the area of the spine between the lower ends of the shoulder blades and moves outwards like a growing circle with the most pain constant at the starting point.

So back to the consultants and a few MRI's for middle and upper back. One said I just need the injections again but the other found that I have more feeling on the right side of my body than left. So going for 2 procedures (one this month and the following) where they are sticking a camera in my neck and down to look at C5/6, with a surgical consult as was told "You need to get on his books as we will have to operate in the next few years".

I am lucky as the surgeon is the best in the country and a friend of my cousin's, so luck there. Have been pulled from everything remotely physical now, not even astro-turf soccer. Got told to take up golf but have started swimming instead which I do enjoy. It is somewhat depressing though at times going from 6 days training to nothing and was being scouted at the time. Have lost contact with friends over it as can't play the sports anymore (though qualified as a coach and train under-age) as when they look to make numbers for a gain of soccer etc. they know I can't play so no point ringing. Not to be depressing, I do still have a good group of friends, family and very supportive girlfriend who I wouldn't change for the world (apologies for the rant bit).

My question is as above. Is there anyone who has gone through this (they say its cogenerative and degenerative, bare with me on the spelling) around my age and come through better off a fw years down the road prior to surgery?

Thanks in advance,



  • I think I got the just of everything you said. I deduce you are brittish? I have not heard anything about the surgery with the camera, and I am an ortho nurse in the states. However your condition does sound like a congenital disorder that I have read about before. I am sorry that you are going through all this. It is hard to have to give up activities over back issues. I have had to switch jobs because of mine. When vertebra fuse surgery is a common solution. I personally have not had spinal surgery because I am too young for spinal surgeons to agree to operate on me. With your congenital condition it is a common solution. Injections are hit and miss as far as working in my experience. Sometimes they deliver great pain relief and other times they do more harm then good. You really don't know until you try it. That is the best advice I can give. Not sure I fully understood your question(s). Hope this helps!
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