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advanced ddd at L4-L5 now increasing symptoms. Help please

candrews922ccandrews922 Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
:/ I have had a herniated disc at L4-L5 since 2006. I was already at advanced ddd, and the disc was almost gone and just herniated from nothing left to it. My last MRI was a while ago, am having another tomorrow. I have neck ddd also along with arthritic bone formation at C6-C7, the bone was pressing on the nerve root in the foraminal opening on the right side with significant pressure. I haven't had surgery for either condition. I had emg's done at the time and everything seemed well enough. For awhile I have had the problem that if I walk any distance nonstop that my legs start moving like I have palsy or something. I sometimes have pain in the lower back and hips and backside into the thighs. Now I am having the same thing happening when I haven't walked that far. If I try raising my legs while lying down they are wiggling all over. They seem kind of unstable also where they are wobbling. Which I think is a symptom of weakness. Even though I have had this I have still kept mobile for the most part. I think I have myofascial syndrome all over, where my muscles are always in an underlying state of tension or contraction. Where if you press on them it hurts, the pain level varies, but it is pretty intense. Anyway that is another story. My main concern is progressing nerve damage. I already have this in my hands from my neck as well as CTS in both hands for many years and not having surgery soon enough. I finally had the right wrist done because the neck was causing double impingement with really crappy symptoms. So that is the only surgery I have had the right wrist complete release in 2007. My neck is going to be an issue also, but too much to add to this post. If anyone has had surgery, and had symptoms like this before having surgery. Was that your only option. Was permanent damage present, or possible? What other options were you given? Has anyone let their spine just fuse naturally after you reached bone to bone when your disc was completely gone. I have numerous joint issues too. I have had a few ESI's done and all they did was cause my buttocks to go into spasm and no relief for anything else. Well hands are falling asleep. Hope someone can relate and fill me in a little. Haven't really gotten involved with a neurosurgeon, only minor exams years ago. So am having to set that up, and is part of the reason for new mri's. They are doing my cervical and lumbar spine in the same session. Thanks to anyone that shares some input.


  • Hello, don't really know if my history is of any help but;
    I had two discs removed in April '83 (L4 & 5)and nothing put in in there place. After 3 months of physio I was fit enough to go back driving my truck all over the continent. By 1994 I was having the self same pains as before - legs and feet feeling numb. Pain in by back. Feet always feeling like they are in cold water. Ex-rays showed nothing untoward and at first I wasn't believed. By 1996 I had had a MRI scan and this showed the scar tissue was growing on the nerve in my spine. I was told at first that it would be a simple enough operation to scrape the tissue from the nerve. But later I was told that I would not have surgery as if they just nicked the nerve then I would have much more serious problems.

    It is now 2011 and amongst other tablets I take morphine for the pain. In fact, I rattle when I walk lol. I am registered as disabled as I cannot walk all that far. The pain you can live with as you get used to it and how to deal with it, ignoring it by and large. You learn what you can do and you learn sometimes very quickly what you can't or shouldn't do.

    I hope this is of some little help to you and gives you an insight into what can happen although it might be different for you. I believe the discs have naturally fused now and I do not want surgery as at least I can walk now. If the nerve was cut I wouldn't be able to would I.

    Good luck and all success in the future. Ken
  • Hi,
    Sorry to hear you're having so many problems,, believe me, I know where you're coming from. My lumbar area is shot, and the discs are now fusing themselves.. When I went to get a 2nd opinion on the diagnosis of my regular pain dr., they also told me nothing could be done anymore...no discs left, so to speak, and they could not fuse as it would be 7 levels, and the won't do more than 4.
    Let's hear it for DDD - it never lets you forget its' presence! Hopefully, the MRI will show what's up and what you can do...
    And yes, myofacial pain is just what your symptoms sound like.. I had a rhuemy at one time, who besides sending me to chronic pain management "class", put me on antidepressants and sleep meds!
    (Within 10 months time, I had 2 lumbar diskectomies, got a divorce after 23 yrs, moved to another state, and was in general a nervous pain riddled mess!!!) and that's when the fibromyalgia/myofacial pain showed up)
    The "class" was 3xweek for 2 months...saw an occupational therapist who taught me how to move more comfortably, and adapt my new "angles" to life in general, a shrink who helped me accept this new life with it's restrictions and depression, and another therapist who taught me biofeedback, relaxation and told me to treat myself well... That was some very good advice - we treat others better than we usually treat ourselves!!
    The antidepressants.. we tried a few until we found the one that seemed to have no side effects except for feeling better, mentally and physically. Did the same with sleep meds, and Elavil (amitriptyline) was the best for me. I'm currently taking Celexa, as we change the meds now and then
    "to keep my brain thinking"!
    Your neck doesn't sound so good either...sorry to say that, but I've been there too.. Hopefully, your MRI's will tell the story of what's happening and what your options are to fix yourself up!
    I also have joint issues, and again, you can do what you can do, if you push it, it hurts, if you don't use it, it hurts....hard to find the balance in movement and when to use meds sometimes...
    Sorry this got so wordy, but I get like that sometimes - just ask my hubby!!
    Well, good luck with everything you are dealing with and let us all know how you're doing! And remember that no one advocates for you as good as you do, so ask questions and get some answers! And, treat yourself well....
  • "let's hear it for DDD" too funny!
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