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New here! L4 L5 rupture, DDD/arthritis, etc...and just 29!

NotGivingUpNNotGivingUp Posts: 33
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello everyone! I look forward to reading through many of the past discussions and talking with all of you about your conditions and plans.

I am 29, and I've had lower back "aches" for nearly a decade. It was all manageable, though. We all just learn to live with it, right? I had my first X-rays a few months ago that showed significant DDD at L4 - S1 (not really surprising, right?) and in my C-spine, though I can't remember the levels. I have extremely large breasts, which has contributed significantly to the deterioration of my c-spine, I'm sure. I don't have a lot of neck pain, though, which was surprising to my chiro (who did the x-rays).

I've been managing the lumbar aches and pains the best I can over the years. Then, oone day, I felt a...I don't want to say a "pop." It was more just like "something" or a "release" in my lower back. My back didn't hurt, though. The pain was ALL in my leg...straight to my foot! Oh, I thought I was dying! I was almost in shock by the time I made it to the emergency room, and I had a thick strip of numbness from my big toe all the way up to my knee (on one side). An immediate MRI showed a "severe rupture" at L4-L5 with spinal stenosis and lateral foraminal stenosis (among other things associated with my bone spurs and DDD). I stayed in the hospital for a few days (unstable spine?), and I left after an epidural injection (that didn't work).

So, here I am...4 wks post-injury. The pain isn't really that bad anymore. I frequently get that gnawing ache behind my knee, in my ankle, and on the bottom of my foot. But the sharp, paralyzing pain is very rare, anymore. The numbness hasn't changed since the day of the injury, though, which worries me a lot. There is no tingling, no pins & needles, no sensation...no change, at all. :-/

My neurosurgeon recommends surgery...duh. lol What is surprising, though, is that my anesthesiologist even says he's 90% sure I'll need surgery. He supports my choice to go with injections, first, but is quite sure they will fail due to the location and severity of the rupture. I'm doing PT, which is pretty uncomfortable, but I don't think it is helping, yet. I'm still hopeful.

I'm still on the fence, though, about surgery...because everything on the web rides the fence! I've read article after article about healing of discs. I'm hoping to find more advice and support here!

Thanks everyone! Have a good one!


  • Just wanted to respond to give support, as I am in a similar boat to yours, large boobs and all ;)

    I struggle with my age in relation to my physical status all the time. Seems so unfair to be this young and feel this old, right? All I can say is, I can relate! I hope you get the answers you need soon and that you get some relief. :)
  • NotGiving,

    Just a little insight, because I fought that battle, of surgery, no surgery, etc...???
    The bottom line for me was I did try all non- surgical treatments like: PT, medications, stretching, injections, etc, etc. Nothing worked and I began to consider surgery.

    Finally having the "Discogram" as final testing and going with a fusion was my option. I know I made the right choice because my Dr. found 2 ruptured discs that were leaking, and this was the source of my pain. No other treatments would have fixed this problem. The "Discogram" is the only test that can prove the pain is disc pain coming from the ruptures.

    If ALL non-surgical treatments fail, tell them to do a "Discogram".

    Good luck, and hang in there. Please feel free to IM me with more in depth questions and I will be happy to help. Thanks,
    Left foramina stenosis of L3/L4 (retrolisthesis)
    L2-ilaic revision fusion ( loose screws) with a laminectomy at L3 (cage at L3-L4)
    (PLIF) -@ L4/ L/5 - S1 (cage at L4/L5)
  • Thank you both very much for the support and info! I'm definitely not gung-ho for surgery. I'll look into getting a discogram. Thanks for the advice!
  • JLambz said:
    Just wanted to respond to give support, as I am in a similar boat to yours, large boobs and all ;)
    Teehee! Some women desperately wish they had large breasts, and they aren't unattractive. I'm just falling apart, and the weight is contributing. I'm looking into getting a reduction in the near future as part of my recovery process. I had a consult, and the plastic surgeon estimates taking 2000g from each breast just to make me a D cup. That is really huge. AH!
    JLambz said:
    Seems so unfair to be this young and feel this old, right?
    You're not kidding! I think about that all the time.

    And then I think about what life might be like in 20 years, if I'm blessed with that much time. *shudders*
  • Edited by Tam, spam
  • Post edited by tam, spam.
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