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DDD and central prolapsed l5 disc

hi all, i am male of 34. for most of my adult life i have suffered with increasing bouts of back pain. after years of just trying to get on with things and incorrect diagnosis. i have found out that i have DDD with significant wear on a series of my disc and gross wear on l5/s1? i carry on with over 50% of my life in discomfort and pain and occasionally i have serve pain in my legs, buttocks and around my spine that comes on suddenly throught doing something quit simple that nearly puts me in tears( i dont mind admitting this) this pain can last anywhere between 2-3 weeks. on this occasion however it seemed more serious than before so went to my doctor and he thinks it is a prolapsed disc at l5 and that it could be a central prolapse as i am gettin pain in both sides where as before it has been only on one side. today i am going for a new mri scan to see what is happening in this area. i know of the different options for prolapsed disc but my doctor has told me that because of my ddd it might not be as simple as it would usually be. has anyone else been in this situation or know of anyone who has. i am posting this from england so surgery may be different to what is available in the u.s.a. as i type this again my back is killing me and i am slowly going out of my mind. any input would be appreciated folks. i presume most people on here are on for the same kind of reasons. The one thing that has helped during all of this is that i am not alone in my situation and that people are very understanding and compassionate.i hope for whatever reason you are here, that you resolve your problem soon and wish you the best for the future


  • DaysleeperDDaysleeper Posts: 19
    edited 10/07/2012 - 12:31 PM
    You may want to get a second opinion. I don't know what your physician means by "it might not be as simple as it would usually be." Could you expand on this? I have had a couple of surgeries on L5-S1 while I also have DDD at that level. Maybe because of the DDD in a series of your discs, performing a surgery at the L5-S1 area may put more pressure on the other discs and give an unsatisfactory result.

    I don't know if you have Pain Management physicians in your area, but I recommend you see one and get into their service. They can keep you comfortable while you explore your options.

    The MRI will show exactly what's going on with the discs.
    Best to you,
    Mother, wife, Southern farm keeper, chicken lady, beekeeper, anesthesia provider. L5-S1 PLIF 9/2013. Visit PLIF blog at http://www.lumbarfusionfusion.blogspot.com
  • Thanks for the responce daysleeper. I have since been sent for another mri scan and the results show that i have DDD with wear on a series of disc and gross wear on l5. It has also confirmed that i have a large prolapsed disc at l5/s1 level which is compressing the exiting nerve at this level. I have also been refered to a nuerologist who has recommended that i have surgey on this disc, i am now on the waiting list for a microdiscetomy. I shall let you know how it all goes, although i obviously would prefer not to have surgey in all honesty i cant wait for it to happen.
  • Sorry daysleeper i forgot to mention the reason my gp said it may lead to further complications. Like you mentioned the concern was that because of the DDD present in my spine he is concerned that by removing part of the disc it could put more pressure on the other discs. But as it stands i cant see how i can not have the surgery suggested. I have had years of phsio therapy, pain relief meds,acupuncture and other methods to relieve the pain with no results. I just hope that this gives the results i am so desperate to acheive
  • And what the spinal surgeon says.

    All the best in the meantime.

    By the way, what pain meds are you on? And are they working?
  • ok so tomorrow is the day of my microdiscectomy surgery at l5/s1 level. surgery time is expected to be around 60-90 mins. I am of course a bit nervous as you put yourself in the hands of others which always needs a bit of faith, but to be honest everyone i have had to deal with along the way couldnt have been any nicer or reassuring. At the moment i am taking tramadol 400mg, ibuprofen 1800mg daily and amitriplyn. i was perscribed diazipam initally for a short period. They seem to take the edge off the pain and i notice when they are wearing off so i guess they are doing the job. hopefully all goes to plan, im not expecting miracles because i have the underlying problem of DDD but at least it should take the immediate pain away from my legs. To be honest i think i could well end up having further surgery because before this episode i had regular back pain which i dont beleive the discectomy will resolve. i guess im just keeping myself open to the fact that this could just be a big chapter in the story. I will update as soon as im ok to do so. In some strange way although i am anxious im kind of looking forward to see what the future brings. My back has dictated my life for to long and hopefully this will help me to gain a bit more controll in what i am able to do on a daily basis. (and being pain free will be nice for a change) take care and i hope for whatever reason your on this site i hope you find a solution to your problem.
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