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What are the odds?

Sorry if this has been asked elsewhere, but on all of my MRIs it says that I have severe DDD on all levels of my lumbar (plus a bunch of other garbage). Does anyone know what the likelihood is of also having it in my neck or mid back? Should this be something that I need to get my GP to check into as a precautionary measure?

The reason I am asking is that the GP that I had in 2009 that sent me to get my original MRI on my low back for numbness in my legs and feet, he then put me under the care of a Neurosurgeon and I got the run-a-round from him (neuro). Then after a year or so of nothing but aggravation I went back to my GP to get a referral to another Neuro but come to find out, my GP had moved out of state to better himself and expand his field, so I went without a GP until this year. I did find my current neuro on my own though and am pleased with him.

So, if I do need to address this concern with my new GP, how would I go about it? Just put it out there and be like - Hey dude, let's check this!?!? Or is this something that I need to take up with my current neuro?

Any advise would be awesome...
5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)


  • DDD is a normal finding, all of us will have it if we are over the age of 18. And yes, it can be found through out the spine, in all of us , at one point or another. It is usually not considered a finding with any real medical significance unless it is especially severe and effecting some other area in our spines, such as contacting the nerve roots or the thecal sac that contains the spinal nerves.
    Here are some links with more information about DDD, and resources, as far as whether or not to ask your surgeon for an MRI , you can ask him and if he feels it is necessary, he will order one.
    DDD Resources


  • Thanks for your help Sandi... You rock!!
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • and thanks! I try..............Here is another link for you , I can't recall if I gave it to you before, but in case I didn't...this might help you to understand the usual course of treatments that the doctors offer and the order in which they do it.....sometimes, for various reasons , they might omit a step or several, especially in situations where waiting is not in the best interest of the patient but it does give you an overview of treatment options.
  • BigRBBigR Posts: 48
    edited 09/12/2013 - 10:55 AM
    Thanks again Sandi. I followed the link in your signature a few days back and read up on it. I just wasn't sure if the neck thing was something I needed to be concerned about or if I just needed to let my doctor bring it up. Also, my last MRI (a few months back) also said that I had significant stenosis throughout my lumbar.

    This is something that I am just now trying to really get my mind wrapped around. I was always brought up as "You're a man, you go to work and that's it. If your back hurts, you don't complain about it, just live with it and go on." and that's the way I have been my whole life until just within the last 6 or 8 months or so. I was a truck driver for my entire adult life and over the last few years my legs would just go completely numb from my waist down and that's what got me to my first MRI in 2009.

    Sorry if all of this is 1st grade stuff. My current general physician is managing my pain for me (7.5/325 Norco 3x's a day as needed) and am finding some relief but I know that the total numbness in my feet and ankles is not a good thing. Maybe, just maybe if I can hold out til next year I can have something more done about it.

    I am learning and reading everything I can find about the things that my MRIs have said and this site here has helped tremendously.
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • is a tough one........my canal is only open at mere 3.14 mm, normally it is supposed to be open somewhere around 14 mm I read somewhere.....Does, the leg pain and numbness get better when you lean forward, such as pushing a shopping cart? The reason this happens is that bending forward opens the canal some. If you do go ahead with surgery to repair the lumbar stenosis, you might find that the leg pain and numbness resolve once you get it done. They open up the canal space and that frees up the space for the spinal nerves to pass through without the compression on them. It's called a lumbar laminectomy.
    If you need any help Big R, my private message box is open.......
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