Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

looking for advice/help

Before I ask, if there are any miss spelled words apologize, I'm on my phone at work.

Ill give a brief summary of history and then ill ask my question, I wasn't to sure where to ask this question but since it mostly. Has to do with surgery I fgured this is the best place for it.

I'm 31 years old I have ddd at l5 s1 which is also bulging with an annular tear. When the injury first happened I had to wait 2 years to get the actual diagnosis. I have pretty severe siatica that runs down my left leg, loss of feeling in my big toe on my left foot and the pain...well you know. The injury happened in 2009, got my first mri done in 2011 that showed the l5 s1 bulg at l5 s1 and the annular tear. They told me I wasn't an injury that needed surgery yet. So I didn't the esi injections and pt and got very little relief from it. the pain I feel and the problems I have suggest I have or had some type of nerve issue but since they couldn't see it on the mri they made me feel like I wasn't in the pain that I am most definitley feeling. So I had another mri done by my ortho surgeon in febuary of this year which showed everything stated above but they also saw they also found ddd this time which wasn't there before and told me since its been so long between mris and there is no improvement in my injury and is now degenerating I can either have surgery done or deal with it. 3 surgeons an pm's later all say the same thing.

My question is could I have damaged the nerve in those first 2 years and it not show up on the mri? I'm still young and don't want to do surgery but with the way I've been feeling the past year its starting to sound better and better everyday. The ultimate question is, when would be a good time to consider this type of surgery?, fusion or disc replacement? Please don't pay any mind to my signiture either for some reason when I update it, itgoes back to the original
L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol


  • DDD is a normal finding on MRI, unless there is some contact with the nerves in the foramen. Since you have numbness in the big toe, that suggests that there is some contact with the nerve somehow, but it could be in the foramen itself or positional contact with the disc, which may not always show on the imaging.
    All of us, will show some DDD in our spines if we are older than 18 or so.......discs do not have a source of rehydration so as we get older, they tend to dry out, at an astonishingly slow pace but for the majority of people, it is not considered a finding that means much unless it is severe or effecting another area of the spine.
    Anyway, spine surgery is a big decision, not one to be taken lightly because in most cases, things turn out okay, but in others, it can and does make the pain you experience now seem like a cakewalk.....it can get worse and does for some of us.
    As far as disc replacement goes, it does not have good outcomes at the L5-S1 level since that particular level of the spine is not meant to move as much as other areas of the lumbar spine do. The rotation and over extension that comes with some of these discs causes other problems, including facet problems that need to be addressed sometimes a short time later with fusion or removal of the disc, which is life threatening at that level due to the large abdominal blood vessels in that area.
    I would make sure that you do tons of research on disc replacement, the various devices out there, and the revision complications once it is implanted. There are very, very few surgeons in the US who have even done a revision of one.
Sign In or Register to comment.