It irritates me how light the condition of DDD is taken.
My MRI shows a narrowed and dehydrated S5 L1 disc, which has bulged and caused extreme pain two months ago.
I am fine now, but I know and have accepted that I am going to struggle in the future.
My specialist looked at the MRI and said I will be fine, I must just listen do what the Physio says.
My Physio also said I will be fine, I must just see him regularly and adjust my lifestyle and do my back strengthening exercises.
If I did not do research on the MRI results, I would have thought that everything is just hunky dory, I must just get out of bed correctly and play with a ball once a day...
None of them explained to me that I have DDD and that it is a long term condition,
I am 40. After a careful chat with my physio, he conceded that -
1) The disc will degenerate and flatten more...
2) There is a good chance of a flareup in the future...
3) Eventually the disc will degenerate more, with or without pain, and self fuse OR I will need surgery.
That is one hell of a different prognosis of 'you will be fine'...
What angers me, is that a lot of websites actually regurgitate the same prognosis.
They explain that with DDD 10% will need surgery, where 90% will feel better after 6 weeks? Huh?
So after 6 weeks the DDD is gone and everything is fine?
Not so, the disc will most probably get worse and there will be more flareups in future. It is a chronic diagnosis.
Another thing that quirks me is the DDD is just getting older blah blah and it is seen on MRI's where people don't feel any pain blah. My old man is 68 and his back MRI is perfect.
When your discs start to degenerate you most probably eventually will run into problems.
It is like telling a cancer patient that their condition is just the process of getting older...
My physio laughed off my condition by stating "Getting older sucks..."...
If they did a MRI of my back two years ago they would have seen the DDD, however at that time I would not have shown symptoms.
I feel all these misconceptions is perhaps a xxxx.
Doctors must tell a patient straight that DDD is a serious condition and that there will most likely be more painful setbacks in the future. A patient must be educated as to what the future might hold, and be warned of eventual pain management or surgery.
Although I am currently under no pain, I have taken the necessary steps in order to give me the best outcome for the future.
I had a heart to heart chat with my wife, and explained to her my condition. It was hard to get it through to her that my condition is in fact serious, because the doctors made such a light problem of it.
I will use this pain free time I have in order to build a relationship with a surgeon, just in case surgery is needed in the future
In fact, I have found out that a surgeon and inventor of an exciting new artificial disk is just a stone throw from where I am.
I will buy a house which is much closer to my work and I will start an exercise regime which is best for my back.
I realised doctors don't educate patients with their conditions, andxxxxxx
Post edited to delete inappropriate statements. Please read the forum rules before making additional posts
Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 02/26/14