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DDD...does one ever get back OK?

dBensonddBenson Posts: 5
edited 12/05/2014 - 1:18 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I am a 32yrs old male. I was diagnosed of bulging differencial L3/L4 and L4/L5 disc 2yrs ago. I spent some months in the hospital before I could get up and. walk again. The specialist adviced against surgery then. Now the pain is back been chronic I can barely stand upright and walk. Am going for another MRI and probby a surgery (if the Doc agrees). What are the chances of a successful surgery for this thing? Will I ever. Be fully alright again? Another thing is a think this thing is causing me. Erectile dysfunction could it?..pls I need answers.

*i can't remember exactly. When it started cos I didn't have any accident or trauma am aware of and non of ma family member evr had such. I have been feeling faint back pain 3yrs before. It got worse and I had to seek professional help. After the diagnosis 2yrs ago, I saw a Nuero Surgeon, I was. Admitted into the hospital cos I couldn't stand or walk and was in great pain. He advice against. Surgery then cos of the sensitivity of the region and I was managed on drugs n bed rest. I was placed on powerful analgesic, predisologn, lerical, arthocare, etc. I got better (I could stand walk with lesser pain) and was discharged. I was never full without pain but it got better until some months back the pain has been increasing inspite of drugs. I ask the Doctor about a lasting solution (surgery) to this as I can't continue ma life this way. He has ask for another MRI to determine what needs to be done. Am saving to have that done before Xmas.


Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. Here are some questions that you
should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen?
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results
    - What medications are you currently using?
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option?
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--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/04/14 09;'37


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 12/08/2014 - 4:45 AM
    Have you made the doctor aware of the erectile dysfunction issues? If not, you really need to......Although some of the medications may interfere with erections , it is important that you discuss all of the symptoms you are having with your doctors, otherwise, they can't make a decision on all of the information and symptoms.
  • Thank you Sandi. I have told the my immediate Doctor about it (NueroSurgeon), he said I'll have to see the Ureologist. But of course the first attention is getting ma disc in shape. Am really worried about the chances of successful surgery.
  • Are you just dealing with back pain or do you have any radiating nerve pain? Surgery isn't generally recommended for back pain due to DDD or disc bulging without nerve compression. Every case is different but that's the information I was told. Did the surgeon recommend any treatments besides medications? Have your symptoms changed at all since back then? Hopefully you can get the MRI done soon to see if there are any changes. I had a significant amount of changes on my MRI in just 4 months . Your surgeon is the only one that can answer your questions. The success will depend on what surgery you have and what your current diagnosis is. If you do have surgery, your surgeon should let you know what your chances of a successful outcome are. Have you ever tried PT, Epidural injections etc? Is you pain well managed on your current medication regimen? The MRI will determine what will be done next.

    I wish you luck and hope you have some relief.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • dBensonddBenson Posts: 5
    edited 12/16/2014 - 8:33 AM
    Thank you LC84. Have been made to understand that the bulging is what causing nerve compression. Like I said the syptoms changed after some time but it. Back now. I wonder how there can be changes in MRI when one is managed with just medications. Its obvious the drugs were to reduce pain and not solve d bulge or compression of nerves leading to the pain. The drugs efficiency have been reduced perhaps as a result of long term use (2yrs). Please what's PT, Epidural injections about? I wish for other less dangerous options than surgery but I also seek permanent solution. Can't keep leaving my life this way
  • Nerve compression can cause erectile dysfunction..........especially if you had no problems previous to the nerve compression, depending on the level involved, compression of the nerves can be a direct cause of erectile dysfunction. Waiting to see a urologist might not be in your best interest, and the neurosurgeon may be assuming that you have had this issue previous to the onset of the nerve compression. If that is not the case, then you need to let him know that. If he dismissed your concerns, find a new surgeon.
  • I also have been diagnosed with DDD. I have no herniation but what my doctors say is "facet joint arthropathy" in L4/L5-S1. My pain is in my right hip and lower back, with some pain in my upper thighs. I have had four rounds of PT this year, as well as two injections that did not help at all. I am on Gabapentin, which does help some. It is a low dose, 300 mg at night. I can do some physical activity still but not anything very strenuous. My pain mgt doctor says a surgeon would laugh if he sent me to them for surgery, and I know that would be an absolute last step anyway. I am managing, I do my stretches every day, and while most exercises are painful, I bought a recumbent bike last week and have been using that...so far I can't get much more than 7 minutes on it, but it is something I guess.
  • Thank u Sandy and tmcbride7, pains from my lower back radiate to my right hip too. Have been on Flotac 100mg for some time now and I think its relieving a bit. I intend having another MRI done soonest so as to ascertain the condition am in now.
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