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Juvinile Disc Degeneration at an olderr age

Gordon WarnerGGordon Warner Posts: 5
edited 04/13/2015 - 5:41 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi I'm new to Spine Health. I have what they seem to call a juvenile disc problem - although I am 61 years old. I have been in pain for a year now. One epidural injection seemed to ease the pain for a week only. I am waiting for a second epidural, several appointments had to be cancelled due to various infections and even a rash (caused by using a TENS machine.
Tried acupuncture, tramadol, Gabapentin, naproxen and fentanyl (25mg) pain patches, nothing seems to work, the pain is severe most of the time and seems to be getting worse as time goes on. Has anyone had the condition this long without surgery? I really don't want the surgery as I am self employed and I worry as my business will not survive if I am out of action.
condition: juvenile disc protrusion
at L4/5 compressing L5 root.
Age: 61
meds: paracetemal, tramadol, Lyrica, naproxen and fentanyl 25 mg patchs


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi. I'm sorry I don't really know what you mean by a "Juvenille Disc Problem". What exactly is wrong with the disc? What does your MRI say? Is it just 1 disc, just discs or are there other things listed on your MRI?
    Living with pain can be a nightmare. Have you seen a board certified spine surgeon? Did they recommend surgery at this point? Is the disc herniated, impinging a nerve?

    Sorry for all the questions but it's hard to answer based on the information. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I apologise for the vague nature of my previous post, I am new to all this. I have seen a specialist who never told me the exact definition of my condition -only that is was unusual in that it was "juvenile" usually only seen in younger patients. My doctor never told me either just that it was a "disc" out. I have since asked to see the specialist letter and it is stated as :

    "juvenile disc protrusion at L4/5 compressing L5 root."

    I have had one epidural injection with no relief. Condition has been ongoing for a year and the pain is considerably worse. Doctor has upped the dosage of my meds -tramadol, Lyrica, pain patchs - he tells me there is no where to go if these don't work, only pure morphine. The thought of that scares me I must say, as the pain is still there.

    Thank you "English Girl" for taking the time to reply, and I again apologise for the vague nature of my post!
    condition: juvenile disc protrusion
    at L4/5 compressing L5 root.
    Age: 61
    meds: paracetemal, tramadol, Lyrica, naproxen and fentanyl 25 mg patchs
  • Sorry. I was first diagnosed with osteoarthritis as a young teen. I have a multitude of things wrong with my spine & I've just never heard anything described as "Juvenile"...often specialist use there own lingo. Maybe he meant a young or new disc protrusion? Anyway, a protrusion impinging a nerve is a common spine complaint.
    Specialists like to use phrases like "you've got the spine of an 80 year old" & " There's nowhere to go after these meds". I bet many people here have "The worst (whatever) they've ever seen. I've heard them all!!
    Are you currently seeing a pain management doctor? Have you been evaluated by a board certified spine surgeon? That's where I'd go next. A surgeon rarely performs surgery. They are the experts on diagnosing spine problems & recommending the best course of action. More epidurals & physical therapy are common conservative treatments.
    Please don't be frightened by your doctors statements. I wouldn't consider going from fentanyl too morphine even a step up in pain killers!! There are many different medications & combinations of meds to try. A specialist can help you to fully understand your condition & the MANY different treatments available, not just meds.
    Nerve impingement that goes on too long can cause permanent nerve damage. Only a spine surgeon can tell you your risks & if you need surgery. (if they say yes get at least 2 more opinions before you take the plunge. You need to be certain that it's the best thing for you.).
    By 'doctor' I'm assuming you mean GP. After a year of nerve impingement you are well beyond the point that a GP can treat you properly. Please get referrals to specialists who are experts.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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