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19 years old with DDD and associated nerve root impingement

Tarn_WilliamsonTTarn_Williamson Posts: 1
edited 04/24/2015 - 3:21 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello everyone,

At the age of 16 I began weight-training. When i reached 17 i started to get lower back pain. The pain wasn't too intense so i ignored it thinking i had pulled something and that it would get better by itself. After a year of no relief, I decided to get physio. This appeared to have worked but shortly afterwards the pain returned. This time the pain got worse as time went on. I finally decided to find out exactly what it was because no matter what i did the pain would not get better. I started to feel pain all the way down my legs in both ankles constantly. I waited for an MRI scan and I got a letter with my results along with an overview of the pre-MRI assessment. It said:

'Palpation revealed tenderness at L4/5 and S1 centrally. Lumbar spinal ROM was full, however lumbar extension was more painful than flexion. Neurological assessment of dermatomes, myotomes and reflexes were normal and equal bilaterally. SLR and slump tests were bilaterally negative. SI joint dysfunction tests were negative bilaterally as well.
MRI scan reported lumbosacral degenerative discopathy with associated nerve root impingement, a spinal surgical opinion is therefore recommended.
This is a difficult problem, he is young to have a significantly degenerate L5/S1 disc. It is mainly bulging to the right. I think a better conservative option for him would be repeated epidurals until his pain is under control then maybe core stability exercises.'

I have booked my appointment with the neurosurgeon but that isn't until a couple of months. I am in constant pain even whilst taking co-codamol, my lower back and both legs are always aching. I've had to completely stop exercise (except swimming) because i wake up the day after it complete agony. I am a student but have had to stop going to lectures (i watch them online in my room) because i can't bare to sit on the chairs in the lecture theatres. This is something that has taken over my life in my late teen years. What i want to know is what is the most likely outcome? Will it be surgery? I've read about non-surgical treatments but have heard they only MAY start to work after 6 months, that is a long time taking into account the amount of discomfort i am in, and even then it may not work.



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    None of us can tell you your outcome or if surgery will be needed.
    Your doctor and you said you have appointment with neurosurgeon.....and they are best to advise you.

    You also mention you've read on non surgery treatments...but "could take up to 6 months".
    Being young, 6 months is a long time.....same time, being young, you want to make best decision for the rest of your long life.

    Easier to say than do...but try to be patient until your appointment. Two months long time for anxiety.
    Also, keep monitoring your symptoms and call doctor if worse.

    Keep us posted....good luck

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
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