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Confused by DDD

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Okay, so I am 25 and just found out yesterday (7-12-08) That I have DDD!! I've had back problems for years. When I was 13 I sprained my back diving off the diving board. At 19 I pinched my sciatic nerve which was hard to deal with but not near as hard as what's been going on for 4 months now.
I put an a.c in my bedroom window and knew that I had irritated my back but it took a few days to become the absolute worst pain I have ever felt in my life... So I went to the E.R. and they gave me some pain shots, took x-rays, and sent me home, told me to keep taking Motrin and i'd be over it in a few days. I've never screamed over anything until this happened and the middle of the night became my worst enemy... So I dealt with this pain a while before I went back to the e.r. where the rudest doctor ever was on duty and he tells me it's a muscle and sends me on my way..
Still hurting and miserable, now crying ALL the time with this, I started seeing a chiropractor which was a good doctor, but just wasn't getting the problem better. So I did decompression for about 3 weeks and not really a change, I talked to him to see if he would help me get medicaid. I was only working part time, and no insurance and my grandma and mom were helping me with my dr. visits. So he understood my situation and I was able with his recommendation to quit my part time job to qualify for medicaid.
Finally, a medical doctor who got me into physical therapy. That didn't help after 2-3 weeks so I went back to the dr. and she referred me for the m.r.i. The doctors office called me to tell me what was found in the m.r.i, which was a large herniation in the l4-l5 discs. Luckily I had some understanding of this from before when my sciatic nerve was pinched a few years back and what I had read about on the internet. Unfortunately I had to travel a couple of hours to see a specialist/surgeon because there wasn't one any closer who took medicaid!!
So, I get called back and the nurse pops in my m.r.i. scan c.d and says the doc will be in here in a moment. So the doctor comes in and looks at it and tells me I have DDD. My grandma asks, "well isn't that what older people get" He said "Yes, that isn't very commom to see this in someone her age, but she is just one who got it." I don't guess it really hit me, so I didn't question much because I was more concerned with getting the ruptured disc fixed. He said I had 3 options : 1 give it time and see if the disc will heal 2 cortizone shots or 3 surgery. Im going to take the surgery.
I am so confused on how my life is going to be with DDD. I don't understand the disease and the more I try to read about it and understand it, the more confused I get. The surgery isn't bothering me at all, I've looked forward to it for months because the pain in my buttock and leg cause by the fluid in the disc on my nerve can be downright unbearable. Please help me understand this condition and what is going to happen to me over time.


  • Hi Lacey, My name is Amanda

    I don't know a whole lot about DDD... I did however just read an article today about it on this site. What I do know, is that my Aunt has it, and lives a very normal life. She takes a lot of meds for her pain, but works 40-60 hrs per week, and then comes home to take care of her kids. Her condition may be less severe than others, I don't know.

    "Degenerative disc disease is a misnomer

    A large part of many patients’ confusion is that the term “degenerative disc disease” sounds like a progressive, very threatening condition. However, this condition is not strictly degenerative and is not really a disease"

    That is a quote from this article (which if you haven't already read, may be helpful):


    Good luck, and let me know how things go

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    Degenerative Disc Disease is probably one of the most mis-understood spinal conditions. The two words degenerative and disease always makes it seem so much worse.

    DDD is basically the aging of the spine. In many articles they liken DDD to the 'graying of your hair' Its going to happen, for some people it happens much earlier than others.

    Almost every human over the age of 30 will show some signs of DDD. DDD can also happen earlier or become more aggressive
    due to:

    1 - Genetic situations.
    2 - Trauma
    3 - Spinal Surgery

    Most of the time, DDD is very treatable. A complete set of approved exercises and over the counter medications (NSAIDS) will manage DDD. Its only on the rare occasions that surgery is required for DDD.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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