So I'm 28 years old and my back/neck problems started about 2 years ago. I went through the chiropractor and acupuncture, and both helped to a limited extent. After getting hysterical I finally got the authorization from my primary care doctor to see a surgeon. I saw my mom's spinal surgeon, Dr. Light in San Francisco because he's one of the best. Unfortunately, my mom has degenerative disc disease, and I've seen her go through so much pain and many surgeries He did an MRI and found bulging discs at C5-C7 with bone spurs. I got the diagnosis last year and it was pretty upsetting because I knew what the future would be for me. He told me it wasn't bad enough for surgery, and I agreed. I had a cortisone shot last year and the relief was incredible. I had nerve pain that radiated from my neck down my right arm, and it hurt so bad. It kept me up at night. The cortisone shot took care of the radiating nerve pain. Yes, degenerative disc disease is not really a disease per se, but my discs are degenerating faster than normal. Dr. Light said it was not normal for a 26 year old to have bulging discs.
So here I am about a year and a half after that first cortisone shot. I was doing great until several weeks ago and then my neck pain flared up. I was about to have hip surgery too, so I knew there was nothing I could do about it I'm on crutches for 8 weeks total. I had femoral impingement of the hip with a labrum tear, and that's what my hip surgeon took care of. My lower back started hurting for the first time when my neck pain flared up. The only thing I can think of is that I stopped taking Naproxen because I had an ulcer.
I'm trying to hold off on surgery until I have kids because I know that fusion of the neck can accelerate the degeneration of the lower spine My next step is to get another cortisone shot in my neck. I'm following my neck closely because I don't want the nerve damage to become horrible before I have surgery. At this point I'm a bit depressed I see that some people with a similar issue are having surgery. I suppose next time I meet with a back surgeon I'll discuss that with them.
How many of you with bulging discs C5-C7 had or are having surgery? I'm trying to avoid that route for a few more years, but the neck pain is driving me crazy. First it was the hip pain, and now it's the neck >_<