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Degenerative Disc Disease

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Lower Back Pain
I was diagnosed with DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) today and had a few questions about my future with this new friend. I am only 22 years old and I have been playing hockey for 16 years. i just finished my 4th year of college hockey and began working with the Philadelphia Flyers Inner city hockey program. I am the head of a program at a rink which requires me to be on the ice an average of 30 hrs. a week. My question is: if my pain subsides after my initial use of the Anti-inflammatory and therapy and surgery are not needed, what are my chances, if any, of being able to get back on the ice and skate and shoot etc.. as i normally would have. I know that my competitive days are gone now but i would love to know what my chances are of being able to get back on the ice and not have to worry about excessive pain and immobility. Hockey is the love of my life, so this is the saddest day of my life...........


Thank's for you're input.

Andrew W
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Comments

  • I'm sorry you are diagnosed with DDD so early. You'll find that there are people here your age or younger with it. I have it severe in L4-S1 along with a host of other problems, and it's one of the other reasons I had a fusion. What level do you have it in, and do you have other problems going on? With DDD, some have been found to have had it for years and they have no pain. But for some of us, the degeneration comes on fast and earlier in life and causes severe pain and disability. DDD is also called the grey hairs of the spine. I can't say how it will turn out for you, but there are consevative treatments for it like medication, PT, spinal injections, or surgery. Surgery is for when it's severe and you have things going on like nerve compression or instability going on alongside it. For a complete topic overview you can click on conditions and Degenerative disc disease on top.
    Please be careful if you skate on ice, all it takes is one fall to make things worse for you. Are you seeing a specialist for this? Take care
  • I'm sorry you are diagnosed with DDD so early. You'll find that there are people here your age or younger with it. I have it severe in L4-S1 along with a host of other problems, and it's one of the other reasons I had a fusion. What level do you have it in, and do you have other problems going on? With DDD, some have been found to have had it for years and they have no pain. But for some of us, the degeneration comes on fast and earlier in life and causes severe pain and disability. DDD is also called the grey hairs of the spine. I can't say how it will turn out for you, but there are consevative treatments for it like medication, PT, spinal injections, or surgery. Surgery is for when it's severe and you have things going on like nerve compression or instability going on alongside it. For a complete topic overview you can click on conditions and Degenerative disc disease on top.
    Please be careful if you skate on ice, all it takes is one fall to make things worse for you. Are you seeing a specialist for this? Take care
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  • We can't really answer any of those questions if you'll be able to get back on the ice. You must try all the treatments from your Dr and get a 2nd opinion about any treatment you do like if you were to have surgery. I'm at my 2nd opinion pain management Dr. and I'm going for a 2nd opinion Orthopedic Surgeon in a few weeks. Perhaps find out if there are any sports heros have any any spine problems and have suceeded in their career. One day at a time ok? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Try not to be too down about the diagnosis. Maybe it is not severe and you will respond well to some conservative treatment. You and your doc are the only ones that can decide if you will be able to continue hockey. Please keep us posted.
  • AndrewWid,
    The acceptance of your own plight is the first step to creating that concept of living it the reality of your imposed restriction. As many this is not an option of your own choosing and makes dealing with that equally difficult and emotional.

    You are asking someone to project your future based on where you are now and with the best of intention this is not possible, pain mandates us living in that flux of ongoing change and if anyone tells you the know what will happen, run and keep running. My son is an elite swimmer and does 40-60000 meters a week, even as you a fit person keeping up that pace and 30hrs, does that seem realistic to you.

    The rate at which your DDD will proceed is almost impossible to predict and you are doing right in accepting what you can do with good grace and many here cannot perform the simplest activity over time and restriction, you are dealing with that loss.

    Who knows how long this will take, and what your capability will be in 6months, you have to accept what your cannot do and live with those memories of what you achieved as all sports people have to accept eventually. You and I know the sooner you start perhaps the sooner you finish and it is hard seeing others carry on as normal. I was a golfer and every loss and impingement is greeted with equal sadness. Your condition may stay static but by its definition it will progress over time.

    Medication will only mask the underlying symptoms and many have had this problem before you and especially in the hockey sphere, so it should not be too difficult to find someone with the expertise to give you a more informed opinion. The key is in getting the best diagnosis possible and moving forward from this know element, pain will be the biggest game you will play in and we all know you have the beginnings of developing the right tools and strategies to see you through.

    You have achieved great success and will continue to pass that knowledge and experience onto the new kid, who was you,

    Good luck. John
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