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PAINFUL DDD, 35 years old, Dr. says no to fusion.



  • I never thought it wouldn't go away. You a flare up here and there and then it worsened and worsened.

    I had the epidural inj, PT(excruciating),discogram all of it. I had a MRI of course too.

    well I was told by my 1st doc I needed a fusion, he was an ortho w/a fellow in spine, the 2nd doc said no way because of the worst that can happen,I was too young, he was a neurosurgeon and the 3rd said yes, he was a spine specialist.

    my disc blew and disappeared in short order(not normal) and just about couldn't hardly walk at which point it was time to do something. as my signature says it was bone on bone by then. I wasn't a candidate for anything else like a laminectomy/discectomy as it was too degenerated.

    I don't know if fusing sooner would have made a difference as I continue to deal with worse leg pain and no more mechanical back pain but a different kind that's hard to explain. but I can walk much better with the disc collapse fixed.

    my point & I say it alot is to be vigilant and advocate for yourself as you're the only 1 who knows how you feel

    take care

    ps Mitch that 3rd level "that will eventually need fusing anyway" may also stay as is for yrs even if you get a few yrs out of it it'll be worth it a 3 level has to be really bad as it's major major surgery. you have a good doc but also might try another opinion
  • Thank you for the input, I seem to be stabilizing a bit with the back. I am still in plenty of pain, but able to work part time and as long as I rest for a few hours I'm good to hang out taking it easy with my family for a few hours in the evening. This is a life I wouldnt wish on anyone, but it is much improved from even a few months ago.

    I am self employed and I am convinced that if I were to go down the major surgery route my company would go bankrupt. I have been religious about lightly stretching (I have to be super careful not to do more harm than good with this) and doing very minor core strengthening exercises. I am convinced that with doing this every day and losing a few pounds I still have a long way to go in improving my quality of life.

    The more input the better on this matter. Surgery is such a big step, and its nothing to be casual about. I do feel surgery can be beneficial once all the factors have been considered and a considerable amount of time has been put into conservative measures. Oh, and need I also say....make sure you have a good surgeon that is looking out for your best interest in the matter. I wish everyone well who may be dealing with similar matters, this has been the most trying issue in my life to date...................Mitch
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  • I'M 36 and after 4 cortisone shots in less then 2 months....my doctor sent me to an neurosurgeon after an MRI it took him 5 Mins to say Your a Fusion candidate. Please get a second option.
  • i am 35 i have multilevel DDD all the disk are bad in my back but 1 or 2 and there slowey going i have bulging at every level and heneated diskpicnhing off my nerve canael and spurs ect they say i will have to have pins and rods put in at some point i cant even get them to remove the herneated on closing off my canal.they say im to young for that and fushion dont give up i been to 4 doc if this next one dont help im going to ask to be referd to duke cause they say i cant work no more i cant sit stand or walk bend lift push or pull anything tey say i will speed it up and it will get worse fatser.i wear a tins unit to block the pain it helps a little but i still feel it .i did therepy they laughed and said it would not help.they say cause my age i cant hurt that bad mt thing is how the heck do they know my pain there not me dont give up keep diging you will find a doc at some time
  • get a 2nd opinion!!

    I had an ACDF done at 28 due to a herniated disc!

    Be your own advocate and fine another doctor!!
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  • Hello,

    I would definitely suggest that you get a second or third opinion.

    I am 20 years old and had spinal fusion surgery 2 weeks ago. I was diagnosed with a herniated disk and degenerate disk disease. If you have exhausted all non-surgical opinions and are still in severe pain, you should be a candidate for surgery, regardless of your age. Age discrimination is serious and you deserve to get the treatment to help you live your life.

    Let me know if you have any questions about the surgery and good luck.

  • I am only 41 and just had my fusion 1 week ago. You should research the artificial disc too. I couldn't do it because I have facet disease as well and my pain comes from my facets moving, so they needed to fuse everything to stop the movement and hopefully stop the pain. Sometimes you need many opinions. I got the same advice from both a orthopedic surgeon and neurosurgeon but they wanted to do 2 different surgical approaches, I chose Minimally Invasive. You can see my posts about surgery on the surgery board.
  • I was 34 when I had fusion on l4/5 it was something I knew was coming for 3 plus years. Originally my Dr. said we will do everything possible to see if there is releif. In reality he was just delaying it, and I knew. It may have been a bad thing though because in the time I probably allowed for L3 and L5/S1 to get worse by not initially having the fusion. It has been a year, but things are creeping back up again and fast, I just had Epidural, but I think once again it is just procedure and surgery is coming. Defintly see another Dr. Age wise yea me you others should not be in this situation. For whatever reason it did, and now like my Dr. says I have the Back of a 80 year old. Fantastic, good to know for years to come. Good Luck and I hope it works out
  • Have DDD and a pars defect.
    I am 27 and am going to the neuro surgen on monday and am afraid that I am going to hear that i need surgery also. I know that most people that have had surgery have to have more then one, and usually are never "right" again. Most people on the board that have had surgery, i noticed are still in pain or are in more pain. I would try to put it off for as long as possible thats what I am going to do if I can.
  • I am 36 with ddd and 2 herniated disc- 3 doctors have told me that I need a level 2 fusion. Get another opinion for sure- - Good luck

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