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26 and my disc has a hole in it

2spr0ut0222spr0ut02 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have been having back pain for three years now. In 2008 I had a large herniated disc at L5-S1 that was really compressing the spinal nerves. There were and are two more herniated discs one above and below but they are mild. Everyone was surprised i hadnt lost bladder control. i had a microdiscetomy october of that year. Since then the pain has never really gone away. And in the past few months it has gotten worse. So i just had another set of xrays and mris done this time including my cervical region because its been feeling like a nerve was pinched there. My neck appears to be fine as far as bulging discs go but i dont have a natural curve. instead it is straight and there is some degeneration there. My lumbar area still shows the two mild bulges after a year and a half. The disc between them now has a hole in it all the way thru. My dr said normally its just at the top or bottom not all the way. he said it should heal itself in 3-6mths. I'm conflicted because the other bulges have not healed on their own and this hole only took 15mths. he says it shouldn't completely deteriorate until i'm 50. well i'm 26 it shouldn't be doing this period. he also says there's nothing i can do for it besides taking alieve and doing physical therapy. i want to have a career as a nurse and eventually have babies. please tell me theres something more i can do.


  • Hi there, sorry you are having such troubles at a young age. Darn, I thought I was too young at 40 to have torn the disc and lost a piece at L5-S1.

    I'm glad the microdiskectomy has provided relief. It sounds as if your doctor is trying to protect you from additional surgery unless you really need it. As you probabably know surgery is a tough road on the back and the longer you can 'safely' hold off the better. Technology will eventually improve and you'll have more options.

    It sounds like your doctor isn't saying there isn't more to do but that he wants to take a conservative route to see if you feel better after a few months.

    You can always get a 2nd opinion. People can live years with DDD (I did since about your age and never had an issue until just recently).

    I know others will comment. But I would proceed with the treatment but go get a 2nd and 3rd opinion just to get another sense of options if the 'waiting game' doesn't work.

    It will get better and you will be able to have babies and be a mom. You need to let your doctor know what your goals in life too as that plays into the recommendations.

    Gentle hugs.
  • I am in my early twenties and have also dealt with disc issues.

    I had a partial tear at the L2/L3 disc (nothing was leaking), and after 12 months it still hadn't healed so I had an IDET procedure. It's a minimally invasive disc repair procedure where they put a catheter into the disc and melt it, causing the wall to seal off any tears/leaks and causing the disc to contract a little. I had *great* results with the procedure, and the recovery is very easy compared to other procedures. To determine if you're a candidate for it you'll have to have a discogram because a lot of what determines whether it will work or not depends on what the damage to the disc looks like. If the bulges are too big the procedure is not recommended, so you may or may not be a candidate depending on what your discs look like. The procedure is usually done by a pain management specialist, so if you haven't consulted with a pain management doctor that may be a place to start. A good PM doc might also be able to recommend another minimally invasive procedure that could be helpful.

    Another thing you may consider is the accurascope procedure. They do it in Texas and Ohio. With that they thread an endoscope up into the spinal canal and can use a laser to repair any herniations. I have not had this, but did look into it as a possible option. From what I know the recovery time from this is extremely minimal, and they seem to be getting good results with it. You might google "accurascope" and gather more info on it.

    Hope that helps. Hang in there!
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  • I would want a Discogram test done on me to see if that disc is leaking---that is what happened to me. I ruptured, torn open, 2 of my discs, and man, did my back HURT!! I had a discogram done, and yep, the test came out positive. The pain was caused by the get leaking out.

    Hope you feel better soon!
  • thanks for the responses. i will definitely look into the discogram. i dont have insurance so getting these tests done hurts my wallet.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I just wanted to say that before you go get a discogram, be sure to check with your doctor. No member here is a medical professional and although we can make suggestions, it is really up to your own doctor to make the call what procedure is best for you and your situation.

    Each one of us is different and we need to trust our doctors to give us the best advice with regards to treatment.

    Take care and keep us posted.
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  • Oh yes, I agree completely with what Cath said--- I am by no means certainly NOT a Dr., that's for sure.
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