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Newbie looking for info for 10 year old son

JuniJJuni Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello out there,

I have searched the forum for posts about children, but I didn't see any. I am hoping someone can help me help my son. If this topic has been covered numerous times, I apologize.

My son started having low back pain at age 7. Over the last three years, it has been attributed to bad posture, a leg-length discrepancy, having a hypermobile spine, etc. He also has juvenile arthritis, but his rheumatologist says his back pain is not due to his arthritis.

Three months ago, my son started having "lightning like" pain shooting up and down his spine. He also swears his shins go numb sometimes. He recently had an mri. The report says he has a minimally bulging disc at L4-5 and mild canal and bilateral foraminal stenosis at L4-5.

My question is this: Could a minimally bulging disc and mild stenosis cause the excruciating amount of pain he is in?

He only gets up to play for about 20 minutes before he has to lay or sit back down. He cries in his sleep. This is a child who is very, very used to dealing with pain, but his back is killing him.

He has been referred to a neurosurgeon, but we are still waiting for the appointment.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • I just read your post and my heart goes out to you and your son. I have severe degenerative disc disease with bad disc in the cervical,thoracic and lumbar spine. I would believe that with any amount of spinal problems that yes your son could be in much pain. I have honestly never heard of a child this young with this kind of problem. I know how hard it is for you to watch your son go through this on a daily basis. My son when he was little had bad lung problems and stated in the hospital with pneumonia many many times. As a mother you just wish you could take the pain away and even take it upon yourself . I know as an adult it is very depressing and hard to get out of bed each day knowing your gonna face the same thing and the same pain. I hope and pray to God you find a great doctor that works well with children and whose hands are guided by our God above. I will pray for you and your son continuously . Please keep me updated of his condition and what you find out at the doctor. I would really like to know how he is doing.
  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around you will find their are some post dealing with children, but not as many. Have they said anything about your son having a curve in his spine? If so you want to look at scoliosis forum, which is also where you will find, I believe more post dealing with children. Please be sure that your son is seeing a pediatric neurosurgeon as it does make a difference. Even if it isn't, you can go to the appointment, but be sure to get him a appointment with one. Dealing with adult bones and children's bones are so different. Have they run other test on him looking for the pain and if so what were they. It is possible that the pain is coming from this area, as it sounds like his extreme pain comes when he wants to be up and about.

    Look in the FAQ section of the forums, at the top of the main page. There are two links one preparing to meet with a spinal surgeon and the other 38 questions to ask a spinal surgeon. Both would be good links for you to look at and have questions ready, for the surgeon when you see him. I would formulate two types of questions one as if he were going to have some type of surgery and one as if he was going to have no surgery. That way you are prepared either way for the meeting. It is very typical for surgeons to be very busy and not have much time to spend with a patient, but also for you, as mom, to get all your questions asked. If your in a major city you can take him to a children's hospital. Also don't forget shriners as they do some of the best work orthpedic wise with children. You might also find it helpful to watch some of the video's here on how the spine works and what a herniated disc is. It doesn't matter wether say bulging disc or herniated disc, it all explains the same thing. It is also possible for your son to have a tear in the disc and the material is leaking on the nerve.

    Another tool that you might find helpful is the dermatone map. You can see if the level he has the bulge at is the same pathways he is complaining of pain. Also for your appointment be sure to understand what makes it worse for him and what makes it better. It is important in finding the pain generator. When dealing with spine issues, it is so, important to find what is clearly generating the pain. There are injections that can be given to help, although I am not sure of the use in young children. Just remember because they have sent you for a consultation with a nuerosurgeon it doesn't mean he will need surgery. Surgery should be used as a last resort in the lines of treatment. Have they set him up for any physical therapy? I am sure he has already in his short life dealt with plenty of pain, getting the arthritis diagnoses, and most kids unless something really bothers them, don't stick on the same pain. Just remember you know your son, best, so don't worry about pushing for answers, although respectively. But don't just give in, unless it just goes away. Which sometimes issues dealing with the spine that does happen after some rest, which doesn't mean there wasn't something wrong. Typically in us older folks when it shoots down the legs it has to do with something setting on the nerve. If you watch the video on how the spine functions you will see what I am talking about.

    Anyway good luck, and keep us posted on how he gets along. We are here anytime for questions or just support. Once again welcome to spine-health.
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  • I just read you comments about your 10 year old son , My son is now 12 and has had DDD for 6 years and is now getting the shooting pains as well . Is your son on a anti inflammatory medications ?

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