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DDD in my 30's

agonyaagony Posts: 2
edited 04/02/2013 - 11:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi all. My first post. My MRI is a mess. I have been diagnosed with loss of fluid in some on my L discs and have an herniated disc at L5/S1. The conclusion being a 2 level DDD which is irritating the right S1 or L5 roots.

I had an accident and landed on my butt/coccyx and felt as though my spine was shattered. This was 3 years ago. My mobility was off and on over the next few years getting better then getting worse and then better again with limited activity after the fall. Until one day last year my back did not get better and have been in real bad pain ever since.

After examinations (which my GP found it very hard to do because I was in so much pain) he sent me for an MRI. He had to wait to do the examinations because I was in so much pain and told me to come back in on a better day which there is no better day. The MRI came back with what I put above.

My symptoms are different to other peoples that I have read on here and is kind of worrying. Makes me think if I should be going back for another MRI? is that the right thing to do? would the results have changed that much in 1 year? The main symptoms that worry me the most is the pain on the spine and the inflammation (heat) and so then I have to use ice packs on my spine to cool it down and even numb it. I get extreme pressure, agony in walking short distances or sitting for long. I get very irritable. I am up and down like a yo-yo, however lying in bed takes all the pain away. I also get a sciatic pain in my legs which I am not too bothered about but it is the spine that I am worried about. Inside my leg it goes numb and then I collapse and the best thing about it is that I do not know my leg has gone numb until my I put my leg down and then I collapse and feeling tingling going on as well. I use my left leg first and it is that leg that seems to be the problem. I have caught myself when I have been out but with my walking stick but I can sometime control it so I do not fall, but not all of the time. Dangerous when on the stairs. When the DR asked what leg was going numb, my answer was I do not know as i did not feel it to start with and just takes my legs out. Since using my stick then I have been able to notice it more. That is my trusty 3rd leg.

My fight with my doctor took me over a year until they finally put me on Tramadol. All the other pain killers were reacting against me. I was on Gabapetin before Tamadol and that did owt, was on Amitriptyline too and that did owt being just a muscle relaxant (told GP that it not my muscles but my spine). He kept on telling to take NAPROXEN and just Paracetamol. Paracetamol is just so lame. Finally on Tramaol but I do not really get many side effects from there apart from tremors at night sometimes and nightmares that feel sooo real. The Tramadol takes some of the edge off it. All of this has seriously affected me in my own home right down to showering and dressing lower half of my body. I cannot exercise with it and my legs are weak. It is driving me nuts all of this. I am only in my 30's. Also there are some parts of my spine (well skin) that is totally numb and I can put a pin there and I do not feel it.

My question is... can there be anything that can be done with this> The operation holds a high risk of it not working or being paralysed so at the moment I am having to learn to live around the pain. If I go out, it is like short journey's only and it has to be in the car. I couldn't do a bus journey only in the car, or i couuld not go anywhere on foot.


No one really understand what I am going through and the pain that I am in.. :o(

Mrs.Agony.
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Comments

  • Reading your story was like reading my own 6 years ago. I fell on my butt as well which led to the diagnosis of DDD. (no need to add the long story of pain meds, xrays, MRIs etc). I ended up having a 2 level spinal fusion in 2007 at L3-L5. Now the level under that L5-S1 has degenerated and my fusion is set for April 11th. All this "fun" started in my 30s as well. You really need to see a neurosurgeon. A GP is just that...a "general" dr. A neuro is what you need for adequate pain relief, injections, future plans. The only solution for DDD is a fusion but you can do other therapies in the meantime.

    And yes.....MRIs can change in as little as 6 months. My MRI 7 months ago is different than the current one I just got. Everything went from "moderate" to "severe" on the report.

    Wish you the best of luck. I know your pain. Exactly.

    ~Michelle
    DDD 2 level ALIF L3-L5 in 2007. 4/11/13 posterior fusion w/decompression on L5-S1.
  • HopeInBracelets said:
    Reading your story was like reading my own 6 years ago. I fell on my butt as well which led to the diagnosis of DDD. (no need to add the long story of pain meds, xrays, MRIs etc). I ended up having a 2 level spinal fusion in 2007 at L3-L5. Now the level under that L5-S1 has degenerated and my fusion is set for April 11th. All this "fun" started in my 30s as well. You really need to see a neurosurgeon. A GP is just that...a "general" dr. A neuro is what you need for adequate pain relief, injections, future plans. The only solution for DDD is a fusion but you can do other therapies in the meantime.

    And yes.....MRIs can change in as little as 6 months. My MRI 7 months ago is different than the current one I just got. Everything went from "moderate" to "severe" on the report.

    Wish you the best of luck. I know your pain. Exactly.

    ~Michelle
    Hi Michelle. I did not know what a fusion was, I didn't like the sound of it so I went to You Tube and had a look at some videos.
    Personally I do not like the risks. They take bone from somewhere else and use that on your spine. Ouch sounds painful. I am scared of it not working and paralysing me. I think im going try all the other treatments first and only use that as a last resort I think.

    I wish you the best of luck for the 11th and let me know how it all goes for you.

    T.x
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  • I know exactly what you are going through, I am 30 and in the same boat as you. My last doctor gave me 3 options after I had a failed rhizotomy - learn to live with the pain, see a pain mgmt specialist, or spinal fusion (which he did not recomend & is not recommended in someone in our age group or w/ our symptoms). I have severe sciatica, stiffness, and etc. I have been using a TENS unit which has been helping but my skin has gotten so irritated from the adhesive electrodes that I have had to take a break from using it. Which means I am back to constant pain. When I sweat, the electrodes don't stick and they 'electrocute' me.

    Trust me, I am in the same frustration boat. This board is great despite the fact that I am still in pain. I have been on tramadol since June from after I fell. It does nothing anymore, and it gave me horrible side effects when I was on an increased dosage.

    I am sorry you are going through this :(
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