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35yr DDD can I argue for surgery instead injections Pls Help !!

Ash76AAsh76 Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hi, i was wondering if anybody could poss help me. i have just been diagnosed with DDD im 35.my history is Ive had back pain for approx 5 years & its progresivly got worse. gone from one big flare up a year, to two, to three, and so on.I was just treated with naproxen etc each time Untill it got to point i was unable to cope on a daily basis. The pain is unbearable on a daily basis & i have a flare up a couple of times a week where i feels like a nerve has gone into spasam. i feel sick with the pain & cant begin to describe it.Im takig naproxen, the strong 30g codine & amitriptyline. It really effect me so much im now becoming depressed with it as ive always bee so active now i hardley bend to the oven/washer etc.I cant even pick up my youngest child, or sit on sofa as a family. or wash the kids hair the list is endless, so i wont bore you. It is effecting me terrible i stuggle to anything and its affecting mine, my husband & childrens life so much. I have just been told i have DDD. But the lady said it hasnt showed as bad n the mri as she was expecting. She says mri showed minor ddd in very bottom discs but didnt say whic ones. & i wasnt allowed to see the pictures. she was shocked as when she examined me she thought i would show as very bad & need surgery. I am now waiting to see a consultant, who the nurse thinks will sugest the spinal injections. I dont realy want these as it just masks the problem, i want to be fixed for good. The 1st nurse i seen said bad backs can be brought on by having children & epidurals & ive had 4 epidurals already so just dont see how this will help. I feel different pain some from my spine & some from the nerve. I been told i have no movement in my lower spine, & i have reduced sensation/numbness in my leg. Im totally fed up. Can i fight to have the surgery ?? as lots of the info on here says they take into account your examination as well as your mri results. Cany anyone help ??
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13

Comments

  • Personal opinion here ... I would never fight to have surgery, as it can be the opening of Pandora's Box and the beginning of the end. I personally fight to avoid surgery!

    The epidurals given to aid in child birth versus the epidurals given to fight back pain are totally different. Please discuss this with your consultant.

    Welcome to Spine Health

    "C"
  • I understand your frustration. I'm 30, have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. I have been living with the pain for 7 years now and since getting insurance the beginning of the year, have helped myself to all the doctors I can get my hands on. My condition is inoperable, as they will not fuse 4 discs together, but I have to say, I'm kind of relieved!! The more I read on here, the more I see just how many of these surgeries end in Failed Back Syndrome. It's pretty frightening. I would go see your pain doctor, get your meds adjusted. Talk to them. Tell them EVERYTHING you told us. They will work with you. See what happens with the injections. I can tell you that when the doc first thought I only had 2 discs (x-ray, before MRI), he said that he wanted to try these other methods BEFORE jumping in to surgery. If they can make you better without cutting you open, wouldn't you rather have that? Give them a chance and if you don't find relief, the option is still there.

    Good Luck@
    JEn
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  • Sorry if I offened anyone who needs surgery but dont want it. I was just so low earlier when i wrote my original post. I know your both right, surgery is the last thing I want honestly. I just couldnt see how the injections could work & so became negative about them. Also Ive heard alot of bad press about the injections so suppose I was thinking more along the lines that I dont want waste anymore time with having the injections that might not work for surgery which would. I havent seen that many with faliure rates so thought that may be the best way to go & get me better quicker. Having said this i will fully discuss everything with my consultant & im sure they know best. The other thing I was thinking was from what ive read is that people who suffer with DDD gradually get worse & worse then the pain stops once the disc settles so injections can help untill that happens. But in my case it has gradually got worse but now its got to the point of being unbearable pain & affectig my life severly. Ive been like this for months on end now & my MRI showed my DDD as being realativy mild. althought the hospital did mix up my results as they say i have 2 hospital unit numbers, but everyone has 1 indivdual number ?? so not convinced they are even looking at my results !!! So i doesnt seem to be running the same as other cases ive read about. Im not a wimp & i do have a very high pain threashold. Ive been back to my GP in tears several times now asking for stronger or different pain relief but he instists there is nothing stronger i can have the next step up is morphine which he wont allow at home. I just feel so fed up & desperate to feel happy & healthy & pain free. Im more than happy for anyone to comment sometimes we do get low & need a bit of a kick up the but(not literally..haha). Any advice would be welcomed & thanks for the comments x
  • i agree with the others that surgery is a last resort.

    reading your post, however, took me back many years because it started for me the same way as you. yupper, i'd get one episode, then two, then three, et cetera. after about 6 years of this amidst one of my episodes everything just went to heck in a handbasket ... my disk extruded and i had to get it removed surgically. i was holding off on surgery until there was really no alternative (i.e., was bed ridden). your back really does change once you've had surgery. i'd say that if a surgeon thinks it's a good thing for you then ask lots of questions and seriously think about it, but i wouldn't ask a surgeon to do the surgery. i think a lot of doctors (and nurses) don't like it when other people tell them what to do. the same goes with drugs, this has nothing to do with your post but it peeves me off when patients say "i NEED stronger drugs " .... blah blah blah instead of telling the doc what the situation is with the meds and then asking him/her how you and he/sheshould address the issue. anyway, like i said, this has nothing to do specifically with your post.

    incidentally, i have had 4 major surgeries to date, my last one being a multi-level lumbar fusion with instrumentation L4-L5-S1. i think it's just interesting how you sound so much like i did way back when i was in graduate school.

  • I am a 41yr old woman who has had 5 children. I have DDD and Scolosis. I hurt on a daily basis. I can't sit too long, stand too long, walk long distances, and it even hurts to sleep in a bed for too long. I can't find a MD that is willing to do anything for my pain. They give me muscle relaxers, and sleep medicine but say if i loose weight and exercise i will feel better. I am not that over weight, maybe 20lbs, but how do you work out and exercise if you hurt constantly. I have tried the injections and yes they work for the moment, but dont last long.
    I know how you feel, i feel the same way. I don't want a MD to think I am a drug abuser but i honestly need to know what to do. I recently moved from NC to GA and I feel that might be the worst thing I could have done. Atleast in NC, the MD believed me. I mean x-rays and MRI's don't lie. I wake up in the mornings with numb legs, swollen feet and a pain in my mid to lower back that goes across my right buttock and down my legs.
    If you have any advice for me please let me know.
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  • I am a 41yr old woman who has had 5 children. I have DDD and Scolosis. I hurt on a daily basis. I can't sit too long, stand too long, walk long distances, and it even hurts to sleep in a bed for too long. I can't find a MD that is willing to do anything for my pain. They give me muscle relaxers, and sleep medicine but say if i loose weight and exercise i will feel better. I am not that over weight, maybe 20lbs, but how do you work out and exercise if you hurt constantly. I have tried the injections and yes they work for the moment, but dont last long.
    I know how you feel, i feel the same way. I don't want a MD to think I am a drug abuser but i honestly need to know what to do. I recently moved from NC to GA and I feel that might be the worst thing I could have done. Atleast in NC, the MD believed me. I mean x-rays and MRI's don't lie. I wake up in the mornings with numb legs, swollen feet and a pain in my mid to lower back that goes across my right buttock and down my legs.
    If you have any advice for me please let me know.
  • Sounds like we all feel the same feelings at the beginning, I have explained to my doctor fully the effect of this problem on my life particularly have 3 young children & a husband who works away quite a bit. I have alsO been for physical therapy with no avail . I just feel at my wits end & don't know what to do x
  • Hi! It seems I am in the same boat you are. I also have 5 kids (9,8,5, and 18 month old twins)that have a hard time understanding why Mommy is in so much pain. I can't carry the twins (one at a time only) for more than 10-15 feet without paying for it.

    I have experienced chronic pain in my neck and shoulder periodically since high school with the flare-ups becoming more frequent every year until last year in July or August the latest flare-up started that has only gotten worse.

    I have been to several doctors in the last months attempting to be treated for chronic cervical back pain that started in high school. I am 32 years old now with a prior history (before my cervical problems) of chronic lumbar pain/ cauda equina syndrome/leaking spinal fluid/microdiscectomy at the L4/L5 level.

    It took my neurologist 2 referrals to get an MRI approval from my insurance after 4 months of "conservative" treatment. Below are the results.

    Overall Impression: Multilevel (C2/C3-C7/T1) degenerative changes, most significant at C6/7 where an extrusion abuts spinal cord. Abutment of exiting nerve roots and severe stenosis of spinal canal and neural formaina. Large osteophyte complex. Spinal deformity.

    Despite seeing my PCP at least 5 times for this problem as well as a neurologist about 3 times plus a neurosurgeon and physical therapy, I am no closer to a treatment or even pain management. My insurance would not approve the recommended surgery, they conferred with my neurosurgeon who then recommended a trial period of injections. Then my insurance dropped my coverage.

    So now I have new insurance and I have another appointment in 2 weeks with a new doctor in Seattle, this time with a Orthopedic Surgeon that was recommended to me by my professor. I hope this doctor actually listens to me instead of my insurance company and will base my treatment on my symptoms and not what my insurance says has to be done. We will see.

    What I do know is that I can't handle any of this anymore, the pain, numbness, and shaking severely impacts my quality of life. I have constant numbness in my right arm and leg and intermittent numbness on the left side. Plus all the various aches, pains, the burning sensations. Limited ROM in my neck and right arm. Constant tremors. And I can even hear my blood running in my veins or my heart beating or ringing in my ear, depending on whichever nerve is being compressed at the moment. It enough to drive one batty.

    Its just hard to breathe sometimes. Literally and figuratively.

    Please let me know what happens, if the injections work. I have had injections in my lumbar region but they did not work. Anybody know if they will work in the cervical region if they did not work in the lumbar region?



  • hi, been to see the consultant although must admit seemed more like a junior !!! They have confirmed I have degenerative disc disease in two discs not just one ! they say i have denenerative disc disease in L4/L5 & L5/S1... but the nerve pain/loss of feeling & tingling & numbness & weakness I have in my leg they are saying is not connected to my disc disease. as mri doesnt show a pinched nerve via the diseased disc as expected. so now they cant treat my disc disease untill they know where the nerve pain is coming from & are referring to me to a nerve specialist cant remember what he called it. he said my symptoms dont tally with my mri & had to leave the room to ask someone else. So meanwhile im in agony & they cant/ wont do anything. & ive now got to wait god knows how long till i get that appointment through !!! And Im in totally agony after being examined yet again :(. They are now more concerned about where neve pain is coming from. They said they cant treat the disc pain untill they find where the nerve is trapped,as it could make things worse. Im so fed up. just dont know what to do xx


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  • hi, been to see the consultant although must admit seemed more like a junior !!! They have confirmed I have degenerative disc disease in two discs not just one ! they say i have denenerative disc disease in L4/L5 & L5/S1... but the nerve pain/loss of feeling & tingling & numbness & weakness I have in my leg they are saying is not connected to my disc disease. as mri doesnt show a pinched nerve via the diseased disc as expected. so now they cant treat my disc disease untill they know where the nerve pain is coming from & are referring to me to a nerve specialist cant remember what he called it. he said my symptoms dont tally with my mri & had to leave the room to ask someone else. So meanwhile im in agony & they cant/ wont do anything. & ive now got to wait god knows how long till i get that appointment through !!! And Im in totally agony after being examined yet again :(. They are now more concerned about where neve pain is coming from. They said they cant treat the disc pain untill they find where the nerve is trapped,as it could make things worse. Im so fed up. just dont know what to do xx


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