Hello, this is my first post. My name is Becky_C. In the last 5 years I have had 5 ruptured discs removed from my spine. C4-C5-C6-C7 ( 3 discs from my Cervical Spine ) and L4-L5-S1 ( 2 discs from my Lumbar Region ) I also had many bone spurs removed from my Cervical Vertebrae. My T8-T9 ruptured two years ago and I've been living with on and off pain from that. My T10 Vertebrae has a Hemangioma Tumor in it also. Last week I believe my C7-T1 Disc Ruptured. My neck muscles burn like fire if I hold my head up for more than 20-30 minutes. Also a few days ago my T8-T9 ruptured disc started giving me a world of pain. It hurts to breathe. I don't know if something shifted with the new rupture, or if the vertebrae finally collapsed. That happened with my L4-L5 disc after I waited to long to have surgery. I have an Appt with my Ortho Doc here at OU Med Center on Mon. the 4th and I'm hoping the MRI will show that he can fix all this with surgery. His surgeries allowed me to regain some quality of life. My question really is this; They say 90% of ruptures occur in the Lumbar Spine and that 9% occur in the Cervical Spine and only 1% occur in the Thorasic spine. What is the percent where all three regions rupture? Could there be a Medical Dx that is causing all my discs to rupture? Like maybe an Auto-Immune Disorder where my body could be attacking my own discs as foreign? I have had a few Auto-Immune related Dx's in the past. I can't find any literature on a disorder that destroys discs though. My last MRI 2 years ago showed "Disc Dehydration from T1 through T7" That's how all my ruptures started. I read that Disc Dehydration occurs when small tears in the disc nucleus allow water to escape leading to disc deterioration. I am Desperate to stop this process if possible but no-one seems to know why this is happening. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank You, Becky_C
Disc dissecting (sp) is common as we age, most of us will experience disc wear and tear as they dry out. A lot won't even know its happening to them. Have you ever tried decompression therapy? What conservative methods like chiro treatment, physical therapy, etc have you tried? Sorry your in so much pain, I hope your able to get your issues resolve!!
I have heard that risk factors include the usual risk factors for health problems. Obesity, smoking (I think this is a big one, but not sure why), exercise, general health and fitness. Obesity and fitness are very important because the disks have to withstand quite a bit of extra stress if you are overweight (even losing 30 lbs has made a big difference for me) and your "core" muscles support your spine and prevent it from collapsing on the disks.
I haven't done the research on smoking because I've never smoked. The weight has been a personal battle for me, so I know that one quite well ;) Interestingly, however, athletes are also at risk- there's a happy medium of fitness without overuse there.
Doing a pubmed search on "risk factors for degenerative disk disease" (this isn't a disease, just the name for the aging process) it looks like they are investigating genetic factors, so if you don't have risk factors, you may have just lost your game of genetic craps :(
Hi this is Becky_C again. Thanks for your replies. As for age and weight playing a factor, I'm 44 now, but my discs started rupturing when I was 35. I have weighed between 135-145lbs throughout my life. I'm at 140 lbs now. I walk a mile just about every day with my dog Jasper. She does not pull or cause me any stress when walking. For the most part I've always had sit down at a desk type jobs ( I did Accounting for 15 years ) so wear and tear should be pretty minimal. My Maternal Uncle lost Every Single Disc In His Spine by age 50 and my sister who is 5 years younger than me has had 5 discs in her Cervical and Lumbar spine rupture to date. I think the game of Genetics is at play here. I do fear that I too may lose all my discs. So far I've lost 7 and aside from my Uncle, I don't know anyone else who has lost so many discs by age 44. I will check out "risk factors" though, I have yet to enter those key words. Oh on a final note, I did use Chiropractors in my Thirties and Physical Therapy on and off for different discs, but neither of those treatments gave me any relief. The image I have posted is of my T8-T9 protruding and it was taken two years ago when the pain was minimal. I do believe the disc has since herniated over the past week and I'm hoping a new MRI scan will show that which would explain the terrible pain that I'm in now. Anyways, Thanks again. Becky_C
I too have had 6 discs herniate over a 90 day period with no real reason why other than degenerative disc disease. I am anxious to get answers since this has caused so much pain in my arms, legs, feet shoulders and even wrists. There has to be a reason for this. Would a doctor care to respond to this forum with any ideas? This is a horrible way to live and i am a very active woman at 49. Thank you
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