I found out today that I have degenerative disc disease. I am only 26 and am highly concerned about the effects this will have on my life, my body, and future pregnancies. I also was diagnosed with dextroscoliosis and facet arthropathy. Considering my age and the fact that these new problems have developed since my first mri in 2009 that only showed the facet arthropathy I am worried about how fast it is progressing. What do I do now because I am really scared of not being able to walk one day.
I too was diagnosed w deg disc disease. Also, spinal stenosis and facet arthropathy. I was diagnosed at 26, like you. I tried pt, pain mng, steriod injections...it just kept getting worse. I went to the best neurosurgeon in the area (FL), and he said it was the worse case of degeneration and hernitated discs he ever saw. At that time, I was an extremely active girl who worked out 6 days a week and lifted heavy weights cuz I wanted to compete in body building. From that moment when he went over the MRI w me, everything changed. I totally understand your fears about the future. No more gym, stronger pain meds (actually got up to the fentynal patch). So I decided to let him operate on me. I had him do a laminectomy. He basically trimmed the herniated discs that was pushing into my spinal cord. He also said my siatica nerve was completely black. I almost lost my leg. Made it a couple years and started having bladder problems. He did an emergency fusion on my L4,S1,S2. It was very scary. The recovery takes months. I am not sure if you are thinking about sugery. The only thing about getting a fusion so young he said is that the discs above it and below it will eventually do the same thing. I recovered from that surgery but had to stay on paid meds due to my sciatica. I had a few good years. I just knew what my body could do and couldn't do. Unfortunately, I started having problems in my neck. Same diagnosis but I also had 3 bones spurs in my neck. I ended up having another fusion on my neck. C3,C4. It sounds like my life sux but it really doesn't. I will be turning 39 this month. No more siatica pain. They said the same thing to me about being a wheelchair. Please try not to be scared. There are days were I have to lay flat all day and take pain meds, and there are days I can use the elliptical at the gym. I ride motorcycles and go dancing....I hurt the next day but its worth it.....lol. As far as the childbearing, I'm not sure. I can''t have children but my doc said I can only lift a gallon of milk from now on or I will make my disease worse. Everyone is different. I wish you the best of luck. If you have any questions let me know.
I have not considered surgery because I have a young child and wish to have two more. I will be seeing a neurologist for the first time next month and am looking for a pain management doctor. I was just wondering what if anything can be done to slow the disease. I want more children but if I cant walk to care for them it defeats the purpose of being a parent
have you thought of a hollistic approach? accupuncture, water therapy,or massage? There has got to be some way of slowing down the degeneration. Good luck at the neuroligist, and with the pain management doc. I wish you the best.
I too have DDD, along with disc protrusions, fibro and other issues (including facet arthropathy too). Kinda seems like everytime I go in to pain management they add a few new dxs onto my list. I am 35. I have had this for 5+ yrs so far, or atleast that's about how long it has been diagnosed for. I have 2 children (boys aged 9 & 11) and continue to work. I hurt 100% of the time, but to be honest I feel better when I am active and on the go. It is when I stop and rest that I actually feel the pain/discomfot that I am in, needless to say my days off are a less than relaxing!!! lol. My issues continue to progress, each year the xrays/mri due become worse, it is hard to keep a postive outlook, but from what I am told it is all about staying active. There are treatments out there to help. Don't be scared of the diagnosis. There are ways to help. Just wanted to say hello, and let you know there are others out here that are here to here to listen and help. I am sure others will answer with more knowledge, just wanted to say Hi. Keep us posted on how things are going!!!
I have DDD/DJD of the spine for years. It developed slowly but eventually showed it's ugly head. I did have to go on disability after a few surgeries that helped over time but still needed treatment from a pain management team which helped.
The videos I use today after treatments and advise from my doctor is Pilates for beginners by Morie Windsor (I am not sure about the spelling of her name). This program is a light stretching and core building which helps posture. I have used this video for years and find it beneficial.
Don't let this disease scare you, there are treatments out there and an Ortho doctor should be on your team of doctors to consult. I know that I had a very good orthopedic surgeon who did my surgeries with no side effects and it helped. My condition may be different than yours, so don't let the surgeries scare you. Keep active as much as you can and WATCH the medications, they can slow you down, mentally. Educate yourself about your condition on the web so you don't get the wrong advise from doctors. The more you know, the more you can find a doctor to trust.
I also get acupuncture for my upper back. it helps better than the medications. The acupuncture wakes up the synaptic nerves or something like that. Ask you doctor what the acupuncture does to the nerves. It is fascinating to learn about the nerves. They are a very complex issue but understanding what they do as related to pain is fascinating to learn. After the acupuncture, I get a very nice massage that I love and wish it would not stop. The massage is great and I want to get one for home use.
Hi. Sorry you are having to deal with this. Hopefully something I say helps :)
I'm post c4-c6 fusion with a neurologist. My ortho doc is awesome but I didn't want to go to the hospital he operates out of. Anyway, it was the best decision I've ever made. Yes, I know not many say that. I was 8 yrs into DDD in my entire spine, worse in cervical, and a spinal tumor. It got so bad I was in bed for days every 2 weeks or so. I healed well and have regained full range of motion. I'm now 2 years out and I do have minor side effects. My arms fall asleep when I go to bed and I can put my neck in a way that causes me to pass out. Sounds scary huh? it sounds way worse than it is. I don't bend my neck that way, it is awkward anyway, and I got better pillows and the arms are better.
I just got released to prn status with my pain doc and am off of ALL meds!!!
I'm planning in getting pregnant this year. Bear in mind I still have the rumor and the rest of my spine is bad BUT I've been told I'm good to go. My one major restriction is watching how much I gain. Sadly I'm not allowed an all craving pregnancy :) also, if my low back goes out I cannot take pain meds because of the baby.
I live a totally normal life within some limits. I know what I can and can't do.
All of this was way too long to say: it is scary but working with a good doc, knowing what your body can handle and a good sense of humor will go a long way. You are welcome to contact me if I can help with anything. There were so few resources when I was first dx'd. I'm happy to help in any way
I am sitting at my computer right now.. in pain... trying to keep my neck supported in an office chair. I have been in a dizzy stupor most of the day from Lyrica. I have degenerative discs in from C2 - C7, with bulging at C5 and C6, as well as stenosis. I let them do endoscopic surgery on me in November 2012 at the Laser Spine Institute. As far as I can tell, the surgery didn't work. It probably made my nerves and muscles WORSE. The back of my neck is stiff like a sliding board. I am in pain all the time, except for when I am lying down. I have a good job and I hate to be off so much, but this is a nightmare. I feel like somebody is pressing down on my shoulders and neck. I do my best to ignore the pain. It is difficult to do regular household chores. I am not married and I am also trying to DATE through all of this. My new BF is very kind and is not running away from me and my condition... so far. I'm just trying to live a good life. But right now, I am out of motivation. I just want to go home and go to bed.
I have everything wrong in my neck, and have tried acupuncture and message, everyone thinks I am exaggerating my pain, except my w/c ortho doctor, who the insurance carrier disagrees with, I have not tried the water therapy, one of the neuro docs said surgery, one said wait, and do epidural, and what I have read about those they don't work and are risky and or should be outlawed.but who knows everyone has an opinion, and they all differ
The conflicting opinions and experiences make your head spin!! It's hard enough to know what to do as a patient, but when the doctors don't even agree with each other... we are really in trouble. I'm sorry you are also suffering, Hamrs. Everything is wrong with my neck too. I'm supposed to have another neck injection on Thursday. They didn't work a year ago, but I'm going to try it again.
Get a written report of your treatments and opinions and take it to a professional in the field who specializes in your area of pain. Get another opinion and have the specialist read what you have been going through. Research the specialist in this field, check their credentials and explain the 'difference of opinion' to the specialist. Hopefully he/she can read through all the bunk and get down to the right treatment.
I went to a doctor who never asked where it hurt. He just kept giving me shots every time I went to his office. Naturally I had to pay for these shots but when I realized they didn't help, I stopped seeing him and moved on to a orthopedic surgeon and pain management team.
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