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Thread: Are questions about DDD appropriate?

  1. #1

    Post Are questions about DDD appropriate?

    This is clearly the best forum I have come across in my efforts to gain more information about spinal cord problems - truly impressive. However, I want to make sure that it is appropriate for me to post questions, as I did not have an acute injury. I have degenerative disc disease - most recent MRI showing small to moderate size disc protrusions C3-C7, congenitally narrow cervical spinal canal, with moderate-severe stenosis at c4-7 and moderate stenosis at c3-4. There are also bilateral foraminal spurs, with severe right sided foraminal narrowing at c4-c7. My symptoms have been manageable, but the neurosurgeon has warned me about the dangers of not having surgery (i.e. no room in the spinal canal if I were to have trauma; potential for permanent nerve damage even with mild symptoms.) In fact, my visit to a neurosurgeon was prompted when my car was rear-ended and my symptoms immediately manifested (they aren't always present, given my management techniques.)
    Sorry to go on - but I'd like to know if this is an appropriate forum, or if not, can you suggest how I might go about finding another one (I believe I read that it's against the rules to mention others.) I just really need to connect with people to ask questions.
    Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by lmm55
    This is clearly the best forum I have come across in my efforts to gain more information about spinal cord problems - truly impressive. However, I want to make sure that it is appropriate for me to post questions, as I did not have an acute injury. I have degenerative disc disease - most recent MRI showing small to moderate size disc protrusions C3-C7, congenitally narrow cervical spinal canal, with moderate-severe stenosis at c4-7 and moderate stenosis at c3-4. There are also bilateral foraminal spurs, with severe right sided foraminal narrowing at c4-c7. My symptoms have been manageable, but the neurosurgeon has warned me about the dangers of not having surgery (i.e. no room in the spinal canal if I were to have trauma; potential for permanent nerve damage even with mild symptoms.) In fact, my visit to a neurosurgeon was prompted when my car was rear-ended and my symptoms immediately manifested (they aren't always present, given my management techniques.)
    Sorry to go on - but I'd like to know if this is an appropriate forum, or if not, can you suggest how I might go about finding another one (I believe I read that it's against the rules to mention others.) I just really need to connect with people to ask questions.
    Thank you so much.
    There are no "rules" against discussing anything in the care and cure forums. Either of these would be appropriate for your questions. The Care Forum would be to ask for existing therapies and approaches. The Cure Forum would be for questions relating to eliminating the condition. There ia third forum where you can post, the "Tranverse Myelitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Non-traumatic SCI" forum which would encompass degenerative disc disease. There are many people here who have degnerative disc disease.

    Wise.

  3. #3
    Imm55, you are not alone here in having DDD. My SCI was directly linked to my DDD--a bone spur broke off when I bent over my washing machine to pull out wet laundry and cut into my spinal cord at T8-9. I have degeneration from my cervical spine to my lumbar area and my neurosurgeon said that I could easily have another SCI due to the DDD. I think this injury could have been avoided if my doc's would have taken my pain seriously to begin with. Ageism prevents this problem from getting more attention. DDD is seen as an "old person's disease" (I'm 37 and over the hill...lol) so it doesn't get the attention it deserves. Please, feel free to post on this issue. People need to be educated on the dangers of this condition.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Danine
    Imm55, you are not alone here in having DDD. My SCI was directly linked to my DDD--a bone spur broke off when I bent over my washing machine to pull out wet laundry and cut into my spinal cord at T8-9. I have degeneration from my cervical spine to my lumbar area and my neurosurgeon said that I could easily have another SCI due to the DDD. I think this injury could have been avoided if my doc's would have taken my pain seriously to begin with. Ageism prevents this problem from getting more attention. DDD is seen as an "old person's disease" (I'm 37 and over the hill...lol) so it doesn't get the attention it deserves. Please, feel free to post on this issue. People need to be educated on the dangers of this condition.
    Danine, thanks for responding. I am moving this thread to the non-traumatic spinal cord injury forum, with a redirect link in this forum so that people can follow it.

    Wise.

  5. #5
    Thanks Wise, I always get excited when someone else posts with DDD issues because I feel like a freak sometimes...I know of only a couple of other people who have had injuries this way, and know of no one as young as I. I hope moving this to the non-traumatic injury area won't deter others who have had SCI due to this disease from posting in the other areas as well.

  6. #6
    Junior Member JEM's Avatar
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    I've had DDD for 10 years now. I guess it was a 40th birthday gift. I was able to manage it with Motrin. For the occasional flare-up, I would get trigger point injections, and I'd be good to go for years. Two years ago, I got a flare-up, only this one wouldn't stop, despite two rounds of trigger point injections. It just got worse and worse, along with all over body pain.

    Five MRIs later, (3 cervical, lumbar, thoracic), doctor after doctor, a cervical ESI (no fun). I live just outside of Boston, so I was seen at good hospitals. Mass General, New England Baptist, to name a few. My neck is a mess with the DDD, spinal stenosis, arthritis, spurs, cord flattening, on and on; yet, I'm not a candidate for surgery.

    Last fall, I was bedridden most of the day. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was told many times, that people with Fibro have a heightened sense of pain, among other things. We process pain differently. As a result, my neck spasms are out of this world debilitating. Sometimes, I'm in a full body flare, as if I've been lit on fire. If someone without Fibro had my neck, they perhaps wouldn't suffer with the neck pain, as I do.

    The Neurontin seems to help a bit with the Fibro. I'm battling my insurance company for Lyrica. Opiates for the neck/upper back pain. I'm trying to decide whether to go on the Fentanyl patch. Wearing so much medication scares me. Nortriptyline for the depression that accompanies chronic pain. One doctor asked me why I was depressed. I told him there would be something wrong with me if I wasn't depressed. All I have to look forward to is another day of pain. I never have a good pain day. It's just a question of how bad of a day it will be. Fortunately, I have a wonderful husband. That's my story, and unfortunately, I have to stick with it.

    I read the stories on this site, and many are so heartbreaking. I feel guilty for complaining. I feel for everyone and pray for a cure for SCI. This is a wonderful site, Wise. You've created something very special here.

  7. #7
    JEM, I'm very sorry to hear about your pain. I never have a pain free day either. Sometimes it grates on my nerves so bad, I feel like I'm about to explode and sometimes I do (temper, temper). Anyway, my pain is mostly neuro right now from the SCI, but I've found that Ultram helps with the arthritic pain.

  8. #8
    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, and I'm sorry for the degree of pain you are in , Danine and Jem. It truly sounds terrible. Jem, can I ask why you are not a candidate for surgery?
    From reading these boards, I know that the degree of pain I'm in isn't nearly as bad as others. However, the neurosurgeon's warnings about possible permanent damage and the "what if's" - what if I am in an accident, what if I slip and fall . . ended with his stating that surgery was the answer. He also acknowledged, though, that surgery (fusion) would only lead to more problems. I'd love to talk to some people who have had multiple fusion (C3-C7) and I've posted a thread for that. Thanks again for your answers.

  9. #9
    Junior Member JEM's Avatar
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    IHi mm55, I'm not quite sure why surgery is not an option. I had three opinions, and was told that surgery wouldn't help, could make things worse, could create a domino effect. I have two bulging discs in my cervical spine as well. I've seen my MRI films, and I can see that it's a disaster. It looks as if someone chipped away in there with a hammer. Even my PCP was surprised when I was first told that I didn't need surgery. I wish a doctor would take other tests. The MRI can't tell the entire story. It's frustrating. Most of it is that Fibro is enhancing the pain. That's what all the geniuses tell me anyway, lol.

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