Degenerative Disc disease

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After finally getting results from MRI scan i was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease,(having suffered a slipped disc in March this year) ,still feel as though my walking is impaired. Anybody else had this diagnosed? What happens next i wonder?

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  • Posted

    Hi Camilla, well there's not a lot you can do apart from supporting your spine. This is usually caused by wear and tear or origifrom as n old injury.

    . Did they tell you exactly where the degenerative changes are located? You might be able to have surgery if it's a disc replacement or some bone spurs but thats best avoided if poss

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  • Posted

    Forty-five years of hockey...neurosurgeon told me my back was a "junkyard".  First laminectomy fixed a bone spur that was crushing my sciatic nerve.  Next, an L3-S1 TLIF fusion from DDD.  Then an L2/L3 LLIF fusion for foraminal stenosis followed by another laminectomy to clear out all the excessive bone growth from the LLIF.  Doc says that if I blow out L1/L2, he'll have to go in, remove everything and fuse me T10 through S1...  Hell...I'm 70...can't touch my toes anyway.

    Just a few notes:

    - This doesn't get better...that's why it's called "degenerative".  Yeah...some PT or acupuncture or chiropractic or pain shots may work temporarily, but just like rust, DDD never sleeps.  The reason?

    - The human spine was never meant to last this long...it has not evolved to keep pace with medical practices that keep us alive longer.  Remember...a couple of hundred years ago, old age was 45 and no one lived past 50!!!!!  There was no such thing as a "spine problem".  Want a fix for that?  You may have to wait for another million years of human evolution...or...hope someone invents completely replaceable spinal disks.

    - Until then, there are laminectomies, fusions and other procedures that can and will help get rid of the pain and allow you to live a fairly normal life.  If you have DDD, get ready....do your homework...because these are your future surgeries...guaranteed.

    - Know that an MRI is sometimes not a conclusive test.  Get to know the CT/Myelogram with contrast procedure which is the current "gold standard" test for the spine.  Painless, simple and very accurate.  If a doc has to go in, make sure he has the right roadmap.

    - After a big spine surgery...or even now...get a brace.  The Aspen brand is the absolute best on the planet.  Ask your doc for the specific model that will apply to the location of your problem.  Remember that bending over puts the most strain on the spine.  Learn to squat down to lift things up.  This alone will keep you out of more pain than you need to be in.  Also, stop lifting very heavy objects.  That will help too.  Make your spine last as long as possible.

    -  Find a GREAT neurosurgeon...one that has lots of experience in both the TLIF and LLIF procedures...when fusion time rolls around.  The LLIF (Lateral Lumbar, device insertion, picture 1) is a miracle op compared to the TLIF.  Not always applicable but if your problem is one or two-level lumbar, the doc MUST consider it as an option.  One night in the hospital, no rehab, no brace vs. 12 days in the hospital, 6 months brace, four months rehab for the TLIF (rails and screws, picture 2).  Keep it in mind.

    Sorry to lay it on the line but you might as well hear it now rather than later.  Stay as strong as you can, take care of the back you've got, seek the help when you need it.

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    • Posted

      Maybe its a GP's job not to alarm patients but he gave the impression its no big deal,i feel old before my time,only mid 50's,although spiritually im 27(arnt we all!) Feel as though physically ive gone down hill fairly rapidly. Any diet or supplements that help?

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    • Posted

      My daughter is a graduate nutritionist (BS, Nutrition, Rutgers University, 2000) and a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise.  Four years ago, she started me on a product called P l e x u s Slim.  I also added their BioCleanse and ProBio5 products.  I lost 57 pounds in 11 months with waaaaay more energy.  The weight is still off.  Don;t know how I would have gotten through all the back surgeries plus a new hip and new knee in the lousy shape I was in.

      If you've been diagnosed with DDD, you need to take your MRIs to a good neurosurgeon.  This is NOT an area for GPs...it's waaaaay above their pay grade.

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    • Posted

      Wonder if thats available here in England,or its equivalent? Feel as though i need more than just physio and naproxen,maybe im stupidly looking for a miracle cure.

      You must be very proud of you daughter by the way.

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    • Posted

      The LLIF was a miracle op.  Completely fixed in one op, one day.  Other than that, all of my other ops and replacements have involved a lot of rehab work.  Inevitable.

      Tips: Eat healthy, eliminate ALL artificial sweeteners, stop drinking soda, hydrate A LOT with plain water, eat lots of salads and lean protein, no junk food and refined sugars, snack on nuts (almonds are best), don't eat carbs before bedtime, McDonalds and ALL those places are off limits.

      The newest Slim Hunger Control product helps eliminate hunger...really good.  The original one was meant to help diabetics with blood sugar control...cut my insulin by 2/3rds. Google p l e x u s  international (no spaces between the letters).

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