Prolapsed disc what next?

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I've suffered for the last 8 years (since I was pregnant with my youngest) with degenerative disc disorder, but after being a real idiot and doing too much diy I have ended up having two separate days in one hospital and two 4 day long stays. I have had to MRIs now this year but the last on I had was 2014 which showed I had a bit 8mm bulge. I have a wide spinal column butbthe herniation had grown to 14mm now. The pain has been awful, I hate taking morphine pain killers as well as the other strong pain relief that a lot of the time. I am tired, I want to be able to move again and work. I find lying on my front most comfortable but I have started getting swollen hand and fingers if I stay that that way. (Hands up under mummy head) is this normal?also can anyone tell me please if you have had a similar experience. Did you need surgery? Did it work or make thing worse? What was the recovery time?

Has anyone tried alternative therapies and if so how effective? This has been worse the last 10 weeks or there about.

I need some real relief.

And I need i to know what my options are. I'm really distressed about things getting worse.

My pain has been sciatic with pain radiating down to my door on the right leg affecting my bum right down to my toes. I have tried citronella oil as a massage oil and it seems have helped a little, I've not had to take as many meds tonight. Has anyone had IDD therapy? Can anyone tell me what my chances are of getting over this.i feel desperate now and want it to get it sorted asap.

Thanks in andavance.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hate to say it but sounds like an operation might be yr only hope . The longer u leave something damaged the less irreversible it will be .
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    • Posted

      Do you know much about the procedure? Recovery time etc? I'm not sure if a lot of it is my anxiety just picking away at me and making me more tense, I tried citronella oil last night and first thing this morning and I haven't had to use the crutch today. Do you have any idea of having it done privately? Thanks

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    • Posted

      Iam due to have spinal fusion privately but the nhs are covering the cost. My cus had the same op last year but she paid she said it was the best thing she ever done. I had a decompression discectomy 2013 where they took 3 quarters of the bulged discs away L4/l5 . It helped elevated the immediate pain but became I have other health issues, degenerative disc and arthritis of the spin been a few . Iam back in the same boat awaiting more surgery. If the nhs hospital had fused me the first time there might have been a better out come . But as it was an emergency op they only did what they believed was needed
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    • Posted

      Hi Jessica, do you know what size your disc was when you had to have the surgery? I think I'd only be able to have it as scheduled op privately if I could find the money I think I'd feel a bit more relaxed as I suffer really bad anxiety. My disc was sitting at 8mm but as every year has went on I've had less bouts of really bad pain it's more been twinges here and there. Because I was so stupid the disc is protruding to 14mm now but neurosurgeon said that I have a wide spinal column and the disc is only sitting against my sciatic nerve and that all the nerves round about it were sparking away they should be. I'm just really stressed about that changing over the next few weeks, I have 2 daughters that I am on my own with but live a street away from my parents and they have helped us so much while I've been in and out the hospital and when I've been in pain.they go on holiday in just under two weeks and I'm worried I end up losing control of my bowel or bladder while they are gone. I've had two bad days Thursday and yesterday but I had my first physio on Wednesday. I haven't seen a chiropractor yet or done a good amount of physio, haven't had injections either. Today has actually been the best day I've had in weeks, the pain is just bad if I move the wrong way and I haven't needed my crutch at all. I used citronella massages into the back and the top of my bum last night after reading it is a good pain reliever. I don't know if today is a result of physio or the essential oil.

      If I end up having to have the surgery how long does it take to get to a good recovery level?

      Thanks for getting back to me. I'm such a worrier.

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    • Posted

      My discs had burst and collapsed. My 2 band op is been funded by the nhs at a private hospital. If u ask yr GP to refer u to a neurosurgeon at the spire hospital or bios. They nhs fund it , u have a right to be seen where u wish .
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  • Posted

    Hi Lynsey

    Jessica has summed this up pretty well. A few things to note.

    First, the amount of bulging is not the only factor that matters. Some big bulges have no symptoms. Some small ones have horrible symptoms. It depends on the pressure and where it presses on the nerves.

    Next, the disc can go through 4 stages of degeneration. Bulging, herniation, rupture, sequestration. In the last two stages, the wall of the disc has actually been breached. In sequestration, the goo is squeezed out in tho the spinal column. That causes the worst symptoms. I think Jessica and I both suffered that. It also is least likely to be fixed by a straight microdiscectomy due to the loss of a lot of important tissue.

    Next, the course of action is usually the same. 1. Try specialist physio for a few months. This can train the muscles to support the movement of the spine better and the disc bulge can slowly go back. No guarantees though.

    If that does not work then the first op is to remove the bulging part of the disc - Microdiscectomy. The disc does not regenerate but it does get scar tissue repairing the op site. If the disc has otherwise still got most of its water content then this can work for many. Recovery takes several months during which you MUST be careful. In your case, I would get your mum in to stay on a sofa bed for at least 6 weeks. You cannot do anything useful around the house. No lifting. No twisting. No bending. If you get this wrong then the disc can reherniate and the situation starts getting worse. Expect to be minimally useful after 6 weeks and more or less normal after 18 weeks.

    I got this wrong and my op that initially worked failed after 6 weeks and I have had nearly a year trying to avoid a second surgery, that failed as well and I have had second surgery now.

    Don't fear a microdiscectomy. They are no fun but they usually work to relieve pain. I only had mild post op pain for a couple of weeks. No nerve pain. Just get a surgeon you trust. If you can go private you will get better care. Harsh but true. Indeed some Nhs trusts push back on providing these as they cost money.

    If that fails then you can either go for dynamic stabilisation (I had this a couple of weeks ago) or full fusion. The latter is the last resort. It can cause issues down the road. Both have very long recovery periods where you have to be very careful i.e. 3-6 months.

    Hth

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    • Posted

      I wanted the dynamic but the first operation via the nhs , they took to much bone away when shaving the vertebrate s to get to the disc , so sadly I can't have that option. I am bricking it and keep talking my self out of the fusion, but iam really hoping I fall in to the 70% success rate .

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    • Posted

      Good luck Jessica, i hope this time round it works better for you. Thanks for the information Michael that is handy to know. Because I have severe anxiety I ended up having the doctor out this morning having the prescribe me something to calm me down. She said that she didn't understand why I was so upset as all the signs were looking good. Wide spinal colourblind and being able to reduce my meds etc. Because she seen me when I got first happened she not really nsersyansong my concern but the surgeon when I went for an emergency mri the surgeon said it hadn't changed at all in the two weeks since the first one and it was affecting one nerve so keep doing what I'm doing. I have asked for more physio though so I hope that settles my mind a bit

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