Deteriated Disk Disease is quite common as people get older. Although the name says Deteriated, it actually does not me there is going to be a progessive deteriation. What 3 vertabraes are affecte? There are a number of conservative therapies your mom will want to try. Physical Therapy, Aquatic therapy, Epidural injections, medication are some of the 1rst things that will probably be tried. There is a good chance with these therapies and possibly a change in her lifestyle, she will be just fine. Does she have Osteoporosis, by chance? That makes it more difficult.
If you have specific questions, please feel free to ask.
My mother had recently been having very severe back pain and went to the doctor for it. They did x-rays and an MRI and found that she has three deteriorating vertebrae..
What is the prognosis on something like this?
Can it be fixed?
Will she ever not be in pain again?
Please help me, I'm so worried about her, she is in a lot of pain.
I certainly had more than 3 discs with the DDD, and my highest recommendation is for a true spine specialist, so that if all conservative treatment should fail to provide her relief and surgery becomes the consideration, she can have the newest and best options available to her. Now that FDA has approved disc replacement (single) along with fusion, and since there is also the Dynesys flexible fusion available, the better she can retain the closest to normal spacing and flexibility, the better the chance for returning to normal. But as always, timing is also important, because if nerves are severely compressed presenting the pain, the longer they are not relieved, the less likely total recovery. With a general ortho or general neuro surgeon, time is less likely to be mentioned, and once other avenues are not an option, they will likely mention only fixed fusion with hardware. With three levels, yes, depending on which levels, and how skilled and how long nerves have been compressed, there can still be relief, but the chances of the best outcome are best with a true spine specialist.
Thanks for the information. My biggest concern is that she is only 43. She seems to be very young to be having problems like this. She is getting work comp. because she had a job that included some heavy lifting...but I was surprised to hear that her back injury was more than just a strain...I wasn't expecting something this serious.
She has been having pain for about a month now...and is waiting to see what the work comp. will pay for before going any further, but thanks for all of the information, hopefully she will be able to recieve some treatment soon to get her through this!
I can truly understand. I was 41 when I fell at work and hurt my back. Evedently I had DDD prior to that and didn't realize it. The fall just eccelerated (sp?) it. The good thing about being young, is your can bounce back easier. I wish her all the best.
43 is not too young for back problems. The discs begin degenerating very early. By age 45 almost everyone has some degeneration at L5. Many people do not feel the problem at all even though they have degenerated discs. The pain comes when nerves are compressed. Find a good Physiatrist (Pain Management Doctor) who will help to determine where the pain is coming from and offer treatments. Everyone takes their posture for granted - the time to be careful about the way we sit, the seats in our cars, the way we stand etc is always, but now it becomes even more important. 80% of all people will have some kind of back pain in their lives. It's only disabeling for a small percentage of us (yeah me - lucky NOT). It's never too late to take better care of your back. It's usually the discs between the vertebrae that are deteriorating, not the vertebrae although they can deteriorate as well.