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Old 06-27-2006, 11:44 AM   #1
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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Hi everyone,

This is my first time here. I hope someone can give me some advice or info about some things.

I started having back pain about 3 1/2 years ago, when I was 33. Prior to this, I had never ever had any back problems in my life (though I now know I probably have Lupus & suspected Fibromyalgia and am being treated for them). Between my flares I was very active, went powerwalking and jogging, went to a gym every day; I did cardio 45 min to an hour AND used the weight machines. I even did alot of work on my abs and back using these machines.

But anyway I am now diagnosed with osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease (had one herniated disc & one torn disc) and lumbar spinal stenosis.

My rheumy said this (stenosis) is pretty unusual for my age and I really cant find anything on the web regarding stenosis in younger to middle ages adults.
It seems people in their 60' and 70's may develop this or feel symtoms.

Needless to say, I feel like im 80 years old at 37. My entire life has changed and my rheumy has brought up several times that I should see a spine specialist & look into surgery.

So my questions are: is there anyone else here who has stenosis around my age? If so, does anyone know if I dont have surgery, if this can get any worse? (I cant even imagine it better worse )

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give?

 
Old 06-27-2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Hi!
I am 34 years old and was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis in January of this year. Last summer I noticed that my leg would go numb after just a few minutes of walking or standing but would be relieved as soon as I sat down. I started going to a chiropractor, then went to physical therapy, then went to a spine specialist who tried a steroid injection and that provided no relief. In January of this year I took all of my x-rays and MRIs and went to see an orthopedic specialist and he diagnosed me with lumbar spinal stenosis, mild scoliosis and degenerative disc disease.
My doctor also told me that he doesn't typically see lumbar stenosis in patients of my age but due to my scoliosis and degenerative discs, it's not surprising.
I spent almost a year taking a conservative route to correct or help my problem but for me, surgery was the option that I chose.

Last Monday, the 19th, I went in for a laminectomy as well as an L5 / S1 spinal fusion. I was in the hospital until Thursday and am at home now recovering. Last week was very hard for me but this week is so much better, I am already very thankful that I had this surgery. I am looking forward to going back to a ''normal" life over the next few months.

Sorry for the long-winded response, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone.

Take care,
Lily

 
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Old 06-27-2006, 04:11 PM   #3
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Hi Lily,

Wow, I have the exact same thing, including a mild scoliosis. I have tried everything under the sun that I know of so far. All the anti-inflammatories, heat, ice, medrol dose pack, lidoderm patches, injections of numbing medication, epidurals, and have been in physical therapy for almost 3 months now (3 times every week). I'm to the point of being basically home bound socially because I cannot walk nor stand for more than a couple minutes. But I do still drag myself to work everyday but am getting worried about my job. I think they are afraid I will fall there or something. So I would be concerned if I had surgery, how long I would have to be out. I could only use up my vacation & personal days.

Did you have to have the fusion due to the mild scoliosis?

Do you work at all? If so, how long did they tell you to stay out of work?

 
Old 06-27-2006, 06:14 PM   #4
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zeroman HB User
Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

[QUOTE=Baybreeze]Hi Lily,
I do still drag myself to work everyday but am getting worried about my job. I think they are afraid I will fall there or something. So I would be concerned if I had surgery, how long I would have to be out. I could only use up my vacation & personal days.

Did you have to have the fusion due to the mild scoliosis?

Do you work at all? If so, how long did they tell you to stay out of work?[/QUOTE]

how long you stay out of work depends on what type of operation you get and what your job is.

I was told I cant go back to my job at all (construction) so Im looking at retraining. others here who have had fusions have been back to work (part time at least) within weeks.
__________________
back surgery in JUN 06 - two level ALIF (L3-4-5) with cages and BMP - SUCCESSFUL!

 
Old 06-27-2006, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Baybreeze,

My daughter was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in Feb. '05 at the age of 15. She also had grade II spondylolisthesis and mild scoliosis. She was born with all of these conditions. Her pediatric orthopaedist said that stenosis is not ususally seen in kids. One pediatric ortho told us she had seen one case like this in 14 years of practice.

The way you explained your back, like an 80 year old, is just what my daughter would say. From the spondy and the stenosis she was in constant pain, in her lower back and legs. She also couldn't do most things that her friends were doing because she was always in such pain. For nearly two years we tried conservative methods to try to settle her back down, actually during that time we only knew she had the spondy. Like you, we did two rounds of PT for three months each, three times a week. It helped to strengthen her core muscles since she had been pulled out of all sports and was not active, but didn't help relieve the pain. The stenosis was found after she had an mri because she began getting tingling in her feet.

Unfortunately, for her none of the conservative methods helped to relieve the pain and she refused to take meds daily. We finally gave in and she had a two level fusion of L4-S1 with a laminectomy and discectomy one year ago, June 10, 2005. Her fusion was for the stenosis and spondy. In her case this has made the world of difference in her. She was released of all physical restrictions last week, except wait another year to water ski again. She's active again and has no pain. In her situation the surgery has worked out and was the right thing to do because she was born with the back of an 80 year old.

Best wishes to you with your treatment plan. cas

Last edited by caszyman; 06-27-2006 at 06:20 PM.

 
Old 06-27-2006, 08:15 PM   #6
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Baybreeze, I am 44 yr old female.. extremely fit when I injured my back 3 years ago. Diagnose then was mild DDD with bulging disc at L5/S1. Did all the conservative therapies for almost 3 years in including the expensive decompression therapy (which is basically controlled traction). Nothing solved my problems. I had mild improvements and some good days, but most were bad ones. Had horrific sciatica on right side down the leg into the foot. My hips felt like they were going to collapse on me. I could barely walk toward the end.. limping everywhere I went. Went to work like that though as much as I possibly could.

Finally decided to get some other opinions and saw several surgeons. My last surgeon.. ordered a discogram and found a surprise. All the years I was being treated under the assumption the bulging disc was causing my pain and it was not. The L4/L5 which only showed as slightly degenerated.. produced horrible pain when the dye was injected there and was found to be leaking very badly.

I am now 10 weeks today, posterior fusion at L4/L5 with rods, screws, and cage with BMP. I was out of work for 7 weeks before I went back part-time.. Im a paralegal. I am working myself back up to a full work week.

I am having some post surgery pains, but have just started physical therapy to work on that. I have had some swelling issues more than anything and not sure what the cause of that is yet, which deters me being able to PT until it goes down and stays down. But with all this... I don't regret having the surgery.

It takes time to heal from major surgery and in such an intricate area as well with the nerves and all. Hope this helps you some and I hope that you feel better soon. Take care and let us know how you are doing going forward. Welcome to the boards. Tammy

 
Old 06-27-2006, 09:04 PM   #7
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LilyHoff HB User
Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

[QUOTE=Baybreeze]Hi Lily,

Wow, I have the exact same thing, including a mild scoliosis. I have tried everything under the sun that I know of so far. All the anti-inflammatories, heat, ice, medrol dose pack, lidoderm patches, injections of numbing medication, epidurals, and have been in physical therapy for almost 3 months now (3 times every week). I'm to the point of being basically home bound socially because I cannot walk nor stand for more than a couple minutes. But I do still drag myself to work everyday but am getting worried about my job. I think they are afraid I will fall there or something. So I would be concerned if I had surgery, how long I would have to be out. I could only use up my vacation & personal days.

Did you have to have the fusion due to the mild scoliosis?

Do you work at all? If so, how long did they tell you to stay out of work?[/QUOTE]

Hi,
Yes, I did have the fusion due to the scoliosis.
I work full-time in an office environment and have been told I will be out any where from 6 to 12 weeks.
I know what you mean about feeling home bound, I've been the same way. As soon as my husband or a friend asked me to do something I would immediately think of how much walking/standing was involved and would I find enough places to sit and relax. I'd start out in a good mood but always end up depressed because my body wouldn't allow me to do even the simplest things.
I am happy to say that I very s-l-o-w-l-y walked the outside perimeter of my grocery store today and am thrilled to announce that my left leg DID NOT GO NUMB. It has been over a year since I've been able to say that. I am paying for overdoing it but I can't tell you how happy I was.

Take care!
Lily

 
Old 06-28-2006, 04:06 AM   #8
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mmusilli HB User
Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

I think alot of young people have stenosis.. Perhaps, your spine specialist would be better equipped to answer that question over your rheumatologist. A friend of mine had it and he is in his 40s, so you dont have to be 70 to get it.. Needless to say, he got an operation, and is so glad he did so.. He got his life back, and is doing everything that he likes. In fact, he was golfing within weeks of the op...

Please see a spine specialist (one that has completed his spine fellowship) and get his opinion.

Also.. consider taking clucosamine with condroitin for your joints, to perhaps, slow or stop the effects of OA.. Drink lots of water as well to hydrate them..

I hope you get better soon!

Maurice

 
Old 06-28-2006, 07:23 AM   #9
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

THank you sooo much, everybody! It really does help to hear others experiences & what they went through. IT's just scary thinking that I might actually need surgery as this would be the first time for me. I broke my nose in a surfing accident & refused to do anything about it except heal by itself.

Cas, my heart ached just now reading about your 15 yr old with these problems. I cant even imagine a teen going through this. I am so happy to hear that she is doing so much better! At least the younger people usually bounce back & recover quicker so hopefully she will be pain free for her lifetime.

Also, I finally did get an appt. with a good spine specialist group in Philly. I found out about them through my physical therapist and by others in my PT that had surgery from them. So at least I feel confident about that.

My other concern is I wonder if (or what) effect surgery would have regarding my Lupus. I will ask around the Lupus boards for opinions on that, though.

Thanks again, everyone!

 
Old 06-28-2006, 11:50 AM   #10
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Hi Bay,
I am currently 8 months out from a 2 level fusion and am 35 years old. I also had every thing you mentioned and more. I too saw a Dr. in Philly and in my eyes he is the greatest!!! I went from have a "good day" a couple times a month to regaining my life back. I fought having a fusion for 5 years in search of something better, because I felt as though I was given a death sentence and instead I was given a pain free life. I am a single mother and never thought this was possible...to be pain free and be able to once again be a single parent capable of working and maintaining my home on my own and able to take my son on trips and actually be able to walk, stand and enjoy myself without my back being the only thing on my mind.

My Philly Dr. was great and he gave me a life again....After being in pain for 20 years it was the best thing I every did.

 
Old 06-28-2006, 12:50 PM   #11
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Pebble Beach HB User
Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Hi. I started with my back problems when I was 35. The first problem was a lumbar disc herniation. The following year I had stenosis of the cervical spine which surgery was done for from C3 to C7. The next few years my problems seemed to alternate. I would go from lumbar problems to cervical problems to thoracic problems.

I have instrumentation in the cervical/thoracic spine and instrumentation in the lumbar spine.

Just recently, I am now 53 once again they have found that I have stenosis in the cervical spine at multi levesl and multi levels in the lumbar problems. So it seems like it is a reoccurring problem for me. The doctors are afraid to touch me any more. So much has been done.

So now I don't know what if anything will be done in the future.

Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Allan

 
Old 01-06-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

[QUOTE=Baybreeze;2431032]Hi everyone,

This is my first time here. I hope someone can give me some advice or info about some things.

I started having back pain about 3 1/2 years ago, when I was 33. Prior to this, I had never ever had any back problems in my life (though I now know I probably have Lupus & suspected Fibromyalgia and am being treated for them). Between my flares I was very active, went powerwalking and jogging, went to a gym every day; I did cardio 45 min to an hour AND used the weight machines. I even did alot of work on my abs and back using these machines.

But anyway I am now diagnosed with osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease (had one herniated disc & one torn disc) and lumbar spinal stenosis.

My rheumy said this (stenosis) is pretty unusual for my age and I really cant find anything on the web regarding stenosis in younger to middle ages adults.
It seems people in their 60' and 70's may develop this or feel symtoms.

Needless to say, I feel like im 80 years old at 37. My entire life has changed and my rheumy has brought up several times that I should see a spine specialist & look into surgery.

So my questions are: is there anyone else here who has stenosis around my age? If so, does anyone know if I dont have surgery, if this can get any worse? (I cant even imagine it better worse )

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give?[/QUOTE]

 
Old 01-06-2010, 08:41 AM   #13
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in My 30's

Hi! my name is Lisa i also have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis im the same age as you i found out probably about eight years ago.I had surgery six years ago and there was a huge difference mind you it took a bit after the surgery! i think i was back to work fulltime between 3-4 months after.i just recently been having problems again so i'll probably have to go for surgery again im waiting for an appointment with my specialist. any qustions feel free to email me it will be nice to actually have someone to talk to about it! take care

 
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