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Does size of disk extrusion really matter?

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Old 05-16-2009, 06:41 AM   #1
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Location: salt lake city, ut
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happygirl440 HB User
Does size of disk extrusion really matter?

I have several disk hernations, extrusions and buldges.

Is 7mm extrusion concered really bad?

I assume a 2mm buldge is pretty normal.


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Old 05-17-2009, 05:29 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Abingdon, MD USA
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Hulitoons HB User
Re: Does size of disk extrusion really matter?

Are you in pain? Are the injured areas causing you problems functioning? Is your doctor showing concern?

I have what appears to be a balloon protruding mightily between two disks that shows well from a simple x-ray for another test. While my doctor wanted me to have a (and I did go) specialist to look at it, neither appeared unduly alarmed and I have no seeming pain from it. I'm pretty sure a chiropractor would not want to do adjustments though because it's there.

Often trying to fix something along the spine that is not currently (except cancer) causing undue problems is a last resort since those 'fixes' can frequently make matters worse.

So, how do YOU feel and is your doctor concerned?

Old 05-17-2009, 07:50 AM   #3
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brendaks1 HB Userbrendaks1 HB Userbrendaks1 HB User
Re: Does size of disk extrusion really matter?

Yes, the size of an extrusion or herniation does matter, but the location matters even more. You can have a small herniation or bulge that causes severe pain, while a large herniation can sometimes cause no pain at all. It all depends on whether a nerve root is being pinched or not. People have different sizes of spinal canals and foraminal (side) openings in the spine, so there may or may not be room for the nerve roots and the herniation.

Any extrusion is serious as this means a piece of the disc has broken off and is located in the spinal canal. They can sometimes move around also since it's not anchored anywhere. However, minimally-invasive surgery can often be used to go in and remove an extrusion, so it can sometimes be a very minor surgery to correct the problem.

I started off with a broad-based disc bulge at L4/L5 which looked fairly innocent on the MRI, but caused severe pain when I sat as the disc would push out against my nerve roots from the added pressure from sitting. So your position can also sometimes matter.

What levels are your problems at?

Old 05-17-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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germanshepherd HB User
Re: Does size of disk extrusion really matter?

Hi happy girl and everyone else reading my post, i just read your post. I wonder too if you are in pain. I too have 9 bulging dics in the mid section of my back known as the thorasic spine area and in chroni pain. I also have tow discs in lower back l4-l5 that were herniated for many years that the gel between them dried up and now bone on bone.

The middle back pain started almost 2 yrs ago, lower back settled down, no more pain about 2 yrs ago. The doc , otho said the discs might have fused themselves. It took 10 yrs. It will take 10 years for thorasic soine now. Here is the best part. I did nothing to my back. This is all genetic!!!!

How sucky is that1 i am 48, female, getting in great shape. Nothing stops me depite pain. I see pain management doc and take 4 percocet a day, that's it. I don't want to be on anything stronger ever. I manage and the perks take the edge off. I push myself all the time. I suffer terribly too with fibromyalgia on top of the back pain.

I decided as of january 2nd news resolution i was going to loose weight this year and really tone up. I am sticking to it. I walk for an hour 3 times a week, all up hill then as of the 3rd week of march i started doing massive yard work on my yard, intense for 4 hours a day. I am stronger, i have built muscles, lost weight and lost inches. My wonderful pm do helped me along with the weight loss with a medication called "topamax" which is prescribed for migraines, which i get occassionally anyway.

But the best side effect from this medication is weight loss and you loose your taste for sweets! Nice! I am so happy! I look great! Only lost 9 pounds since march 2nd. Slow weight loss. Its the way to go. I am taking 50 mgs a day on that and will stay at that.

I also take "dhea" to help build muscle and chronium picolinate, 200 micrograms a day. Dhea is the fountain of youth pill and gived you your life back, turns back the clock, you feel young again. After you are 35 the body stops making it.

I take 25 mgs day since febuary of this year. This is a pill you don't increase ever! Side effects. I take fish oil, niacian, b-12, restveterol also anti aging pill, every single day and down it with a glass of v-8 fushion which gives you a fulls days worth of veggies and fruits in one 16 ounce glass, everyone come to the other side and look young.

This is my new life now, no turning back ever. My weight 3 yrs ago was 227, i am 5 ft 7. I now weigh 181 and still loosing will get down to 145 goal weight this year. I lost 3 inches every where but my boobs thank god not that! Take care and hope this letter helps, tammy.........

Old 05-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #5
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happygirl440 HB User
Re: Does size of disk extrusion really matter?

well every disk in the thoracic is herniated between 2mm and 5mm. Plus I have 3 chronic wedge fractures at T8, T9 and T10.

All disks in the lumbar are herniated as well with the L1-2 at MM. L-3 is at 5mm. and nerve root on L. The other disks are are minimal.

yes, it hurts to sit it feels like my spine is crushing on it self.

My old Dr was not concerned, My NEW Dr is very very concerned.

My pain is a constant 8+ to 10+.

I also have a spinal cord stimulator implant for th elast two years.


Last edited by happygirl440; 05-17-2009 at 06:24 PM. Reason: spelling

Old 05-17-2009, 07:09 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: USA
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brendaks1 HB Userbrendaks1 HB Userbrendaks1 HB User
Re: Does size of disk extrusion really matter?


Wow! You really do have a lot of damage throughout your spine. I am so glad you got to a different doctor that sounds like he/she will diagnose and treat you better than your previous doctor.

My prayers are that your new doctor will be able to bring your pain level down to a tolerable level so you can get a quality of life back. Keep us up to date with what tests and treatments you are going through.

Lots of hugs to you!

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