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Old 12-02-2010, 03:13 AM   #1
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Advice needed please on disc damage

Hi everyone, i am looking for some much needed advise on my recent MRI scan results.

For the last 10 years i have suffered from chronic back pain centralized in my middle and upper back. The pain is also present in my shoulders and neck and feels as though it is in my muscles as well as bones. From time to time other joints in my body are affected too such as wrists and ankles.

I have recently had an MRI scan and the results have come back as disc damage!! The doctor has advised me that this will be put down as 'wear and tear' and advised to consult a dietitian to lose weight.

Can this diagnosis be correct? I feel as though i have just been dismissed due to my age and feel dis heartened at the thought that this can merely be put down to 'wear and tear' at the young age of 29!!
I have always tried to keep a fit and healthy lifestyle until recently, as my back complaint has become increasingly worse i am unable to undertake the most simple of daily tasks inc walking washing up etc. I am currently signed off as unfit for work but can i press this matter any further, Could there be any other explanations for my complaint?

I aplogise for the long essay type explanation but i'm new to all this and not too sure how this all works
Thank You

 
Old 12-02-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: Advice needed please on disc damage

[QUOTE=kflaherty1981;4634095]Hi everyone, i am looking for some much needed advise on my recent MRI scan results.

For the last 10 years i have suffered from chronic back pain centralized in my middle and upper back. The pain is also present in my shoulders and neck and feels as though it is in my muscles as well as bones. From time to time other joints in my body are affected too such as wrists and ankles.

I have recently had an MRI scan and the results have come back as disc damage!! The doctor has advised me that this will be put down as 'wear and tear' and advised to consult a dietitian to lose weight.

Can this diagnosis be correct? I feel as though i have just been dismissed due to my age and feel dis heartened at the thought that this can merely be put down to 'wear and tear' at the young age of 29!!
I have always tried to keep a fit and healthy lifestyle until recently, as my back complaint has become increasingly worse i am unable to undertake the most simple of daily tasks inc walking washing up etc. I am currently signed off as unfit for work but can i press this matter any further, Could there be any other explanations for my complaint?

I aplogise for the long essay type explanation but i'm new to all this and not too sure how this all works
Thank You[/QUOTE]

Hi, and welcome to the board. Gosh, at the age of 29, I wouldn't think that you should have that much "wear and tear" of the discs. If I were you, I would get another opinion or two. I don't know what kind of dr. you saw, but you need either an orthopedic spine specialist or a neurosurgeon who specializes in the spine.

Lay off any physical activity, especially lifting, until you are re-evaluated. If you are overweight, losing a few pounds will be helpful as there will be less weight for the discs to carry and support.

Do keep looking for a doctor who will pay attention and try to help. However, don't let anyone rush you into surgery; that should be the last resort. A good specialist will try a variety of treatments that might be helpful.

I hope you will stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Carol

 
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Advice needed please on disc damage

I had back surgery when I was 23 and quite thin.

I am older now, and have gained weight and my surgical site and middle back hurts like hell. My cardio and orthopaedic doctor know thatI am trying to lose weight. I know when I do, lots of problems that I do have will go away. Overweight is horrible for the body.

 
Old 03-30-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: Advice needed please on disc damage

Can you be more specific as to the findings of the MRI? It's hard to know just what is going on without more information. At what level was your lst surgery, and what kind of surgery was it? We could maybe put the pieces together if we had more info.

It's easy to lay back pain at the door of being overweight. Being too heavy, can of course, put more strain on the back, but I don't think it actually causes back injury.....just my opinion. Losing a few pounds might make the pain a bit lighter but it isn't going to cure it, so while I encourage you to lose some weight if you need to, please don't beat yourself up!

In my opinion, if your are in this much pain, there is more going on than a little disc "wear and tear". I'd really like to know what the MRI said and what kind of doctor gave you this catchall diagnosis.

Carol
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Re: Advice needed please on disc damage

I had a myelogram. It showed "tenting of the nerve root by the nucleus pulposis".

In other words my disc, at L5, S1 was ruptured and the contents were irritating my sciatic nerve.

If the disc is just bulging, that is a different story, of course.

I was in excruciating pain. I wouldn't be able to have sat at a computer. I was on pain killers and for all intents and purposes, I was bed-ridden. I tried conservative therapy, but to no avail. No one wants to have surgery unless it is absolutely necessary, of course.

The pain I have now, is from weight gain, which as soon as I lose at least 10 of the 40 I plan to lose, to make it fine.

 
Old 03-30-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Advice needed please on disc damage

I wonder if you have done any research about your diagnosis? You say you had a myelogram? Are you seeing a spine specialist regarding your back trouble?

I have some concerns; if the disc is leaking it does of course, irritate the nerves. But if the disc loses too much of its "fluid" you could now be having nerve pain due to compression. I'm still not quite clear as to the kind of pain you are having or the type of surgery you had previously. I would really like to give you some valuable input, but don't quite know exactly what is going on.

If you had a myelogram, how long ago was that? Are you or did you see a spine specialist? Were you given any options as to treatment? It almost sounds to me that you have been told that your pain is caused entirely by your weight and if you lose weight, the pain will be gone. That would be nice; except that your test results indicate an issue with a disc (which one) in which case I have to say that I think you should get a second opinion. Just my personal thought but I am not a doctor. I do know that it's best to get a couple of different spine specialist to see what they think.

Anyway, I wish you luck and hope that things go well for you.

Carol
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medtronic pain pump implanted
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: Advice needed please on disc damage

Yes, myelogram is what they did when I had my back trouble. I had the best surgeon in the city at the best hospital in the city and I had plenty of choices; being in Philadelphia.

It was a pretty cut and dry decision and I have never regretted the surgery I had. I was getting nerve damage in my affected leg from the disc content and compression thereof. I was thin back then. My disc trouble was what they call idiopathic. No reason will ever be known.

Right now, the pain's not nearly the same as what I had then, but I am way heavier than I was then. I don't have pain there, because I had a laminectomy and a spinal fusion.

The pain I have now, is a day at the beach in comparison. So, I do believe that losing a few pounds will certainly do much to help.

 
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