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Posted by Kari on November 06, 2000 at 09:45:34:

In Reply to: degenerated discs posted by mary and roy on November 05, 2000 at 12:18:54:

: my husband has 9 degenerated discs. the orthopedic dr said that operating would not help him. He's been to the chiropractor and physcial therapist to no avail. He has pain down both legs, lower and mid-back pain. some days its so bad he cries. Any suggestions???

I'm new to the board, & I can surely understand what your husband is experiencing, as I have DDD at 3 levels of the lumbar spine, L2-3, 3-4, 4-5.
I have had chronic pain for almost 2 years, had all the tests, steroid injections, various meds, physical therapy, tens unit, you name it, I've probably had it. After consulting 3 ortho specialists and Mayo Clinic, the conclusion is that when 3 or more levels are involved,(especially the lumbar area) surgery is not an option. Reason being that the levels above & below the fused area would take on the extra burden that the fused levels carried, & that in time they too would be involved & that is what they want to avoid. They expalined it was similar to the "domino effect." IDET was denied by my insurance, as they felt the levels were too collapsed to indicate a successful outcome. I have been working through my primary care physican, specialists, & a pain management clinic. My pain is constant, some days being much, much worse than others. Currently I take oxycontin, ultram, effexor and celebrex. I experience different pain levels from day to day, the bad days are almost unbearable, where I get no releif. The feeling among all the doctors is that at this time there is nothing more that can be done for me, unless some new procedure comes out.
My primary care doctor & the pain management doctor are working together on my meds for pain, & are very compassionate & understand of my problem, which is reassuring. I have been off work since February, & it's looking like I will never return, as I can't stand/sit/walk for more that 5 minutes at a time. My left leg is totally numb, I trip & fall very easily. This is like a nightmare from which I never wake up. I feel so awful your husband has to go through this pain, as I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!
At times, it's so hard to be optomistic, when there isn't much to be optomistic about. I apologize for rambling on & on, it's just that this condition is truly the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life.
I wish only the best for your husband, there must someone, somewhere who can help him. Have you considered the Mayo Clinic? I know they are the best in the country, & they are Located here in Minnesots, Arizona & I believe in Florida now.(not 100% sure of the Florida facility) They are doing new procedures there all the time, & consultations are done where they evaluate the tests results that have been completed by your doctors. Pain management clinics also are extremely helpful. I sincerely wish all your family well, as this is such a trying time for everyone involved.
Thanks for your time, & my Best Wishes to you both!

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