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  • Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

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    Old 02-02-2005, 06:28 PM   #1
    mimirea
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    Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Hi all. First off, I apologize for the length.... I posted a month or two ago asking for opinions on pain in my left hip that would sometimes go down the outer and back of my leg. Long story short, my doctor said this was caused by arthritis in my spine and me being a little stubborn, didn't believe her. I took a fall down some stairs many months ago and landed on my left hip and was sure the problem was truly in my hip, it is also enlarged. I cannot lay on my left side, ever. After seeing a specialist, having an MRI done (of my lower spine only) and a complete bone scan, it turns out I have degenerative arthritis of the spine. I just turned 36, so I'm a little surprised to have this. I ache constantly, mostly in my hip, lately in my back also. The shooting pains down my leg are driving me crazy. I just started taking Relafen (twice daily) yesterday. I am hoping someone can give me some advice on anything I can do to help with the discomfort. Or, if perhaps someone out there is also taking relafen and could let me know if it has made a difference. I am starting physical therapy on Friday but don't really know if it's worth the time and money if it may not help. My doctor suggested that I go once or twice (12 visits were originally recommended but at the time the specialist thought I had bursitis of the hip). Anyone tried physical therapy and got good results? I've searched the internet and haven't found anything that has helped. Pretty much that the condition will worsen as I age, that's it. Thanks so much for any information, it's greatly appreciated.

     
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    Old 02-02-2005, 08:16 PM   #2
    mel1977
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Do you have any discs issues along with this? Did they give you the name or diagnosis LUMBAR SPONDYLOSIS or anything? I have that and Cervical Spondylosis and I am 27. I had one disc that was degenerating when I was 24, and had my first back surgery then too, to remove a bulge on a disc. This year, I had neck pain and my back pain returned: I had Cervical Spondylosis (arthritis), a small bulge, pinched nerve and Loss of normal lordosis at C5-6 level.
    I also had DDD of L4-5 and L5-S1 discs, plus small bulges at each, a tear and a bulge, AND lumbar spondylosis (arthritis again). Mine is most likely related to my profession where I am on my feet a lot and lifting humans being a "grunt" worker. I was a cheerleader for seven years too. I just had a 360 two level Lumbar interbody fusion. The two discs with DDD were removed. All the pain I had prior is gone. I do have some sciatica still, but may have it for years down the road. But, all the severe pain I had from my low back to my toes is pretty much gone. I am going on two months post op. I ask and tell all this b/c if you have severe enough DDD they can remove the discs. NOW, this is a last resort. You should atleast try the following:
    Physical Therapy, Traction, Steroids, Epideral Injections, and if needed, a discogram. The discogram will determine if the discs are the reason you have pain.
    Don't let anyone treat you like your pain is not a priority, if it is to YOU. Don't let anyone tell you that you are too young or that it is in your head. But, you have to be willing to give treatments a try. None of this matters though if you have no disc problems-my other guess would be nerve impingements or other issues I am not educated on.
    As far as my neck, I am not sure there is much that can be done. Infact, I am here seeking advice on this too. We will be treating my neck later on down the road.
    I wish you all the best and hope you get some answers. Please feel free to check out the back boards too.

     
    Old 02-03-2005, 06:48 PM   #3
    mimirea
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Hi Mel. Wow, thanks for the response. To be completely honest, I have no idea as to having a more detailed diagnosis beyond "degenerative spinal arthritis". I go back to the doctor on the 14th of this month and I may (or may not) go for further testing. Hopefully I will know more then. I got my results with a phone call, I'm now anxious for my follow up appointment. I am going to go ahead and go to physical therapy, I'm open to just about anything. I had thought I was young to get this (I feel like I am still in my 20's), you were very young.. I will post back after I've given therapy a try and gone to my follow up. I hope to have more details then. Thanks again.

     
    Old 02-03-2005, 07:05 PM   #4
    NancyH
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    I was 25 when I was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis of the neck, I've always lived with neck pain and stiffness, as I got older it did get worse and has progressed down the spine and now I have muscle atrophy in the neck and spine, have had epidurals, trigger point injections. laproscopic injections and the works over the years, because my immune system is weak surgery has not been an option. I will say PT helped me in ways other treatments didn't, it gave me the ability to manipulate the pain to ease it sometimes which is better than nothing I guess.

     
    Old 02-05-2005, 07:13 PM   #5
    mimirea
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Ok, here's the latest. I was unable to go to physical therapy. I was looking over my "prescription" for physical therapy and the diagnosis was bursitis of the hip, which is what the doctor thought I had prior to having the bone scan done. I called to see if I would be treated for that or for the arthritis in my spine and they can only treat what the diagnosis is for. I called the doctor to have a second, correct, prescription faxed over and he was unwilling. The doctor I was sent to said (actually it was his assistant) he does not specialize in back problems, but recommended I keep my follow up appointment with him on the 14th. Why, I wonder? What is the point? I feel like I am going in circles... I am going to continue taking the Relafen (not helping yet but read it takes 7-14 days to notice a difference) and I guess, Tylenol, and lots of it. Don't really know what else to do. My back aches and so does my hip. My back cracks constantly with movement, is that normal? I know I have two bone spurs, I'm just wondering. Nancy, could you suggest any stretches that would have been done at therapy that might help? Thanks again.

     
    Old 02-06-2005, 07:35 AM   #6
    zoey1
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Have u had a full work up from an Rhumotologist? Did the rhumotologist refer you to an orthopedist surgeon did you get a mri on your spine?????

    THere are many conditions that arithus can deal with and many meds that can help with flare ups and imflmation to make your like more comfortable

    In all my dealings i found generaly if u find a decent Rhumotolgist you can get good pain manamgement.............

    Yes it can be debelitating but there are all kinds of things that make it live able................

    i hope you find the answers you need soon and good pain releif

     
    Old 02-06-2005, 09:23 PM   #7
    NancyH
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Mimirea(sp) one of the PT stretches and this is hard to put out over the net. Stand with face to the wall, arms straight up and reach NOT strain just reach. Another is laying on the bed arms outstretched overhead and try to crawl with your arms, using only the arms not body, like being pulled by your hands, don't strain and if it starts to stop. Another lay on bed, lay flat pull your legs up bent and wrap your arms around them, then let go and do again. All of this is done with a gentle stretch with no strain, if it does just stop at that point, and do more gently. They also gave me 1lb weights(barbells) and had me do 10 repetitions twice a day, doing different excersise like the arm bend, barbells above head and slowly bring arms back to sides. Nothing too straining. I also had alot of neck stretches that helped with my chronic pain and stiffness. No cure all by any means but there has been times when the pain was real bad and I did one of the stretches and it helped relief some of the tension that comes with chronic pain. Good luck and I hope this helped some.

     
    Old 02-07-2005, 04:55 PM   #8
    mimirea
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Zoey- No I have not yet been referred to a rhumotologist, unfortuneately. And yes, I have had a MRI of my spine. The doctor I was referred to by my family doctor was an orthopedic doctor. He is the one who has now told me that he does not specialize in back problems (he originally thought I had bursitis of the hip, my family doctor had already told me that I had spinal arthritis). I am going back to my family doctor and I will get a referral for a rhumotologist. Thank you for the input. I need all I can get.

    Nancy- Thanks so much for replying again, I am going to give the stretches you suggested a try this evening and I will keep trying them. I greatly appreciate your help.

     
    Old 02-07-2005, 05:14 PM   #9
    snowmelts
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Wait a minute.
    Bursitis is strain and stress placed on the muscles from the back running over the flat side of the hip,enflaming the Bursia sacs, this pain is caused BECAUSE of arthritis bending the back. At least that is basically what I've read. I have also read a Steriod (sp)shot will help temporarily eleviate the pain from Bursitis. that's just what I've read.

    [url]http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_report.cfm?Thread_ID=139&topcategory =Hip[/url]

    I've been reading up on it cuz I am having some terrific problems in that area. My PCP never gives a diagnosis of any kind without first taking a lot of tests.. so we are in the test taking phase right now. I have not mentioned my thoughts of Bursitis to the Dr.. I'll wait and see what the Dr says, you know.
    I have had Degenerative (sp) Back Disease for a long time now.. and have prior X-rays to prove it. Last year we did the entire ball game.. Xrays, Ct scans, bone density scans (yes there is also my osteoporosis).. So there is no doubt about the Back problems. I took PT for it last January.
    But my Dr is into taking new tests.. so I wait in pain. Took hip X-rays (hip is normal on X-ray) took back X-rays (still have the OA and all it's fun trimmings back there of course). Took blood tests and today an MRI of the hip. Dr should have all the results by next Monday, the 14th.

    Also I have a question. WHY would a person with Osteoarthritis of the spine see a rhumotologist? Did the Dr say you have Rhumitoid Arthritis? Mine is osteoarthritis.

    I would think you would want a bone Dr rather than a blood Dr.

    Last edited by snowmelts; 02-07-2005 at 05:46 PM.

     
    Old 02-07-2005, 09:17 PM   #10
    NancyH
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    Rheumatologist are joint and bone Drs basically and that is what Osteoarthritis is. When I was seeing my orthepedic Dr after the carpal and ulnar nerve surgeries, he said I have osteoarthritis in the joints of both hands and some demineralization and I should see my rheumatologist, who cares for arthritis and osteoporosis (which is what I have). Most orthepedics care for the broken bones settings and some diseases of the bones, sprains that type of thing as a temporary care but the rheumy handles anything to do under the umbrella of "arthritis" including rheumatoid etc. IT's my rheumy who has been caring for my osteoporosis arthritis of the spine, neck hands and hips but my orthepedic who saw me when I recently did somthing to my back.

     
    Old 02-08-2005, 02:40 PM   #11
    snowmelts
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    Re: Diagnosed w/degenerative arthritis of spine, suggestions & input???

    I honestly did not know that.
    In the past my PCP (which is a Corp so I see a diff Dr there most of the time instead of the same one every time)..anyway in the past once they sent me to an Orthopedic Surgen in 1999 about my knees. He x-rayed and informed me I had osteoarthritis and could take pain pills. I was allergic to the pills. I never went back. Also in 1999 they sent me to a diff Orthepedic surgen about my wrists (I have Dequiervines Tendenites). For that I was given a hard cast to wear..which helped and I still use sometimes.

    Last year my Xrays showed Deginerative Disk Disease in my spine but they didn't do anything except tell me do take PT for 6 weeks. My Density scans also showed osetoporosis and for that I was prescribed Fosamax. Once a week pill. Horrible side effects. I stuck it out about 10 or 11 months and quit taking them. Now the the PCP has prescribed Evista. I took it only twice and suffered horrible the next day and night.. never again! Dr is not going to be happy with me when I go in next week. They do like you to take what they prescribe, you know.

    I am NOT a happy camper. I go to the DR..I take the tests.. I want pain relief and instead I get pills that cause more pain.

    I will remember what you said and next time they mention and Orthepedic surgen I will ask about a Rhumitologist instead. My insurance will not cover any specialist unless my PCP referrs me to him.

     
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