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  • two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

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    Old 03-28-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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    mannydj HB User
    two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Hi, before I get to the topic, let me give a little brief information about myself. I am 21 years old, have an amputated left leg (bka), for sinobiasarcoma on my left foot and been cancer free for 7 years.

    Recently, around three months ago, I got into a car accident. I was in the passanger side, and the other car struck the driver side of the my car. I didn't get alot damage or pain on my back. However, 2 months ago, my therapist doctor sent me out to get an MRI of my back I guess, and he told me that I have two herniated discs on my lower back. And I was stunned to know that because I usually do not get alot of pain on my lower back.. I am only 21 years old, how can this be? The doctor told me that he was curious to figure if it had anything to do with my amputation, or that it could have been for the cause of the car accident

    If I have to live with this, is this dangerous? is it life threatening? is this going to limit anything of what I want to do? Can it heal? Will it prevent me from growing? By the way im 6'2') Will I have any circumstances later on in the future? is it common? Will it prevent me from having normal sex?

    I know this sounds illiterate, but please someone help me take a hold out of this. This is getting me scared.

    Last edited by mannydj; 03-28-2008 at 11:59 AM.

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    Old 03-28-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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    mznell HB User
    Re: two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Hello Manny ~

    Welcome to the board.

    I don't feel I am qualified to answer your questions, but wanted to welcome you to the board. It is hard to say anything specific about your herniated discs without having more information. Just having herniated discs does not necessarily mean you will need surgery now or in the future.

    Herniated discs can heal. It helps to keep your core muscles strong, and to avoid lifting or activities that could cause the discs to reherniate. If the disc herniates, there is a chance that parts of it could press into the spinal chord area and irritate a nerve. This would cause significant pain. Depending on the location of the disc, it could press into the sciatic nerve which would cause pain and weakness in one or both legs. Some people are able to live with the situation; others require surgery. The most serious situation is cauda equina syndrome...affecting the bowel or bladder and requiring immediate surgery. None of this is life-threatening.

    You can find tons of information online...just search for herniated disc.

    Old 03-29-2008, 06:41 AM   #3
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    Re: two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Hi Manny, and welcome to the back board.

    First of all, no, your questions do not sound illiterate. They sound scared! And that's completely understandable! This forum is a great place for questions like yours because the site is full of people with different back problems, and there's usually someone who can at least shed a little light. Sometimes we have so much information we sort of pounce, but don't be afraid of us. We can only cyber bite! Seriously, there are a lot of very caring people here who have thoughtful advice to give.

    You're young to have herniated discs, but it's certainly not unheard of. Your doctor's thoughts about a connection to your amputation had occured to me, too, as I read your post. Especially early on after your amputation, you probably carried your body differently and may have stressed your spine without realizing it. I imagine that even if you had realized it, it would have been unavoidable. That's probably the more likely scenario than the accident, though the accident could have made it worse. Then again, maybe it's not related to either of those.

    Lots of people have herniated discs and have little or no pain from them. Some people have pain from time to time, like when you hear people say their back "went out." They may just rest, or may get some PT, may use ice or heat, but after a few weeks, they're fine again. You may be one of those people. Other people will have a lot of pain and will need surgery to repair it. Since you're not having a lot of pain, you're not in that situation. It COULD become painful as the years go by, but it would be very reasonable to just keep it in the back of your mind and watch it for now. I would be careful of it. You could go hiking, but I wouldn't carry a 50 pound pack. If you need to lift something heavy, don't lean over to do it. I assume you have a prosthesis. Are you able to use your legs to lower yourself so you can lift something keeping your back straight? (I'm sorry if that's a stupid question.) You may be able to keep the herniated discs in check if you constantly remember to lift properly and don't overstress them. It's also helpful to keep your core muscles as strong as possible. If you want to lift weights, I'd ask your doctor first if it's safe to do with the herniated discs and if so, how much weight is okay. (I think I'd steer away from lifting if I were you.) If you have access to a gym, there are machines you can use that won't put stress on your back. You might have to search for them, but I've found machines that make me pull or push the weight rather than bear the weight myself.

    More people have herniated discs than you might guess. As long as you're careful, you might never have to treat it. That's no promise, as no one can really tell who's going to get worse and who isn't. It should not inhibit your growth at all. Are you concerned about that? 6'2" is a nice height. You have a ways to go to set any records, my man! My son is 6'6", so you haven't caught up to him yet. If you were 5'2", I could see why you'd be concerned, but at your height, more would be fine, but if you didn't grow any more, that would be fine, too. There's no reason you would not be able to have normal sex, either. If you reach a point that you're having a lot of pain, you and your partner might have to make some adjustments, but I really think this area isn't going to be a problem.

    You might want to get another opinion from a doctor in a different group. Doctors in the same group share their notes, so go to a different group. If you do get another opinion, take whatever tests you've had done. It's fine to let the doctor know you're there for a second opinion, but don't tell him what the first doctor said. Let him come to his own conclusions without feeling like he has to support what a colleague has said.

    Manny, you're obviously a strong young man and a survivor. I have no doubt that you're going to figure all this out and that you'll be stronger for it. I wish you nothing but the best!

    Take care,

    Old 03-29-2008, 09:08 PM   #4
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    Re: two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Hi Manny! I was 18 when I herniated my first disk. Mine was very obvious and gave me problems for many many years. And I was a sports fiend through my entire youth.

    I am now 46. I have had a full and normal life. I even had two kids and raised them pretty much myself. That disc took many years to heal, it is still bulging, but no longer causes me pain. I blew out the one above it a few years back, lifting heavy furniture out of a 3rd floor apartment, which I should not have done, obviously.

    I think you should take one day at a time and not overthink things. Everyone has some physical issues and limitations of one thing or another. You may have no problems with your back and at times, you may have "flare ups" where your back bothers you for a bit and then gets back to normal again. And hopefully you will never get to the point where many of us on this board are and need surgery. Surgery should always be a last resort. Most people that suffer from back pain, do not require or ever need surgery.

    One thing to be aware of is your spine and it's alignment going forward. Now that you know you have these discs at issue, it's really important to do what you can to keep your spine as healthy and protected as possible. Core exercise and stretching is very important, as well as always being aware of your posture and not bending and lifting the wrong way, etc.

    Remembering this at all times will become second nature for you in a short period of time and it will help you through the years.
    "believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

    L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
    Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
    Solidly Fused Nov-2006
    A Success, but still improving!

    Old 03-30-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
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    Re: two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Hi dear heart! First of all, I have a 23 years old son and reading your post made my teary... so young and already dealing with health issues...
    But life is still goes on, you are young and you have a long beautiful life ahead of you - this is a bright side, is in it?

    Now... all of us have to start changes in our spines as early as 25. We all get DDD (degenerative changes), stenosis, some arthrities and so on.
    Bulges, tears, herniations happens to many of us during our life and most of those problems heal by itself. DDD, arthrities, stenosis with age may get worse causing some individuals pain, discomfort , but some people are lucky enough not to have symptoms at all.

    My husband (he is 58) for many years now has bulges, herniations and other problems with his back. His job prevents him to heal so some days he is in a lot of pain and some days he is OK. We went to see DR to check his progress, but really nothing much can be done. His nerves Thank God are not involved so he really doesn't want to go for surgery nor he need one at this point.

    It's not a life thretening condition, don't worry. It may heal by itself, just make sure you give it a rest and take it easy.
    I had 2 knee surgery as well. I have 2 spinal fusion. My spinal DR told me that the way people walk affects our spines. I am sorry to mention this, but due to your left leg condition it prevents you from walking it right no matter how much you try. Same situation me and my knees.So a big possibility that your herniations may be a result of your walking differently.

    The best news is that you have no pain - excellent! Means no inflammation of muscles or sourauding tissue.

    I am sure you will be OK. Just take good care of yourself, enjoy your life...
    Big hugs and best wishes to you and family!

    Old 03-30-2008, 11:48 PM   #6
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    mannydj HB User
    Re: two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Wow thank you all for your response I really needed your advice. I was going nuts about something that's not going to stop me from being my self again. Thank you all for welcoming me to the forum. This made me skeptical at first since the doctor explained to me certain limitations and such. I guess I can accept the fact that I have to be somewhat careful with what I do with lifting. About the prosthesis, yes I wear a prosthesis and I'm able to lift and carry things with my back well positioned. Now I don't feel left out at all, but thank you all. If it wasn't for all of you, I would be stressed out. I already been too much with the time my foot got amputated. But thanks to god I became cancer free; 7 years and counting. Thank you.

    Old 03-31-2008, 03:13 AM   #7
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    Re: two herniated dsics on my lower back? I dont get it?

    Manny, I would be very careful about the lifting and make sure that it is nothing heavy until things settle down. I would talk in detail to your doctor and maybe they can make some recommendations regarding your situation such as some exercises to strengthen your core muscles. Good luck and welcome to the board.

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