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DDD - is there a connection?

Started by Slick007 on 11/25/2010 11:44am

History - Injured lower back (L5-S1) in Army 1993 - Over the years I've dealt with major pain/numbness/stiffness etc. Latest MRI showed (limited details); C4-5 minimal diffuse bulging disc, C5-6 Disc desiccation-disc protrusion-ligament tear-indentation on anterior thecal sac, T7-8 small central disc bulge, &T8-9 small left paracentral/left lateral disc bulge, T9-10 same. T11-12 small diffuse bulging disc and 15% compression fracture at T9. L3-4 small diffuse bulging disc, L4-5 same, L5 -S1 small central disc protrusion-ligament tear. The VA diagnosed L2 to S1 DDD. Service-connected. I've argued with the VA that the rest of my spinal problems are connected to the original injury and DDD. They say no way that's possible. Anyone know - is it? I now have had a pinched nerve at C5-6 for over a year and a half - 4 cervical injections - surgery date is Dec. 7th 2010, Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Arthoplasty (replacement disc). Am I crazy to think this does not all have to do with DDD?

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2 Responses


i agree with you but it will be tough to prove. i've talked to plenty of people who have an injury in one part of their spine and then they see more susceptible to deterioration in other areas. its like a chain reaction. does it really matter as far as treatment goes?


It sounds like your original injury was qite a while ago an dthough you say initially that you have suffered from pins and needles, numbness etc things in the lower back have maintained a status quo ie: pain has stayed the same, no increase in pins and needles, no loss of power/strength to lower limbs which is in a way.
The recent MRI has pointed out several changes but the main question to ask yourself is D you have any symptoms? If there no symptoms from these new finding however remarkable there qre if they qre not producing symptoms you do not need to worry qbout it as the body even with DDD has adapted to these changes though the years rather than there being some frank trauma.
Most clinicians in back pain diagnosis will tell you that the clinical examnation is the most important and then match these up with any tests done such as MRI to really give you a diagnosis.
All every adult out there has some DDD in some part of their body, has this caused the problems you havenowwell if DDD started years ago then joints close by more susceptible to injury.
Good luck with surgery!