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disc degenerative disease

Started by jnskidmore on 03/30/2010 9:32pm

I thought I posted something about what I have been going thru about 5 hrs. ago, but I guess it didn't go thru, so I'll make it short this time and hope I get some replies. Just would like to connect with some people who have a servere neck and back problem. I am thinking about having the artificial disc replacements on 4 levels in my neck if it is possible. Are there any people who have had that done and was it successful for them? I am having a very difficult time getting through my days and if I could I would stay in bed more than I do as it is more comfortable to lie at an angle, and I am exhausted to hold my body up. Mornings are the worse. Takes me hrs. to be mobile without enormous discomfort. Would love to hear from someone with a similar condition. No one seems to relate to my condition and I'm tired of being miserable.
Tired of the battle Jan

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I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I have multiple degenerated discs, spinal stenosis, facet arthritis, a few herniated discs, etc... in my neck and lower back. Diagnosed 3 years ago and have been doing my best to avoid surgery. I wake up in pain every morning. I have started to exercise to strengthen my core (stretches, yoga, walking or pilates everyday) and have started to improve my posture by fixing my work space ergonomics, etc... Surprising it has helped enough to make me functional. Oh and I have lost 10 lbs which might be helping. I have been told by a well respected surgeon that artificial discs would be better for me because of the risk of adjacent level disease in regular fusion, so if was to get to the point you are at, I would probably consider it as well. 4 discs sounds like a lot though, I haven't heard of anyone having that many done, but that doesnt mean much. Would love a dialogue as we both deal with this.

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I have been struggling with degenerative disc disease for about the last fifteen years with little or no significant improvement in prognosis. I had the bottom three cervical discs removed and the four vertenrae fused using cadaver bone and Bone Growth Stimulus Hormone about three years ago when a disc bulged out into the spinal cavaty and rubbed up against the spinal cord, causing partial paralysis of my left hand. The surgery, by Dr. C. Phillip Colburn, went well and addressed most, if not all, of the problems in the cervical area, but problems in the lumbar region continue to deteriorate. Dr. Mayer has advised me that he would recommend surgical intervention in the lumbar region as a last ditch effort only and referred me to a pain management clinic. Oral opiate drugs and Transforaminal epidural injections work well for a limited period of time (about three to six months), but it has become obvious that some doctors are better at the epidural injections than others. Be sure to get the best you can find. I discussed artificial disc replacement with Dr. Mayer, but he was of the opinion that they work best when the lesion can be limited to one level. Meanwhile, I'm just hanging in there hoping for the best and living day by day. Take care.


I'd like to reply to a post sent to me about 1 week ago by a WKP418 regarding the disc degenerative disease situation. Thank you for your response. It sounds as though you deal with it well and that exercise has helped you. The thing that helps me cope is doing projects that are creative and artistic so I can keep my mind off of the pain. Sometimes I don't have the initiative to try because pain can take over my body and mind. When the meds work more efficiently I can keep at it in a more positive way. How do you deal with the pain and is it chronic? Others who have had the artificial replacements done in the neck and especially four please relate your experience. thank you. Tired of the battle Jan


I had cervical fusion on C3,4,5,6 six months ago. It has been the best solution to my constant pain in my left arm down to severe pain in my left thumb.
After surgery was painful but helped with strong drugs. The improvement in motion and pain was slow. But at six months post op I really noticed better movement of my left arm and 50% less pain in my left thumb.
My left scalp pain has not improved but that is linked to C2 which my neurosurgeon did not want to touch.
My numbness in my fingers of both hands is suppose to improve in the next six months; we'll see.
I highly recommend surgery if you have an excellent surgeon.
Good luck.


This might make you feel better . . .

I'm 29, healthy and very active- and got got MRI results back that I have a herniated cervical disk in c5-6. I had so many questions. One of them was- what is worse- a herniated disk or degenerated disk. The answer was a herniated disk. So that didn't make me feel better, but it might make you feel better. Things could always be worse, right? Sorry you're in pain, hope u feel some relief.


Just started reading these posts and I like knowing there is a forum for us to share the ups and downs about our problems. It has gotten to the point with me where there was once a support system (I talked to everyone that would listen) to now, nobody wants to hear it anymore. So, I isolate a lot and try not to talk about it. Not good, cuz it seems to help when I talk about it? Anybody feel the same?
Anyhoo, a little over a year ago I had a cervical disc rreplacement C-6 and 7. Befor the proceedure my muscles atrophied, lost strength in both arms and hands and had a lot of pain, chronic, that is. The operation was a complete success with i would say a 100% number. The doc said that I ws a perfect candidate since only one devise (replacement disc) was needed.
Now, I am facing tremendous pain from DDD and my low back.I'm eight weeks out from a spinal fusion, L1,2 and 3 and I am beginning to think the doctor did the wrong area, cuz now, low back is just killing me. Wondering if anyone out there has gone through this? My back is/was bad and there were in fact three areas where trauma played into it all, so, should I just wait or start looking at where this is all coming from, sacroiliac, I am told....
For Jan....maybe you can talk to Dr.Russel Huang at Hospital for Special Surgeries ,in NYC about your cervical. He is really tops in my book, whew! truly...I can saay 100% complete success with my neck problem! He only gave me 80% chance of improvement...

Good luck
Hope you feel better