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I have degenerative disc disease

LBoonLBoon Posts: 4Member Listener
edited October 2018 in Disabled people
I too have degenerative disc disease, was interesting to read the articles you have here. Seems I have been 'luckier' than most of the people who have messaged you.

I was diagnosed in 2010, had 3 cervical discs removed and replaced with plastic ones in 2011, the discs were found to have become embedded in my spinal cord which would, if left untreated for much longer have resulted in paralysis from the the shoulders down!!!  In 2012 I was was diagnosed with compression of the spinal cord in a similar area and had a C3 - T1 laminectomy with rod & screw fixation to secure and hopefully prevent further deterioration. This has given me reduced range of movement in my neck and shoulders but hey ho could have been worse! In December 2017 I again had further surgery to now include C2 within the laminectomy. As before my neck etc is now much stiffer but hopefully no further deterioration will occur. The main draw back with this is I can 't drive as the DVLA have revoked my licence pending a driving assessment. 

Looking at the comments  etc from others I do feel treatment wise I have been fortunate  and have received treatment which has kept me fairly independent and able to have a reasonable life style albeit with the aid of various medications and a great deal of support from my family. 

Replies

  • gnmeadsgnmeads Posts: 185Member Pioneering
    Hi LBoon and a big welcome to the Scope community and sorry to hear about your condition but I'm glad to hear you are seeing things in such a positive manner 
  • LBoonLBoon Posts: 4Member Listener
    There have been many dark & very painful days, I have lost count of how many days I have woken up in tears. I try to keep positive and move forward especially when I think how far I have come since diagnosis and what my life would have been had I not had that 1st surgery when I did. 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Posts: 1,003Member Pioneering
    From the investigations I have made DDD is designated as only affecting the lumbar spine and no other part of it. I have searched for a similar diagnosis involving other parts of the the spine but have been unable to find any. For myself I have just been labelled as having spinal "wear and tear", a term used for crumbling spine and I am often misdiagnosed bu doctors who have read no more than the one line description.

    My damage began in the lumbar but spread to thoracic and, although different in process, I have my second cervical rupture. The excessive pain has led to massive usage of pain killers and now to also being classed as housebound purely due to a combination of chronic and neural pain. The neural pain results from damaging nerves for so many years trying to keep going for as long as possible. My condition is progressive, being detected as affecting 2 discs in 2006 and now 7 or 8 in the lower spine plus the cervical rupture (my second such problem).

    I would be interested to know who told you that you had DDD or whether you looked it up somewhere?

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,856Member Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this with us @LBoon, and a warm welcome to the community!
  • LBoonLBoon Posts: 4Member Listener
    It was my then GP who told me that was the name of the condition. I suspect it's one of those labels that is almost non specific. My Consultant hasn't contradicted me when I have said DDD. I also have a problem at L5\S1 with a retrolysthesis, a slipped disc and an haemangioma to boot. So far I have had ryzolisis & facet joint injections at this level but no current treatment other than pain relief. Incidentally during one of the surgeries too my C spine it was discovered that at some time I had suffered an avulsion fracture which, I assume I failed to register due to the amount of pain I already had! I believe that really emphasised the level of pain I had been enduring. 
  • SuzsSuzs Posts: 4Member Listener
    I have DDD. I've had many investigations MRI CT Nerve conduction etc etc.
    This condition affects the whole of my spine but is more prevalent in my neck and lumber but had a new thoracic bulge diagnosed this year. I have multi level stenosis as well as other complications inc periodic incontinence
    My consultant is the one that gave me the diagnosis of multi level degenerative disc disease. It is a horrendous debilitating disease that has caused me to retire at an early age with no hope of working again. 
    Apparently surgery is not an option for me..
  • LBoonLBoon Posts: 4Member Listener
    I am just in the process of trying to return to work and can sympathise with you on lots of levels. The surgery I have undergone was gruelling to say the least but I did however feel at last someone was trying to help me after years of being told I had arthritis for which nothing could or would be done other than yet more tablets. X
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