Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)...17 total and counting

Posted by mzrose75 @mzrose75, Aug 3, 2021

My 1st disc herniation was at 32 y.o. there were 2 in my lumbar area went to P.T. for about a year no success until I got SI Joint injection. Then it was a slow process of getting back to the old active me with 3 kids. At 34 I had emergency surgery on T10-T-11 fusion with rod. After PT and exercise I was an active parent and community member. At 43 y.o. I started having pains & electrical shocks and currents all over like I was being tazed. Come to find out I have C-4 to T-1 bad now. Multiple different surgical opinions. No surgery as of yet. All the nerve blocking and integrated treatments haven't work for pain & nueropthy. As of last imaging I have a total of 17 herniation throughout my spine. And osteophytes all over and post surgical failure, fibromyalgia and RA along with plenty of other things. I now have a morphine med pump in my back for pain. But my spine continues to feel weaker each year. I am being given bandaids one for each issue but no one seems to have any idea why or what is causing all of this? Not looking forward to my future like this!

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@mzrose75 Hello and welcome to Connect. I am a spine surgery patient too. From your description of the electric shocks all over your body, that is something that needs to be evaluated. I had spinal cord compression at C5/C6 with a herniated disc and osteophytes that were compressing my spinal cord and causing those symptoms. I could bend my neck and send an electric shock down my body from the one bad disc that I had.

What are the offers that you have for surgery? Do your surgeons connect your symptoms to spinal cord compression? Have they been able to explain exactly where your pain is coming from? Those are key questions to figure out if you have a surgeon who understands that cervical cord compression does generate pain all over the body and it won't follow the dermatome maps that show specific nerve roots and where they go in the body.

I saw several surgeons who didn't understand my case and it is frustrating. Can you be more specific about what you said that no one seems to understand the cause of your symptoms? What have you been told?

REPLY

Fibromyalgia

OA, Symptomatic RA

SI Joint Disfunction

Displacement of lumbar intervertebral disc without myelopathy

DDD (degenerative disc disease), cervical

Neuropathic pain

Other chronic pain

Polyarthralgia

Failed back surgical syndrome

Facet arthropathy, cervical

Cervical radicular pain

Complaints of total body pain

Neuropathy

Thoracic radiculopathy

Cervical stenosis of spine

Lumbar radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Past use of tobacco

Verbal Memory Impairment difficulties

Vitamin D deficiency

Essential hypertension

Presence of intrathecal pump

Dream enactment behavior

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Complexed sleep apnea
BiPap

TMJ Dysfunction

HNP (herniated nucleus pulposus), thoracic

DISH (diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis)

Environmental and seasonal allergies

The cervical spinal canal is congenitally small which is likely related to
congenitally short pedicles. There is loss of the usual cervical lordosis with
straightening of the cervical spine. There is approximately 2 mm
retrolisthesis of C6 on C7. The cervical vertebral body heights are
maintained. Generalized bone marrow signal is within normal limits for age.

The cervical spinal cord is normal in caliber and signal. The cerebellar
tonsils are normal in position.

C2-C3: The disc is within normal limits. The central canal and left foramen
are patent. There is mild right foraminal narrowing secondary to mild right
facet arthropathy.

C3-C4: Unremarkable.

C4-C5: There is a shallow right paracentral disc protrusion. Mild uncinate
hypertrophy and mild facet arthropathy contribute to mild left and minimal
right foraminal stenosis. The central canal is patent.

C5-C6: There is a shallow left paracentral disc protrusion, superimposed on a
small disc bulge osteophyte complex. Endplate osseous ridging is seen along
with very minimal facet arthropathy. Moderate left and mild right foraminal
stenosis is present. The central canal is small but patent.

C6-C7: There is a diffuse disc bulge osteophyte complex with shallow left
foraminal disc protrusion noted. Mild facet arthropathy and endplate osseous
ridging contributes to moderate left foraminal stenosis. Mild to moderate
right foraminal stenosis is also seen. The central canal is small but patent.

C7-T1: The disc is within normal limits. There is mild facet arthropathy on
the left and mild to moderate facet arthropathy on the right. The central
canal and foramen are patent.
The T1-2, T2-3, T3-4 and T4-5 discs are within normal limits. At these levels,
there is no significant central canal or foraminal stenosis.

T5-6: There is a broad-based left paracentral disc protrusion which extends
slightly into the left neural foramen. The central canal is patent. There is
mild narrowing of the left lateral recess and left neural foramen. This disc
is slightly larger than on the prior study.

T6-7: There is a right paracentral minimally cranially and minimally caudally
extruded disc herniation, larger than on the prior study. Mild effacement of
the right ventral thecal sac and ventral surface of the spinal cord is
observed but there is no abnormal cord signal. No significant foraminal
stenosis seen.

T7-8: There is a shallow posterior central disc protrusion, unchanged compared
to the prior study. The central canal and foramen are patent.

T9 and T9-10: Minimal disc bulges are seen. The central canal and foramen are
patent as imaged.

T10-11: There is significant metallic artifact limiting assessment of the disc
space. There is suggestion of a small disc bulge.

T11-12 and T12-L1: Unremarkable.

T11-T12: Metallic susceptibility artifact related to right-sided pedicle
screws are again seen. There is suggestion of a persistent diffuse disc bulge
and small focal left paracentral disc extrusion which contributes to mild
partial effacement of subarachnoid space with mild central canal stenosis.

L1-L2: Unremarkable.

L2-L3: Mild diffuse disc bulge. Mild facet arthropathy. No stenosis or
narrowing.

L3-L4: Mild-moderate diffuse disc bulge with bilateral foraminal endplate
ridging. Mild-moderate facet arthropathy. Mild left and minimal right neural
foraminal narrowing. Slight left lateral recess narrowing. No central canal
stenosis.

L4-L5: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed small-moderate-sized focal
posterior central and left paracentral disc extrusion which extends slightly
inferior to the intervertebral disc space. Moderate bilateral facet
arthropathy. Left lateral recess stenosis and right lateral recess narrowing.
Mild left and minimal right neural foraminal narrowing. No significant central
canal stenosis.

L5-S1: Advanced degenerative disc disease with vacuum disc phenomenon. Diffuse
disc bulge. Small-moderate-sized focal left paracentral disc protrusion.
Advanced hypertrophic facet arthropathy. Bilateral lateral recess stenosis,
left worse than right. Mild central canal stenosis. Mild-moderate bilateral
neural foraminal narrowing…
IN A NUT SHELL…

REPLY
@mzrose75

Fibromyalgia

OA, Symptomatic RA

SI Joint Disfunction

Displacement of lumbar intervertebral disc without myelopathy

DDD (degenerative disc disease), cervical

Neuropathic pain

Other chronic pain

Polyarthralgia

Failed back surgical syndrome

Facet arthropathy, cervical

Cervical radicular pain

Complaints of total body pain

Neuropathy

Thoracic radiculopathy

Cervical stenosis of spine

Lumbar radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Past use of tobacco

Verbal Memory Impairment difficulties

Vitamin D deficiency

Essential hypertension

Presence of intrathecal pump

Dream enactment behavior

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Complexed sleep apnea
BiPap

TMJ Dysfunction

HNP (herniated nucleus pulposus), thoracic

DISH (diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis)

Environmental and seasonal allergies

The cervical spinal canal is congenitally small which is likely related to
congenitally short pedicles. There is loss of the usual cervical lordosis with
straightening of the cervical spine. There is approximately 2 mm
retrolisthesis of C6 on C7. The cervical vertebral body heights are
maintained. Generalized bone marrow signal is within normal limits for age.

The cervical spinal cord is normal in caliber and signal. The cerebellar
tonsils are normal in position.

C2-C3: The disc is within normal limits. The central canal and left foramen
are patent. There is mild right foraminal narrowing secondary to mild right
facet arthropathy.

C3-C4: Unremarkable.

C4-C5: There is a shallow right paracentral disc protrusion. Mild uncinate
hypertrophy and mild facet arthropathy contribute to mild left and minimal
right foraminal stenosis. The central canal is patent.

C5-C6: There is a shallow left paracentral disc protrusion, superimposed on a
small disc bulge osteophyte complex. Endplate osseous ridging is seen along
with very minimal facet arthropathy. Moderate left and mild right foraminal
stenosis is present. The central canal is small but patent.

C6-C7: There is a diffuse disc bulge osteophyte complex with shallow left
foraminal disc protrusion noted. Mild facet arthropathy and endplate osseous
ridging contributes to moderate left foraminal stenosis. Mild to moderate
right foraminal stenosis is also seen. The central canal is small but patent.

C7-T1: The disc is within normal limits. There is mild facet arthropathy on
the left and mild to moderate facet arthropathy on the right. The central
canal and foramen are patent.
The T1-2, T2-3, T3-4 and T4-5 discs are within normal limits. At these levels,
there is no significant central canal or foraminal stenosis.

T5-6: There is a broad-based left paracentral disc protrusion which extends
slightly into the left neural foramen. The central canal is patent. There is
mild narrowing of the left lateral recess and left neural foramen. This disc
is slightly larger than on the prior study.

T6-7: There is a right paracentral minimally cranially and minimally caudally
extruded disc herniation, larger than on the prior study. Mild effacement of
the right ventral thecal sac and ventral surface of the spinal cord is
observed but there is no abnormal cord signal. No significant foraminal
stenosis seen.

T7-8: There is a shallow posterior central disc protrusion, unchanged compared
to the prior study. The central canal and foramen are patent.

T9 and T9-10: Minimal disc bulges are seen. The central canal and foramen are
patent as imaged.

T10-11: There is significant metallic artifact limiting assessment of the disc
space. There is suggestion of a small disc bulge.

T11-12 and T12-L1: Unremarkable.

T11-T12: Metallic susceptibility artifact related to right-sided pedicle
screws are again seen. There is suggestion of a persistent diffuse disc bulge
and small focal left paracentral disc extrusion which contributes to mild
partial effacement of subarachnoid space with mild central canal stenosis.

L1-L2: Unremarkable.

L2-L3: Mild diffuse disc bulge. Mild facet arthropathy. No stenosis or
narrowing.

L3-L4: Mild-moderate diffuse disc bulge with bilateral foraminal endplate
ridging. Mild-moderate facet arthropathy. Mild left and minimal right neural
foraminal narrowing. Slight left lateral recess narrowing. No central canal
stenosis.

L4-L5: Diffuse disc bulge with superimposed small-moderate-sized focal
posterior central and left paracentral disc extrusion which extends slightly
inferior to the intervertebral disc space. Moderate bilateral facet
arthropathy. Left lateral recess stenosis and right lateral recess narrowing.
Mild left and minimal right neural foraminal narrowing. No significant central
canal stenosis.

L5-S1: Advanced degenerative disc disease with vacuum disc phenomenon. Diffuse
disc bulge. Small-moderate-sized focal left paracentral disc protrusion.
Advanced hypertrophic facet arthropathy. Bilateral lateral recess stenosis,
left worse than right. Mild central canal stenosis. Mild-moderate bilateral
neural foraminal narrowing…
IN A NUT SHELL…

Jump to this post

@mzrose75 Wow, you do have a list. What are your doctors saying now as a recommended plan of care?

REPLY

Hum well kinda being treated by each specialty for each individual issue. How is there not an umbrella issue. I'm 45 yrs old no previous accidents or injuries just breaking down everywhere, I'm sure I missed some stuff. I have an appointment 09/21 with Neurology in Fond du Lac Mayo..needed to start somewhere. I get about 20 different scripts for now to manage, obviously if I'm here nothing is working. What is stuck in the back of my mind is how far will this keep going before its figured out?

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God bless you. I can only imagine what you are going through. I don’t know if you are trying to get into Mayo. But if you are I hope to heaven that you get in

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@stantallusa

God bless you. I can only imagine what you are going through. I don’t know if you are trying to get into Mayo. But if you are I hope to heaven that you get in

Jump to this post

Thank you. Yes I have an appointment next month finally.

REPLY
@mzrose75

Hum well kinda being treated by each specialty for each individual issue. How is there not an umbrella issue. I'm 45 yrs old no previous accidents or injuries just breaking down everywhere, I'm sure I missed some stuff. I have an appointment 09/21 with Neurology in Fond du Lac Mayo..needed to start somewhere. I get about 20 different scripts for now to manage, obviously if I'm here nothing is working. What is stuck in the back of my mind is how far will this keep going before its figured out?

Jump to this post

@mzrose75 it sounds like you are doing the right things. A complex case takes time to solve. I am a complex case too because of having a spine condition and thoracic outlet syndrome that also causes a nerve and vascular compression with overlapping symptoms. That is something that doctors missed for years. When I got to diagnosing the spine condition, my symptoms were not what the surgeons were expecting, so 5 of them passed on helping me. I wasted 2 years jumping through their hoops. One of the problems is that with surgeons in private practice for profit, the success of their career earnings depends on their ratings of successful procedures. Insurance companies rate them and patients may write bad reviews online if their expectations are not met. It is easier to cherry pick your cases and pass on the harder ones so you have higher numbers in your statistics. Thankfully I found a surgeon who wasn't worried about helping me. Has anyone looked for reasons why you have degenerated discs at an earlier age? It is a normal part of aging and injuries add to it. Those would be questions to ask about like is their a reason your connective tissue may be weaker that the average person?

REPLY

Your list looks very similar to mine and I’m 37. I am so sorry you’re in this boat.

I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which explains the reason behind my unstable spine. Have you been examined for that? Might be worth a shot. There is no cure for EDS but at least it’s another piece of the puzzle if you have it.

REPLY
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