Nickhole's Journal

Some of my thoughts and some nonsense

I have DDD, Degenerative Disc Disease. 

Now, while that doesn't seem odd, I am only 24...that makes it odd. Also, I have never been in a serious accident that would have caused this. However, if there is a chance it could be genetic, then that could possibly be it, since my dad, my moms mom and my moms uncle all have it too. 

Right now my Dr wants me to do physical therapy because they only for sure way to fix it is a spinal fusion, which the Dr said is a pretty radical surgery for someone my age. 

So, I have 9 weeks of physical therapy, but I am not sure what I am going to do if that doesn't work..I guess he's going to want to do surgery...but, like I said I'm not sure. But, I am terrified of the surgery. I don't like surgery, I don't like on the purely superficial side it will mess up some of my tattoos on my back :( but like I said, that is purely superficial... 

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Nov. 21, 2010 at 8:16 AM

DDD IS genetic,and runs in my family.I have it and so did both of my mother's sisters.I was diagnosed at 37 due to chronic and severe lower back pain for which there seemed to be no cause.Studies of my back showed several discs worn way past my biological age.The doctor's recommendation to me was weight-bearing exercise.That's what I did and for years that seemed to do the trick,although I feel some worsening in the last year.I am not a fan of back surgery and IMO it usually makes things worse but that's just me and I would only have it as a final resort.Both my aunts took the surgical road,and neither one had lasting relief.One ended up with a surgically implanted pain pump and the other has just had another failed surgery last year;I've lost track of how many she's had but the drs say she's wheelchair-bound at this point.But she's 63 now and has been battling this for at least 20 years.If I were you I would really give physical therapy my all and only go the surgical route as a last resort.Maybe get a second opinion;there are lots of pain relief options here,from the pain pump to long-lasting,localized epidurals that give you 3 months of pain relief at a shot with no lasting side effects.Good luck.

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Nov. 21, 2010 at 1:38 PM

I have DDD also. I was diagnosed with SCOLIOSIS when I was 12 and it has is just now causing me pain. I was on Pain Management a year ago and it helped....They had me on some of the stongest meds made. I had physical therapy for 6 weeks and very lil improvement. My back continues to hurt...Good Luck on all..... 

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