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Degenerative Joints and Disks

Dec 06, 2014 11:47 PM

Does anyone know much about DDD and DJD of the spine? I have this in pretty much all of my disks and joints from top of thoracic through lumbar and S joints. Does anyone know if there is a treatment for this many places of degeneration. What happens when I no longer have disks left? They can't replace them all can they? I am asking because this really frightens me when I think about my future. Is it reversible at all?

Dec 07, 2014 6:33 AM

I've had DDD since 1992, and they don't go in and fuse discs as much as they use to. They're trying alternative treatments like epidural steroid injx blocks, which have made a tremendous improvement for me. My neck discs were fused in 1992 & 1995, and I barely am able to turn my head to the side. Unfortunately I had no choice because I had several ruptured discs along with nerve impingement by the collapsing discs. My advice is try injx first, along with massage and chiropractic or orthopedic therapy first. Surgery should be a last resort. I have another neck disc collapsing but thankfully its perfectly aligned and not encroaching on any nerves. DDD was described as being similar to osteoarthritis by my doctors; where I have degerating bones from the osteoarthritis, the discs are also degenerating also. I inherited most of this, and have been suffering since I was 28, and I'm 53 now. I wish I could tell you it could "go away" with treatments but mine will eventually give me a dowagers hump and possibly be wheelchair bound. But, I'm not focusing on it, I focus on my blessings instead. Good luck with treatment methods and God bless!

Dec 07, 2014 11:09 AM

Thank you for your response Flappylady. I too have been defeating since late teens early 20's. Not sure that I can tie it to anything other than multple traumas. I no longer have a curvature in my neck. And as I'm getting older I am getting a hunch back if you will. I'm still in my early 30s raising a large family and scared that one day I won't be walking around anymore. People ask me alot about whetheI'velooked into surgeries and I'm thinking I don't feel to keen on having my entire spine fused together. Over the years I can feel things getting worse and places that didn't hurt as bad before trying to compensate for the places in spine that don't function properly. It's so bad these days that I have been affected in every area. I guess the only thing I can do is just keep trying to get the most out of each day while I still can.

Dec 07, 2014 11:09 AM

Not defeating. *degenerating

Dec 07, 2014 11:20 AM

Most of the population suffers with DDD as they age, Some just have it worse than others. There are so many options to chose from so the only advice I can provide is that you need to keep trying treatments and medications until you find one that works for you. Don't give up and give the treatments and medications time, there is no magic pill or treatment that will make all your issues disappear immediately.

I also agree with FlappysLady in that, surgery should be your last resort. I elected for surgery 6 years ago and I wish I never did it. And to give my surgeon the benefit of the doubt, he did advise me not to have the surgery but he also qualified that statement with, I have to tell everyone this as surgery should be your last resort as its dangerous, risky and may not result in improvement with many possible repercussions. Dont get fooled by the statistics of successful procedures as my surgery was classified as successful, now take a look at my pain diagram and you decide whether that looks like a success.

Surgical success is classified as, did they complete the objective and did it with the patient surviving and without infection or other complications. Whether your pain was dealt with is not relevant to the statistical data, only if they objective was successful. Ie, did they successfully remove the bulging disk or remove the disk and fuse the vertebrae? If the answer to those questions is yes and if you survived without complication such as anesthesia complications or infection, then your surgery was a success. Statistics are misleading. You are best to talk to people who have similar issues and elected for surgery and how would they judge the benefit of the surgery

Dec 07, 2014 11:41 AM

CA Campbell i have known several people and acquaintances to have surged like you described have not met anyone yet who came out feeling "all better". It seems to me that all have residual problems and most regret it. I didn't know about how they classify success. It seems so wrong that they wouldn't account for pain levels before and after, however I completely believe it. I have already tried years of chiropractor, massage therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, tens unit and many types of medications. For a long timeI was hopefull about every treatment I tried thinking that something was bound to give lasting relief. But everything was temporary and came with a high price and time needed. I can't be at a clinic3/4 times a week anymore note can I afford it. Medications are not fun either because most have bad side effects. I haven't completely given up, but for the most part have just accepted that this is my life now and i am going to have to try and live it by what ever means necessary. I can't help but to think about what my future will be like but i don't like to dwell on it cause it doesn't seem great. Science is always coming out with new advances so maybe something will come along that will help me with out cutting me to pieces for no reason. Lately i have been trying hard to focus on the positive and this is all I can come up with when i think about my body.

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