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Thread: Degenerated discs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    68

    Degenerated discs

    Hi, all.

    I think there should be a new TOPIC area for this topic.

    I haven't been here in two years but if memory serves our degenerated discs are above and below our rods?

    When I came here last it was just C4-5 or the general neck area.

    Am having hip pains and am "certain" it's just another degenerated disc (below the fusion). I see no purpose in seeing ortho guys/gals who will want an MRI. $$$ although I loved the valium!

    I do believe in physical therapy that was made possible after the MRI. So nice to understand how it all works and how to get myself out of pain. Almost always since January 2008. I should clarify. I have not been in pain that I couldn't relieve, since then but I live some days with my head dropped left -- nothing dopey just ... ok ok I am not complaining.

    If you have advice or experience, and I KNOW you do (last time here I was in denial and did not want to deal with scoli or my Herrington rods -- I just hate that it all goes back to scoli, including insecurities (never quite good enough, small example).

    Talk to me scoli girls/guys.

    Maryhou I switched computers and shut the myspace acct. Please contact me. How did your surgery go? Did you have it? Guy in Austen was great?
    Traction at 13, body cast 1 mos., Milwaukee, first plastic (severe allergy, abdomen skin burst, watery) then leather. Harrington Rod @ 15, 9 mos body cast, hips up. 9 more mos being careful and protective. Degenerated disc C4-5 I think well above the rod. Degenerated disc below the rod now? Probably.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    101
    Hi ck43,

    I also have a Harrington rod and had low back/hip/butt and leg pain for several months. The low back/butt and leg pain turned out to be a herniated disc at L5/S1 pinching the S1 nerve (the one that's called the sciatic nerve). I found this out after a CT scan. The hip pain ended up being my hip locking up to deal with it.

    Physiotherapy has done wonders for me. The disc seems to have moved off of the nerve and I am now starting to work at getting the flexibility back in my hips. My physiotherpist warned me that those who've been fused for scoliosis really need to keep the hips flexible and I'd never really done anything specific for my hips (just lots of exercises for my lower back).

    I am fused from T5 to L2, so my bottom three discs take all the brunt and I would imagine my hips do too. If you have a similar fusion, it may be the same for you. If you don't want an MRI, a physiotherapist may be able to do some gentle testing on the area to determine what is causing the pain. Good luck!
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    68
    Thanks for your reply. I can't remember where I was fused just it is a long fusion?

    How do you compare long to long? Shoulder blades to hips.

    Thanks for telling me of your experience.

    So you are saying, maybe, get the diagnostics and go from there? Help could be on the way?

    With the upper disc I bend my neck this way that way, or grab onto a doorway with my hands and take one step forward. Driving pain? Rest your hands on the lower rim of the circle.

    I have lived a few times, 90 days not knowing the relief. I took every medication in the house. If you are a newbie, some pain does not respond within the brain to meds. I did crazy things (they weren't crazy) like moving the coffee table, remote etc, thinking I had injured the right side of my body and determined not to use it, to heal.

    I'll be upfront. I don't want to go to the ortho because of expense but also I don't want the bad news. Like I might lose urinary control, crap like that and that they can tell better than I as to my strength.

    I am not going back in, until I have to. I have issues with control and control over me. Just being honest. I need to be in worse shape than I am.

    I don't want to go back every blank months, and blank months, and blank years.

    Let's form a flag and rebel. I really don't like the coming back every year because they might tell better than I do, at me losing strength.

    All aboard? Sorry for my rant tonight. I think I am entitled, just a little.
    (kept it all in for years, like many of you)

    Physiotherapist? How do you get there without the MRI, ortho etc.?
    Traction at 13, body cast 1 mos., Milwaukee, first plastic (severe allergy, abdomen skin burst, watery) then leather. Harrington Rod @ 15, 9 mos body cast, hips up. 9 more mos being careful and protective. Degenerated disc C4-5 I think well above the rod. Degenerated disc below the rod now? Probably.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    101
    Hi ck43,

    I'm not sure how it works in the U.S., but in where I am in Canada, the wait times for the MRIs and CTs are so long that you don't usually get referred for one unless you've tried a couple of months of physiotherapy. So up here, you definitely don't need the MRI before you start physiotherapy. I got a referral from my family doctor for physiotherapy, but I don't think I even needed that - I could have called the physiotherapist directly. Hopefully it works the same in the U.S and you can just get in to see a physiotherapist if you don't want an MRI (though honestly, I'm having the opposite problem - lots of physio and still waiting for an MRI - and I'd really like the MRI to get a better idea of what's going on).

    I would make sure to find a physiotherapist who specializes in back problems and who is familiar with how to treat those with fusions. My physiotherapist is specialized in these areas and has been able to diagnose some of my pains through very gentle manipulations and exercises. She is then able to give me exercises to treat them.

    I wouldn't worry about losing urinary control (unless you're already losing it) - pain in the hips doesn't even necessarily mean it's all going downhill. I've been dealing with lower back pain on and off for 9 years and it always goes away with physio (and definitely hasn't led to urinary control problems).

    I'm not exactly sure what we're rebelling against , but sure, no more bad news! (I'd love to rebel against my back and tell it - "I've had enough - no more problems!").
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    68

    Talking

    Thanks SIs. Your information is helpful. Down here there is little wait time if you have insurance. What I mean is, a friend of mine needs an MRI but her insurance is so lousy that she hasn't gone through with an MRI. It would cost her $750 out of pocket. I think mine ended up around $500 some?

    The "urinary" thing and other side effects I read about and was asked about by my doctor, is connected to the degenerated disc in my neck. So far no problems.

    I went to a physiotherapist last year for my neck (pain all radiates in my shoulder mainly). He really helped me in three ways. a) showing me clearly how it all works and how much the discs were impinging on my spinal cord b) how to get out of pain by certain movements c) not feeling strange about my scoli and not being angry either. Everything was so logical and matter of fact without emotion.

    I should dig through the archives as I believe top and bottom degenerated discs are not unusual.

    While I would like to know exactly what is going on.... and the valium was great last time, I am squirrely and claustrophic, don't want to ask my spouse to drive with me again, and don't want to pay the cost.

    I was referred to the physical therapist, $25 out of pocket each visit and I was going a couple of times a week. It is encouraging to hear of your progress however.

    What takes REALLY long? Getting in to see the doctor. I'm not kidding. Their wait schedule is well over a month. By the time I have gotten there (twice now) I wasn't in pain anymore. (of course it came back but ...)

    My friend who needs the MRI did get physical therapy but then she was sobbing and screaming from pain when she went to the hospital.

    aw, I think I will be a more peaceful visitor than in the past to this forum. I mean I was never nasty, just passionate and angry about some things from the past, and learning that some of those things still happen to kids right now? furioso! It made me angry and I wanted to protect the kids. I guess it's more healing to learn that whatever happened with me and some others, won't happen anymore.

    It's funny to think that physical therapy helped me through this. Definitely and undocumented unexpected perk. He normalized me. 'You're tight here because this is pulling on this..." Really? He was so professional and "distant" but personable that it felt normal for him to touch my scapulas.
    Traction at 13, body cast 1 mos., Milwaukee, first plastic (severe allergy, abdomen skin burst, watery) then leather. Harrington Rod @ 15, 9 mos body cast, hips up. 9 more mos being careful and protective. Degenerated disc C4-5 I think well above the rod. Degenerated disc below the rod now? Probably.

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