How can u find out if you have degerated disc disease

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by NewEnglander, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander New Member

    Hi there
    Just was wondering about degnerated disc disease and what the symtoms are. The pain I'm in can't possibley be just fibro. what test needs to be done to find out if I have it.
    thank you
  2. chellee

    chellee New Member

    I just found out a few months ago that I have this along with a herniated disk. The way mine was diagnosed was by having an MRI and X-rays. These pictures showed the degeneration very clearly. I hope this helps you! Good Luck!
  3. debbiem31

    debbiem31 New Member

    I had severe pain (sciatica) for years before I finally went to an orthopedic doc. He did a MRI which showed my deg. disc disease. The worthless, rude poop of a doc gave me a crappy scrip for Vioxx and showed me the door. Hope you have a better doc than I did!!

    Oh and sorry about your pain, I know how excruciating it can be, especially on top of the fibro pain...
  4. chellee

    chellee New Member

    I just found out a few months ago that I have this along with a herniated disk. The way mine was diagnosed was by having an MRI and X-rays. These pictures showed the degeneration very clearly. I hope this helps you! Good Luck!
  5. kredca4

    kredca4 New Member

    I see an Orthopedic Dr., for my DDD, and aslo OA.
    I hurt sometimes so Bad, I'm just sure there's something that can be seen, but nothing more than the OA and DDD, show's up on the Test.
    What is causing the Pain to be so Sever is the FMS.
    I just can't Grasp that sometimes, but I know that it is what is making me Hurt worse.

    I take Hot Shower's, not burning skin hot, I take my Pain Med and my Muscle Relxer, and sometimes I rub some Tiger Balm on the low back.

    I sure wish there was something Tangable that they could see , so they could take it out, but so far as I know, there isn't.

    I see my Dr. every 3 months, or when I'm hurting worse, like tomorrow I will be calling his office, because I fell yesterday morning, and I'm still in Pain, but we also have a Mild Storm coming through, and this makes me Hurt pretty bad too. I'm so glad that my Dr.s undrstanding and will see me, just to make sure I didn't crack something, feels like it this time. Pretty bruise too.

    Try seeing an Orhtopedic Doctor, and they probably will need X-ray's and an MRI, although my Dr. had a real good idea what was wrong with me Before the Test's, it was good to have them done, so I can treat the Condtions, that helps to lower the FMS symptoms.

    Good Luck to you
  6. chellee

    chellee New Member

    I just found out a few months ago that I have this along with a herniated disk. The way mine was diagnosed was by having an MRI and X-rays. These pictures showed the degeneration very clearly. I hope this helps you! Good Luck!
  7. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I just found out I have degenerative disk disease three weeks ago. I was having so much neck pain it bothered me just to try to hold my head up. Also I was having very severe tingling and pain down my spine. They did an MRI on me. I sure hope you don`t but I think many of us eventially end up with this. Mine is medium bad right now.
    I keep wandering what is this illness going to hit me with next? But I`m still fighting.
  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I was almost immobile from DDD and having trouble using my left arm and even breathing, and was told I'd have to have surgery on my neck. I said "No way" and went to my Rheumy to get a script for PHyscial Therapy.
    After 2 months of P.T. three times per week, I was all better, and as long as I continue to do the exercises they gave me to do at home and follow the rules, I am fine and don't even know I have DDD with a bone spur radiating down my left arm!
  9. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    DDD-Degenerative Disc Disease, is something we are going thru with our elderly father, his is being called severe. His spine is totally crumbling and he is in excruciating pain due to nerve involvement--mobility very limited. Currently pain management is accomplished with narcotics. One of the specialist he saw wanted to use steriod injections, which we all said no---to. However doing research we have found some other treatments more to our liking.

    The treatment we are currently pursuing with another specialist is
    Hyaluronic Acid Injections. This is a natural occuring lubricant found in healthy joints. The vertebrae that are now sitting atop of one another, with out cushioning, impenging nerves, are given a new cushion of the hyaluronic acid. The median symptom relief in this seems to be 12-18 months.

    I have included some other treatments available, which are minimally invasive, and do not have the side effects of steriods (which in immuno-depressed patients such as ourselves and the elderly) seemed contradictory to me.

    Intradiscal Electrothermy (IDET)

    IDET a percutaneous procedure that requires the insertion of a stylette into the disc space. This outpatient procedure is directed towards patients with symptomatic degenerative disc disease. This technique involves the insertion of a small-bore needle into the involved disc segment of a patient. General anesthesia is avoided in most patients and intravenous sedation is utilized. A catheter with a thermal tip is inserted through the needle and is coiled in the disc. The catheter tip is heated for 15 minutes (see image below), and the assembly is removed. We have prospectively examined patient outcomes and have found the technique to provide satisfactory lower back pain relief in 75% of patients treated.

    2003 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh.


    Kyphoplasty is a new technique in vertebral compression fractures that involves an introduction of a cannula into the vertebral body followed by the insertion of an inflatable balloon. The balloon is inflated within the vertebral body. When the balloon is inflated, it creates a space within the center of the vertebral body for the injection of polymethylmethacrylate.

    In addition, the inflation of the balloon itself can also lead to some increase in the vertebral body height and therefore correction of the abnormal configuration of the vertebral body that existed as a result of the fracture.

    After the balloon is removed, there is an empty space within the vertebral body that allows for the low-pressure injection of the polymethylmethacrylate into the cavity created by the balloon. Injection under low pressure has the advantage of decreasing the rate of leakage of polymethylmethacrylate either into the spinal canal or into the draining veins of the vertebral bodies. Recent reports reveal a high success rate using this technique.


    The nucleoplasty device is a catheter that creates a small, highly localized plasma field. This catheter is percutaneously inserted into the intervertebral disc through a stylet. The location is confirmed using fluoroscopy. The catheter is activated and gentle movements are made to the catheter as it lies within the disc space. In this way, small amounts of disc material may be ablated within the disc space and disc decompression may be effected.

    This technique is percutaneous and does not require any incision. It is most useful in patients with nerve root irritation due to smaller disc bulges or contained ruptures.

    Nucleoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Local anesthesia and mild sedation may be used to reduce discomfort during the procedure. You will be awake to provide important feedback to the physician.

    With the guidance of x-ray images, your physician will first advance a needle into the disc. A specialized device known as a SpineWand™, will then be introduced through the needle into the disc. Therapy consists of creating a series of channels in your disc and then thermally treating the tissue immediately adjacent to the wand. The process usually takes approximately one hour.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/14/2003]
  10. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Lisa,

    It looks like you have ample information. DDD is pretty darn common and may or may not be the source of your back pain. Believe me, I have explored my back pain with a neurosurgeon, 3 orthopedic back specialists and an osteopath. I have more pictures and tests than I care to admit. The worst test was a discogram, which clearly indicates disc pain by using new tech torture. Once all of my studies were complete and assorted specialists reviewed my condition; it boiled down to pain management. So, I live on narcotics and Vioxx. I am fortunate to have found something that helps me without side effects. I have been on this medicine for about 2-3 years now. I am never pain free, nor do I expect to be.

    The back can be incredibly complicated when it comes locating the source of pain. In my case the pain comes from my facet joints, discs, arthritis, fractures, spurs, nerve compression and more...You can get answers. I hope that you are able to locate your pain and find a way to heal it.

    Take care,