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New Member Introductions If you just joined, please introduce yourself here. Please add a signature describing your spinal history (use the "User CP) and ask us how we can help you get started.


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  #1  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:15 PM
ummin032 ummin032 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Default New member - collapsed L5-S1 - 27yo M

Hi everyone,

My name is Dustin, I'm 27 years old and have a completely dessicated disc at L5-S1. My symptoms came on just over a year ago after tweaking my back carrying my bike down my apartment building stairs. A few days later, sciatica had my leg on fire and almost out of comission - I was limping pretty badly.

I've considered myself an athlete my whole life. I used to lift pretty heavy weights, not always responsibly , and believe my current condition is a result of feeling invincible and not paying close enough attention to signals from my body.

All my other discs are in healthy shape (my heart goes out to all of you with multiple disc problems). I can get around day-to-day with mild pain, but I can not be as active as I was a year ago. I was on a cycling team, riding 100 miles a week and feeling amazing. Now I go to the gym almost daily, but am very limited, mostly to PT exercises. If I miss the gym 2-3 days in a row, my body punishes me quickly with a painful low back and sciatica. For the first year, my sciatica was isolated to my left side, but now it's traveling to my right side, too.

I take pretty good care of myself, but am severely limited in terms of the active lifestyle I want to live. Snowboarding, cycling, playing tennis, hiking — these are just a few of the things I miss dearly, and hope to return to doing, potentially with the help of an ADR.

I've seen three back surgeons:
- one suggestion fusion (no thanks)
- one wanted to do a spinal decompression (i see it as a very temporary fix)
- one suggested going to Germany for an ADR

I've just submitted a form to Spinal Connection for a consultation, but am treating it as a very initial investigation phase. I'm sure they'll be overly omptomistic about my prognosis, but am trying to keep a balanced, realistic mindset. I know some people here would feel grateful to have the symptoms I have, but I'm still I'm hoping I can get closer to normal, and back to doing the things I love. My biggest fear is the longevity of an artificial disc, as I'm only 27 and need it to last a long time.

Anyway, thats the gist of my story. Reading your stories has been helpful so far. I'm glad I found this community.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2020-03-03 at 3.35.16 PM.jpg (8.4 KB, 17 views)

Last edited by ummin032; 03-04-2020 at 12:02 PM. Reason: added screenshot of MRI + changed age (birthday just happened!)
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2020, 07:48 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,907
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Hi Dustin, sorry you are here. But I hope we can support you in your next steps!

Oh jeez, you are so young. But with only one level to address, that's pretty good news in terms of your recovery and outcome.

When you can, please see:

https://www.adrsupport.org/forums/sh...ad.php?t=11053

There are hundreds of spine surgeons in the U.S. that have been doing disc replacement for 20 years. What state are you in?
__________________
"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2020, 03:32 PM
ummin032 ummin032 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
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I added my signiture, sorry about that!

I live in New York, and am originally from Seattle, Washington.

I dont know much about all the options, but I find the fact the German doctors have been doing this longer than anyone comforting — that's also how the surgeon who reccomended looking into it framed it.
__________________
2018
- Sciatica came on, thought it was a leg injury from overtraining on my bike

2019
- Diagnosed with collapsed L5-S1
- Received epidural injection to no benefit
- Started (and am still doing) PT which provides some relief

2020
- Exploring options to leave a pain free and active life

27 years old - male - NY, New York
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  #4  
Old 02-29-2020, 02:53 PM
JackBauer JackBauer is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 87
Default

Amazing that you saw a spine doctor who actually recommended going to Germany.

That gives me hope that there are at least SOME progressive doctors in our healthcare system.
__________________
L4-L5 Broad Diffuse Bulge, mildly contacting left L5 nerve root
L5-S1 Broad Central Disc Protrusion mildly impinging left S1 nerve root
"Mild scoliosis of lumbar spine".
Four central disc protrusions in thoracic spine.

C5-C6, C6-C7 bulging, bone spurs. Imaging not looking good. Successful CP-ESP's placed in Oct 2019 by Dr. Desai.

Delayed lumbar surgery to work on bone density. Considering options now, some but minimal bone density improvement. Will only use LP-ESP.
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  #5  
Old 02-29-2020, 06:24 PM
Cheryl0331 Cheryl0331 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 821
Default I would like to ditto that

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackBauer View Post
Amazing that you saw a spine doctor who actually recommended going to Germany.

That gives me hope that there are at least SOME progressive doctors in our healthcare system.
Wish I had known all the options before my first fusion. I feel my life would be so different in a positive way now.
__________________
53 yr old 5ft.7in. 141 lbs. non-smoker conservative treatments failed
2007 fusion C4-6 w/peek implants plate & screws, failed due to long term use of cox-2 inhibitor
2008 revised w/donor bone replace plate & screws
2009 fusion Roi-C C3-4
2015 MRI & CT mjr ddd C6-7, segmental kyphosis at C7-T1 2-level ADR with Dr. Clavel Barcelona Spain
2019 some ddd C2-3, but stable, occipital nerve pain , HO behind M6 left C6-7 and in spinal canal. Revision by Dr. Schmitz Dusseldorf Germany
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2020, 02:03 AM
beaverc beaverc is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 119
Thumbs up Lifestyle

ummin032

"but am severely limited in terms of the active lifestyle I want to live. Snowboarding, cycling, playing tennis, hiking — these are just a few of the things I miss dearly, and hope to return to doing, potentially with the help of an ADR".
Ummin032 one level + Euro dr. is a great formula! Go for it ! You can realistically expect to be go back to those things and get your life back !
Good luck please keep posting....................
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2020, 04:07 PM
bokes bokes is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 20
Default

Hi ummin032, as discussed in another thread, our pain/disabilities are similar. Question plz, you said your disc is dessicated & collapsed. By 'collapsed', I'm assuming you mean it is flatted out (thin), is that right? My L34 & L45 are completely black on my MRI, but they still have good height.
Given how much you want your active lifestyle back, & If your disc has thinned out, I'd get an ADR in Europe for sure. Altho surgery has it's risks, non-action can have risks too (facet problems, spondylosis, ..)
Also in my research it appears that ADRs wear very little. Also who knows what advancements will be available in 20 years.I wouldn't worry about longevity, Id be more concerned about subsidence, migration, or misalignment. Hopefully a top surgeon will minimize these risks.
__________________
50 yrs old
2001- tore L34 and L45 after chiropractor had me do a cobra stretch during a back strain, became immobile w/ chronic spasms.
2002- IDET from the inventor Dr Saal. Got mobility back, but frequent flare-ups ever since, no sports, no sitting soft chairs/sofa.
Considering ADR in hope of being more active.
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  #8  
Old 03-03-2020, 03:39 PM
ummin032 ummin032 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Default

Hey Bokes,

That's a good question. I am unsure if this is correct, but I use the words 'collapsed' and 'dessicated' interchangebly.

I think my height is OK, but the issue is the disc is not very stable, causing instability that leads to recurring sciatica and intense episodes of back pain depending on the activity.

I added a screenshot of my MRI — how does the height compare to yours?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2020-03-03 at 3.35.16 PM.jpg (8.4 KB, 13 views)
__________________
2018
- Sciatica came on, thought it was a leg injury from overtraining on my bike

2019
- Diagnosed with collapsed L5-S1
- Received epidural injection to no benefit
- Started (and am still doing) PT which provides some relief

2020
- Exploring options to leave a pain free and active life

27 years old - male - NY, New York
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  #9  
Old 03-03-2020, 07:29 PM
bokes bokes is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 20
Default

Hey Dustin,
yeah I think disc height & water content are different criteria to disc health, along with # of bulges/herniations, annular tears, & stability.
It looks like your L5S1 has lost about 40% of it's height. To me it looks like you're a perfect candidate for an ADR, but i'm not the expert. I just keep hearing that things go downhill once the disc height collapses, or when nerves get pinched for a long period of time.
I posted a pic of my MRI on my intro thread, I think my bad levels have more height than your L5S1, but you only have one bad disc. Your other discs look perfect!
__________________
50 yrs old
2001- tore L34 and L45 after chiropractor had me do a cobra stretch during a back strain, became immobile w/ chronic spasms.
2002- IDET from the inventor Dr Saal. Got mobility back, but frequent flare-ups ever since, no sports, no sitting soft chairs/sofa.
Considering ADR in hope of being more active.
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2020, 09:31 PM
Cheryl0331 Cheryl0331 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 821
Default Ummin032

I am not a doctor, but sorry, but you disc height is poor. I don't think a micro discectomy would help. You also have a lot of osteoarthritis. I would listen to the doctor that recommended seeing an ADR surgeon. There is one in Texax at the Texas Back Institute if traveling to Europe is not an option. However, out of network in the US may cost more. I would get at least two options. I am a Dr. Clavel patient, and would highly recommend him as at least one of your submissions.
__________________
53 yr old 5ft.7in. 141 lbs. non-smoker conservative treatments failed
2007 fusion C4-6 w/peek implants plate & screws, failed due to long term use of cox-2 inhibitor
2008 revised w/donor bone replace plate & screws
2009 fusion Roi-C C3-4
2015 MRI & CT mjr ddd C6-7, segmental kyphosis at C7-T1 2-level ADR with Dr. Clavel Barcelona Spain
2019 some ddd C2-3, but stable, occipital nerve pain , HO behind M6 left C6-7 and in spinal canal. Revision by Dr. Schmitz Dusseldorf Germany
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