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Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:51 pm
I received my MRI results today and it looks like L5/S1 is getting thin. The doc said it is wear and tear and the disc above it looks dry. L5/S1 is the disc that was operated on 16 years ago and is now supposed to be 80% scar tissue. The doc thinks from the MRI, that the disc (scar tissue) is thin and that I may be experiencing bone on bone. I am thinking that because this is scar tissue, it cannot heal like a regular disc ( any thoughts?) He thinks over time a fusion may be in order but will wait and see.
Now the good news. For sixteen years I was doing stretching as part of my work out and doing it daily. I asked the doc about the other two herniated discs I had sixteen years ago that he found when he opened me up and he said they are no longer herniated at all. So I think Dean is really onto something. Personally, with the RYB exercises, which include decompression, I find my back more relaxed and agile than ever. So I am continuing with the program to keep the other discs hydrated and in shape. As for the scar tissue disc, we will just see. If I need work on that in the future, I want that to be the only one. In the meantime still doing basics but sciatica seems to be diminishing.
I am thinking about developing a routine around RYB, Back RX and Stuart McGill.
Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:50 am
Makes sense that if your disc is 80% scar tissue it won't heal the same, but i'm not sure that means the exercises won't help. That is good news that your two herniations look good. I think that is what most of us here have, and is good to know the exercises can reduce or eliminate it long term.
Have you looked into disc replacement surgery. Sounds like a lot better alternative than fusion. I read somewhere that fusion puts additional stress on the next disc up and you will have problems with it soon, especially if it is already dry.
Re: MRI results
Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:17 pm
Now the good news. For sixteen years I was doing stretching as part of my work out and doing it daily. I asked the doc about the other two herniated discs I had sixteen years ago that he found when he opened me up and he said they are no longer herniated at all. So I think Dean is really onto something.
what kinds of herniations were those other two. focal or broad based. Were those just bulges or there was a tear of the annulus fibrosus as well.
If that is true we are on the right track with the exercises.
Tomcat is right in terms of fusion, but there is no good results of disc replacement either. I would say you continue the RYB program and live conervatively for a couple of years and the go for disc replacement as in matter of time disc replacement surgery will mature more and more.
Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:12 pm
Tom and Rupert
I am going to do the exercises until I absolutely have no choice but surgery and then will evaluate the best and newest methods out there.
My other two discs were always called bulging. They were bulging in 1990 and 1999 with no further deterioration and now gone. I know ruptured is when the jelly comes out but what is herniated as opposed to bulging? I thougth I read on this site that they were the same. Can you clear it up for me?
Disc fusion did not look good to me. He showed me a sample. Spacers are put between two verterbrae and then they are joined by metal pieces that are screwed in at the top and bottom discs.
Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:23 am
Here is a description I found on a spine site. Hope it clears things up.
Bulging is a lesser degree of disc herniation. You can think of a disc herniation in four stages: bulging, protrusion, extrusion, and sequestration. In the first two cases, the annular ring is intact, whereas in the last two cases, the annular ring is disrupted.
You can make an analogy to a rubber tire. You can have a small bulge or bigger bulge which can be called a protrusion. If the tire wall is ruptured, then you have an extrusion. Sequestration means that the content of the disc is now freely floating outside the tire.
Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:37 pm
That was a great analogy. I am still doing the basics and feel pretty good. Just drove to Boston and back today - 2 1/2 hours each way. Wore a brace on the way back for about an hour. Feels pretty good right now after doing the basics and will know more tomorrow when I wake up. Going to ice and heat right now.
Sequestration sounds pretty bad. I probably had that when my disc broke.