View Full Version : Slipped disks

07-03-2007, 11:51 AM
Is this a symptom of Lupus? I have 2 slipped disk, the doctors want me to have them "fixed". But Im afraid Ill be worse after surgery, or the stress of surgery will cause a flare. For those of you that have had the surgery, was it worth it, did it aggravate the Lupus.

My nero-surgeon gave me a 30% failure rate, if I have the surgery, is that high, are the odds against me?

What do I do??????????

07-04-2007, 10:42 AM
A slipped disc (or herniated disc) is not a symptom of Lupus per se. That is not to say that some symptoms of muscle weakness, inflammation or arthritic symptoms of Lupus cannot contribute to your predisposition of a herniated disc. I cannot say for sure, but generally it is not a symptom of Lupus.
Info re: Herniated/Slipped Disc -
The spine is made up of stacked bones called vertebrae. They are arranged in three natural curves to keep your body supported. Strong, flexible muscles and ligaments help maintain these curves. In between each of the bones of the spine are soft cushions called discs that act as shock absorbers. The nerves exit between the vertebrae and branch out to your body. Each disc has a spongy center and a tough outer ring. There is a constant exchange of fluids in and out of the discs. While we sleep the discs fill with fluid. During the day with standing and sitting, the fluid is pushed out. That is why we are shorter at the end of the day. How we move during the day and especially our posture affects the size, shape, flexibility and health of our discs.
Even though that is what we call it, discs do not slip out or fall out. They tear, bulge and rupture. This allows the inside portion of the disc to leak out and put pressure on nearby nerves. This results in weakening the rest of your back. Pain in the back and legs as well as numbness may result.
A disk is a small mass of elastic, gristle-like tissue located between each vertebra in the spinal column. When this disk material bulges and pops out of place into the spinal canal, this is known as a ruptured or herniated disk.
I cannot give you advice on your chances of surgery or if you should have surgery. Here are some websites about the surgery that might give you a bit more information:
www.spine-health.com/topics/ cd/overview/lumbar

I hope that these are helpful. Let me know if you need more information

Peace and Blessings

07-04-2007, 07:40 PM
If I may jump in here; My hubby had surgery for a slipped disc several years ago. We found a great surgeon named Dr. Hilton (not joking) here in San Antonio. He had pioneered a laproscopic surgery for slipped and ruptured discs. Jeff was one of the first 100 patients to undergo it. It was a same-day surgery and he was home that evening. His incision was less than an inch long and it healed very quickly. It took him a while with exercise and yoga, but he is back to normal now and passes his Air Force physical every year. If you can be a candidate for this kind of surgery, it may be much less stressful than the traditional kind.

07-05-2007, 06:56 AM
Hi Malay*B,

Ouch...I feel for you. They are painful. Moving about okay, I hope.

I had three herniated disks. C5-C6, L5-S1 two times. I had surgery performed on all three in the last five years. Most recent was within the last 12 months. And for general info, I also had carpal tunnel surgery, right hand.

Cervical spine, C5-C6 I had a fusion, donor bone with hardware. It was called an Anterior Diskectomy Spinal Fusion.

The lumbar, L5- S-1 I had a micro-diskectomy, no fusion or hardware...herniated again, same surgery and my spine fused together naturally.

Have you tried all conservative procedures first, physically therapy, rest, strengthening exercise, cortisone injections, acupuncture, and most importantly, did you get a second opinion. Even a third opinion. Any neurosurgeon who recommends back surgery first should be questioned. Surgery should be the last resort.

Know, surgeons can repair but it will never be like God made...

Any muscle atrophy? What disks are affected? Nerve affecting any limbs? Feet? Fingers? Neck? Shoulder? Weakness? Reflexes good? Sit? Stand? Bend? Movement limitations? Siatica?

Did you have a CAT-Scan? MRI? EMG?

What disk is affected? Do you smoke? If so, stop prior to surgery. Impedes the healing process greatly.

You will hear, read horror stories and success stories. I can tell you both, which would you like me to tell you? I had two failed, Failed Back Syndrome (FBS) and one sucess.

Everyone is different, every surgeon is different and there are many ways to perform the surgeries. Front entrance, back entrance, laser, micro-scopic or cut and suture. I've stayed in the hospital as little as 6 hours for one, which I thought was crazy and two days for another...

My disks are herniated because they are drying out. Spondylosis. Arthritis. Degenerate Disease. Minimal spinal stenosis. Usually associated with age, but mine wasn't. Now I am of age....

I will be more than happy to share more detail of my experience with you. Outcome, medical procedures, recovery I took and etc...I am here...

Keep well,

07-05-2007, 08:15 AM
Thanks for the time you all to reply.
I think it sounds crazy to have spine surgery, and go home the
same day too. But my surgeon said its a one day surgery.

Affected disks are C4-C5, C-5-C6, causing an indention in spinal
cord, it made me sick to look at that on the MRI pic, and putting
pressure on exiting nerve roots. I have nerve damage in right arm,
doc said no way to know if nevres will heal after surgery.

It doesn't cause much pain anymore, just discomfort and limited range of motion. After SUFFERING with the pain of Lupus slipped disk pain seems minamal! I guess I've developed a higher tolerance to pain the average joe. I have consant pain, it never,
never goes away. As long as its not severe I can function "normally", well -dail-up booting me off- gotta run

07-07-2007, 04:46 PM
Hi Malay,

I stayed in the hospital one night for the ADSF C-5 C-6. It was the one surgery that was sucessful. In SC it seems like everyone I met had a cervical spine fusion, and all like me...we are doing great.

I waited too long before opting for surgery. I finally had it done when my neck felt like it was a toothpick and my head was a bowling ball. Literally I could not hold up my head. I was instructed to stay in bed, toilet only till they were able to perform the surgery.

My chest, breast and under my shoulder blade hurt. Bicep, forearm, fingers throbbed and spasmed. Ga-zillion sleepless nights. For me, Lupus is more manageable than that pinched nerve. This wasn't discomfort it was severe wanting to cut my arm off, shoulder blade and all kind of pain. I'd wrap in Ben-gay. Ice. Heating pad. Prop my arm up. Built a wall of pillows. You know, I am so glad I opted for surgery. The only thing I regret is why did I wait so long, two years. I was just scared from the previous failed lumbar surgeries.

Recovery, painful? Yes. Sore? Yes. Lose your voice? Yes. Hard to swallow? Yes. No brace required.

Where is the nerve damage? Bicep, forearm, fingers of your right arm? No one can predict recovery of a damaged nerve, but I do know it can repair itself.

The surgeon who performed my carpal tunnel surgery was uncertain if I would regain use of my right hand. My tips my fingers felt nothing. I could dip my hand into boiling water and I would not feel it. Weird, my fingers felt so much pain for weeks, then one afternoon my whole hand turned purple, swelled up and I could not grip anything. I went to the ER, had another EMG. Dead. They next day I had surgery. Usually the incision would have been less than an inch long, but my nerve was so strangled and blue the surgeon basically butterflied my hand open into the palm from the wrist so the nerve would release. He said if it was going to heal, it would take a month to heal just 1/8". He estimated 2 1/2", eighteen months. After intense therapy and almost two years the feelings resumed except my very tips of my fingers. Eight years later now, I have all feelings. So, there is my nerve success story.

I had also supplemented with B12 and magnesium for nerve health during the two year recovery.

Everyone is different....make an informed decision is the best advice I can give.

Keep well,