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Hi, Sammy. :)

I have just come across your post and I have similar problems.

I am 20 and I too have degenerated/damaged discs in my Lumbar area - L2/L3 and lower.

I've had this back pain and leg sensations since I was 17 (2005) - tingling, numbness in areas, hot/cold sensations and pain at times. My leg sensations are also in my left but can come into my right leg too and go down both my feet into my toes too. My knee makes very loud clicking noises but doesn't give out. My hip also makes loud clicking noises. My pain does get worse when my monthly appears too so I do wonder if it has some sort of a connection. The pain is unbearable when I get it and I just have to sit or, preferably lie down as it is just so bad. My pain when I get my monthly is a deep ache in my lumbar spine and very severe pain in my legs and buttock area, both of them.

It started after I had a flu-like virus (vomiting, runny nose, very high temperature, hallucinations, severe aches and pains all the way down my body) and I've never been the same since.

I went to the doctors and told them about it in 2005 but they just ignored it and said it'll go better on its own and that it was just probably a muscle strain or growing pains. I figured it wasn't just that at all as I still had it a month after seeing them so I went back again and they still dismissed it. I then decided enough was enough and went into the hospital's minor injuries department and a nurse saw me and was much more sympathetic towards me than any doctor has ever been to me and phoned my GP practice up and asked for them to see me and I got an appointment on that same day in the afternoon. The doctor still insisted it was only muscular and just sent me to physiotherapy without even getting an x-ray first which I thought was a bit of a stupid way to go about it. I still didn't improve, in fact it made it worse with physio so I went back in October 2007 and demanded I get an x-ray as I still knew there was something more wrong than what these people have all guessed it was. I went for the x-ray in November 2007 and it came back with multiple degeneration of the lumbar discs and that was when I knew I was the one that was right. I knew my body was telling me that something wasn't right. My doctor, I think then realised he'd got it wrong and referred me to a consultant spine surgeon (though this spine surgeon didn't bother to see me and I never knew why) after making me go away for three months of exercises (again!). I never saw that spine surgeon (the none existent one!) but was transferred to a physiotherapist and he assessed me and sent me for an MRI. The physio did the right thing which the doctors should've done way back in 2005. The MRI came back showing degeneration of the L2/L3 discs and one lower down (can't remember which one) with Schmorl's nodes too (Schmorl's nodes are a defect of the endplates). I kept going back to my doctor who'd referred me to the non-existent spine surgeon and he thought I'd been seen by this spine surgeon but the look on his face was priceless when I told him he didn't want to see me and he then wrote another letter to the said surgeon, yet there was still no reply for months and months - the spine surgeon obviously wasn't one to see his patients for some unknown reason and didn't like to even have the courtesy to inform his patients, particularly their doctors that referred them the reason why he didn't want to see them which I think is disgraceful and rude, very unprofessional indeed. I'm glad I didn't see him now as he sounds a bit like a bad example of one that you shouldn't see. I then arranged to go and see another different spine surgeon as I knew at the moment I wasn't getting anywhere. I had to wait three months before I could see him but at least I did end up seeing him. In the meantime I also got a surprise appointment to see a Neurosurgeon at the same hospital that the spine surgeon who wouldn't see me worked. I was finally getting somewhere!

When I saw the Neurosurgeon he looked at me and asked questions then arranged a nerve conduction study. He suspects that the damage/nerve problem may be higher up so he plans to do a scan of the Thoracic and Cervical spine. I've got to now wait for the follow up appointment with this Neurosurgeon to see what's next.

The other surgeon I saw hasn't suggested anything as of yet. The only thing he could think of was that perhaps I had a small fracture that didn't show up on MRI so he arranged for me to have a CT scan of my lumbar region. Strangely enough he never really mentioned any sort of treatments for the degenerated discs. I've got a follow up appointment and will see what, if anything, comes up on the CT scan. Though I'll be very surprised if he finds anything else as the MRI, I'd have thought, would've picked that up.

I've talked to many a health professional about this flu-like virus starting it off and they just brush it off as "Oh, it was just a coincidence" but I know it's too much of a coincidence to be 'just a coincidence' and don't believe them.

In May this year I started getting numb areas on my pubic bone and slightly going in between my legs/upper thighs which is when I knew that something was going on. When I saw the physio I told him and another physio that I was seeing about it but they ignored it, don't know why as it is a 'red flag' sign and should be dealt with immediately according to what I've read.

I then began to get intermittent - not everyday - bladder frequency but without the urges and then in late August it got much worse and I have now got it everyday and the frequency is awful (I have to get up six times a night) and have got urge/full bladder feelings but am not leaking, thank goodness.

Your symptoms sound very similar to mine.

I have been told by doctors that I saw that they wonder if it's some form of arthritis, hopefully not, or a collagen variant that makes my collagen very lax which in turn would make my bones grind together sort of thing and then degenerate them. I am now having a blood test to see if I've got some form of arthritis.

I can bend my thumb to touch my wrist on the one hand which is a sign of extra stretchy collagen.

I would recommend that you certainly get this checked out asap.

Hope I could be of help to you and I do appologise for the long post but I wanted to give you the background information first so that you know what is going on. :)

Good luck, Sammy and I hope you can find some sort of answer. It may take a while, like me but hopefully, you'll get there. :)

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