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Spine and Back Health

Degenerative Disc Disease

10/10/2008

Question:

I have had a discectomy on my lower back to prevent nerve leg damage due to a ruptured disc. I still have a bulging disc in the lumbar area. This was one year ago. I have DDD in the lumbar and cervical areas of my spine. I have two bulges and spurring in the cervical area. Although the cervical area is tolerable with pain medication, my problem is my lower back and right hip. I have been experiencing pain in my hip (predominately my right hip) for about eight weeks. At times it hurts as bad as a labor contraction. My recent CT noted DDD with narrowing vacuum phenomenon at L5-S1. I just need to know if the pain in my hip is directly related to the DDD in the lumbar area or if there could possibly be a separate problem with the hips. I am 45 years old and unfortunately I am a smoker.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. It is neither the intent nor the purpose of this website to provide people with a diagnosis for their medical condition or problem. I cannot possibly tell you whether your hip pain is related to your back issues without performing a full physical examination and looking at the films, and discussing your symptoms in more detail.

Strictly speaking, it is possible that you could have a separate hip problem; it is also possible for pain in the hip area to come from the back. Finally, you MUST stop smoking, because it is making your back problems worse and will cause your spine to deteriorate faster. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University