After months of ever-increasing back pain, I finally got a call Sunday morning (May 17) going over my x-rays from May13.  I have Baastrup’s disease.

MagicMan1“Baastrup’s disease (kissing spine syndrome) is a term referring to close approximation of adjacent spinous processes due to degenerative changes of the spine. Baastrup’s disease usually affects the lumbar spine, with L4-L5 being the most commonly affected level. There is higher occurrence at ages over 70 and no gender predilection. Symptoms include back pain with midline distribution that worsens during extension, is relieved during flexion and is exaggerated upon finger pressure at the level of interest. Diagnosis rests on clinical examination and imaging studies. The hallmark of imaging findings is the close approximation and contact of adjacent spinous processes, with all the subsequent findings including oedema, cystic lesions, sclerosis, flattening and enlargement of the articulating surfaces, bursitis and occasionally epidural cysts or midline epidural fibrotic masses. Proposed therapies include conservative treatment, percutaneous infiltrations or surgical therapies such as excision of the bursa or osteotomy.”  (Quotes and images from National Center for Biotechnology Information)

MagicMan2I didn’t pretend to understand half of those words.  Then the nurse got my attention when she said I should come in for shots.  Steroids, I presume.  I didn’t do too well the last time I had steroids in my shoulder.  But at this point, I will try anything – including a full-blown operation!  My Dad had his neck fused,  My eldest son had some kind of operation on his back.  I guess it is my turn.

Wait a minute, the same article goes on to say, “Surgery with either partial or total excision of the spinous processes does not always result in pain alleviation.”

And, just as I feared, “In certain degenerative disorders of the spine, the initial pain reductive effect of conservative therapy does not last and there are relapses in long-term follow-up since the causative factor(s) has not been treated.”

MagicMan3Right now, TREATMENT means a new bed, a new recliner, a heating pad, and ibuprofen.  For temporary relief.

It boils down to – WHAT IS THE CURE!

What I need is a Magic Man, who can put me back together again the way I was at age 25.

Excuse me, but I need to have a good cry.




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