CT Myelogram and MRI results.
-T5 T6 7mm large disc herniation
-T6 T7 5mm disc herniation
-T7 T8 3.5 paracentral spur causing deformity thercal sac
-T8 T9 disc/osteophyte complex on the right parcentral region abutting the cord.
-T9 T10 small right paracentral disc herniation and mild flattening.
Multiple regions of disc herniation with calcification from the T5 level down to T10 causing varying degrees of spinal stenosis as well as cord flattening and abutment.
I had an Anterior Discetomy and fusion of C5 and C6. Titanium disc and plate. Recovered well some stiffness.
My Neuro said he would do the thoracic operation but doesn't want too. 15% risk of paralising me. I have not worked in two years and the pain is everyday every minute. My question is does this get worse with time? I have trouble with bladder and bowel frequency and my legs hurt, sometime I can't walk. Can't find much info on this subject so rare. Thanks any advice will help.
Yes the chest pain was real bad when I first fell off the dumpter. I had all the heart tests and wore a montior for a month. It took three years for a doc to order an MRI. Now I don't know if I should have the thoracic operation. I recovered from the neck operation great. What did they tell you to do about your back? Lois
I have seen 6 doctors and have several nerve blocks. None have worked. I see a pain management specialist, with little relief. I have been told by ALL six doctors unless the pain becomes dibilatating NOT to have the surgery. The risks far out way the gain. The little bit of information I have been able to find shows only a very small chance of any improvemany in pain. The surgery is VERY risky and there are not very many qualified neurosurgeons to do it. If your surgeon is willing I would definitely check to see how many of these operations he has performed in the past and what the outcome and rate of success was. Good Luck, Keep me informed.
I'm so glad I found this site! There are so few of us it seems with thoracic back problems. I have bulging disc in that area & have been told one is very close to the spinal column & not to lift or bend. (That is hard not to do) But if I lift very much - (which I have lately - my 19 mo grandaughter) I have a great deal of pain. A wk. ago, I started having tightness in my chest & short of breath. I thought it was my HEART. Had a stress test last Fri. & was called today that it was normal, so I guess it is the thoracic causing it. I'm still tight in my chest & short of breath at times. I guess one of the disc is getting worse. I hate to pay for another MRI when there is nothing they can do. (Been advised "you don't want this surgery" too serious.) Could be paralized just from the surgery. It's so hard not to pick up my grandaughter - but everytime I do, I know I'm taking a chance of being paralized. I promised I would keep her tomorrow & I'm hurting in my chest now. What do you two take for pain?
Does anyone else out there hurt in their chest like I have complained above? Can that be a symtom of thoracic I wonder? Don't know if I should check into something else. Please reply!! Thanks!! P.S. I was not injured. It just developed. I have bad disc in lumbar too. DDD. But that pain is nothing like this thoracic pain when it is hurting bad. Those lumbar people don't know bad pain!
I am 56 yrs old suffer from multi level thoraci hernations,T6-7,T7-T8, the most severe at T8-T9 disk
posteriorly by 5.4cm. and the cord is flattened. Disk osteophyte at level T10-T11 with dural sack effacement. I had a accident 10 years ago hit my back on ledge and felt the pain and tingling right
away. Have not met or spoke to anyone with my type of injuries. Would like to hear your stories and how you cope with the pain and symptoms,, also how I have got throught the past 10 years, I live in a suburb of Chicago and would like to hear from anyone with a similar injury . I am on S.Security
Disibility have not worked sinice the accident.
Look forward to your e-mail or post Irishgirltwo
Hello, I am 37 year old with multiple herniations at C3-4, C4-5, C5-6, T6-7, T7-8, T8-9, L4-5 & L5-S1. I have had lower back surgery and a neck fusion at C4-5. No Doctor had touched my Thoracic and I have had spinal injections but once again not in the Thoracic region. I had a Doctor that he could do nothing for me and to seek a second opinion. I can go on for weeks. Also I was denied for Social security disability.
My husband is 33 years old. In October he had his first attack. He thought it was a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. They did every heart scan possible and everything came back wonderfully. We have had every organ checked and everything came back fine.Heave also been to the ER a few more times after that as he has Vagal Responses to this. We just (after months of internet research) found a sports medicine doctor who figured out that he has a bulging thoracic disc.MRI results are:
T5-T6: Small right paramedian herniation
T7-T8: Small right paramedian herniation
T8-T9 Right paracentral to lateral herniation, with effacement of the thecal sac and minimal chord deformity on the right
T9-T10: minimal central disc bulge or protrusion
I wanted to let you know that his too feels like a heart attack and after researching the internet I have found that most thoracic problems lead to chest pain. He is now taking Percocet and we have Lidocain patches the he puts on his chest and back. They take some of the edge off the pain. He is scheduled to have a nerve block tomoroow morning then we will go from there. I don't know how you feel about Chiropractors but I have heard some promising thins about a technique called Flexion-Distraction. I know that most Doctors will tell you not to go the Chiropractic route but after the nerve block tomorrow I have every intention of doing so. If the surgery is a difficult and has a low success rate why not? We also plan on seeing an acupuncturinst for pain management as he also has slipping rib syndrome on his right rib. This has been such a hard year for him I hope each and every one of you find some kind of relief as I know that it must be for you as well. Good luck to you all in your searching. Please for your own sake don't put all your eggs in one basket. Doctors are a gift but they are still just people with a higher education don't rule out alternative medicine. I hope to combine the two.
Mike, my husband is 5'8 and 185 pounds. He is a Director of a company so is in a super high stress position and spends COUNTLESS hours on the computer. He has also been in about 5 car accidents and has had a "bad back" as long as I have known him. His symptoms are severe chest pain, dizziness, rib pain. The pain seems to be worst when he is sitting. Also I have observed they seem worse after a big meal (is that possible?) We have been to the ER a few times, on Friday he had a nerve block which seems to be doing very little to relieve the pain. The Doctor did say that this would take about four days to help. I am not holding my breath. Sorry to sound so negative but even being the one not in pain, just dealing with this and the meds, pre-pays, docs etc...has worn me out and I am trying very hard to keep the faith that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. My friends father is a chiropractor and I have every faith in him. However, he lives about 130 miles from us so going to his office has not yet been possible as my husband cannot sit that long. We are considering taking our motorhome to his house and camping out in his driveway for a week to do some extensive work. ANY andvice, thoughts, opinions would be GREATLY appreciated. Hope you hear b ack from you Mike. Thanks for taking interest.
This is not a diagnosis by any means, just something you should look into, as I had very similar symptoms. I am pain free now. There is something called Upper Crossed Syndrome. It is a fancy name given to a syndrome of front to back muscle imbalance. You'll need to look it up: search on the net for Vladimir Janda and Erik Dalton for a detailed explanation. You will need some sort of muscle chart too.
It is a pain syndrome that comes from a weak mid (thoracic) back--weak rhomboids, posterior scapular stabilizers and longitudinal muscles of the spine, combined with a tight chest, and tight short muscles in the neck--namely the scalenes and SCMs. The tightness in the pectoral muscles (pec major and pec minor) cause chest pain that also sent me to the ER a few times thinking I was having a heart attack. The serratus muscles on the sides of the chest, under the arms can also hurt,. this syndrome is horrible, but it is fixable with dedication, patience and an understanding of the problem. You get this syndrome from long term closed in. hunched over, forward head posture-- typical in computer users. the trick is to stretch and relieve trigger points in the short tight muscles, and to strengthen the mid back muscles--especially the rhomboids and posterior scapular stabilizers with exercises--namely shoulder blade pinching exercises and extension exercises (ie the OPPOSITE of the flexed computer at the desk posture). Your husband needs also to aggressively correct his posture and be aware of it 24/7. The sources I recommend are: a website by Jolie BookSpan, and perhaps her book on "How to Fix your back pain without drugs or surgery"--a trigger point manual by Clair Davies, and a great little red book on posture by Paul D'Arezzo. It took me 3 months of 3 times per day 45 minute sessions to even notice improvement---- so be patient. I still constantly check my posture to make sure my head is balanced over my spine, and my pelvis is not tilted forward. I know this all sounds like alot but once you understand the concept (tight front/loose and weak back) it is easy to fix (stretch the front/strengthen the back). Jolie Bookspan was nice enought to explain the syndrome to me personally thru email. She saved my life as I had already had 5 useless surgical procedures/injections/meds etc etc. IF your husband's problem is the same as what I had, he cannot rely on laying on a table and having someone else fix him....... He is the only one who can do it. keep me posted.
ps-- to me, your husband's MRI report seems very unimpressive.....of course I know you did not post the whole report but what you did post does not sound like anything important and related to his pain.most people over the age of 30 have herniations--they hardly ever cause symptoms. this is one thing patients have a hard time understanding when they read their own reports-- findings do not necessarily translate into reasons for pain.
one more thing-----it can never hurt to have complete medical workup-- i would never advise against that-- but the more often tests come back negative, the more likely his problem is muscular---(and it certainly sounds like what i had) this is how it went for me-- i had every test imaginable during 2 visits to the mayo clinic in minnesota (i live in florida).... they found nothing. the worst thing anyone can do is allow a doctor to operate on pain.
What a relief to find this site, I was starting to think I was alone in this thoracic back pain battle. I am 26 years old and I have been experiencing pain for over a year now. My MRI reveals that I have bone spurs or bulging discs on multiple levels, T6-7 T8-9 T9-10, T10-11 T11-12 T12-L1 with the worse areas being T8-9 & T9-10. There are 2 areas in which either a disc bulge or bone spur is causing flattening of my spinal cord. I have had 5 injections done, 2 epidural, 2 transforaminal nerve root injections & 1 Facet injection all of which have given me little to no relief. I am on multiple medications to control the pain but it doesnt give me much relief either. I experience pain in the middle of my back that radiates around into my ribs and my underarms. At times I get burning pain while others its a sharp shooting pain. I also experience a digging, stabbing, gnawing pain dead center on my spine and just to the right of my spine I have developed a numb/tingling area. I just went Wednesday to have a trial stimulator put in which my doctor has never done one in the thoracic before. He had a very hard time getting the leads to where they needed to go as it was extremely tight in that area. I got home and the stimulator only covered a small area of my pain and it didnt really give me too much relief. I was in a great deal of pain from having it put in as well. My doctor said he didnt think it was going to work because he had so much trouble getting the leads to where they needed to go. So now there is nothing left for me, this was my last chance for relief. My pain management doctor said something about the surgery but my neurosurgeon doesnt want to do it. Im at a loss. I dont know what to do. Do I not have surgery and live the rest of my life on medications and still have pain or have the surgery with all the risks that comes with it? Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated!
bone spurs, buldging discs, and flattening of the cord usually do not cause pain.Severe T spine herniations are rare becasue this area of the spine is very rigid and supported by the ribs. i would tend to doubt your MRI findings have anything to do with your pain, especially since it seems to be bilateral. Please read the 3 posts I made above-- iwould offer you the same advice....... try it for 6 months---be committed to your posture 24/7 and your exercise streching routines which you should try to do 3 tmes per day..... IF I am right, your pain is coming from your mid back MUSCLES--- they need to be strengthened, not stretched!!! (dont stretch them-- any rounded posture is counterproductive)
Ok, I thought I had read some of your posting before. Thursday evening I went through and read a ton of postings on this board. I followed your advice (Thursday) and checked out Jolie Bookspan's website. I ordered her book about strengthening core muscles. I also ordered Clair Davies trigger point therapy that evening. They should get here on Wednesday. What I think is going to be the biggest challenge is that I see depression setting in like a dark cloud. We have been dealing with this for almost a year. I ordered the books you recommended and will also get Paul D'Arezzo's. However, the chiropractor I know is a good family friend. The therapy he does in like nothing I have ever seen or heard. He has done pressure point therapy for thirty years. He performed it on my shoulder once and I knew immediately that he was a very gifted man. I think if we combine his therapy with the books that you have suggested my husband can get to the point where he can do just the books in a couple minths. There just isn't much fight left in him right now so I don't think he is in the mindset to heal himself quite yet. I hope that made sense. The therapy my friends father does will not just consist of laying on a table, it will consist of extensive therapy. I am in total agreement with you of using these methods and am grateful that you are sharing your story here. Had it not been for you the devastation of the Doctor saying "this is something you have to live with" would have never been lifted. I am so looking forward to getting the books and will keep you posted. Thanks again for your testimony!
i am all for pressure point work. I do not believe in manipulating bones in people with posture syndromes becasue the muscles invariably pull the bones back where they were within an hour or two, and the pain returns.. Muscles have incredible memory--- it takes months to retrain them--at least it did for me. I would suggest that the chiropractor work on the muscles that are short and tight in this syndrome (SCM, pecs, and especially the SCALENES) and not necessarily just the ones that hurt. For example, the rhomboid muscles in the back hurt becasue they are in spasm due to being weak and stretched-- they are overworking trying to counter the pulling of the SCMs, scalenes and pecs. working on those muscles feels great becasue they hurt and may even have knots, but at least in my case these knots and the pain back went away on their own when my posture was corrected and the tightness in the scalenes, pecs, scms, lev scapulae were relieved, and after I strengthened my mid back with torso extension and scapular pinching exercises. Take this email to the chiropractor and see what he thinks. Perhaps he can start with the scalenes and scms in the neck-- release those and see how your husband feels. He may (or may not) notice that he can stand straighter right away and that his back doesnt hurt so much. dont be discouraged. It WILL probably return in an hour or so, maybe less, due to muscle memory. This whole task of correcting posture is simple but not easy. MUSCLES ARE VERY VERY STUBBORN, REMEMBER IT TOOK HIM A LONG TIME TO GET THIS WAY......always remember pain doesnt happen for no reason. Humans were built bn natureto reach into trees for fruit (think of the caveman) not to hunch over a desk 8 hours a day. Patience and confidence.
Thanks again for your interest and concern. I just cannot wait for my books to get here so that we can get this started. What literature by Vladimir Janda are you recommeding? I am having a hard time finding his techniques. I can't find anything about Upper crossed syndrome. (Not to mention I have two kids so my computer time is short totally interrupted spurts : ) Then the chart you spoke of, where do I get it? I am so ready to NOT be hanging out at Doctor's offices and filling prescriptions I can't even tell you. We were at one Doctor or another every day but one last week. It was a very sad week for us. Something has to happen or he is going to lose his mind. I really need these books to get here!!!!
i dont know that Vladimir Janda has recommended any techniques. I think he is dead!!!! But he was the first to identify this particularsyndrome of muscle imbalance. just do a search for him on the net and read. specifically, go here ---http://erikdalton.com/articlepainpuzzle.htm this is a page from erik dalton's comprehensive website. you'll find Upper crossed syndrome on this page. You really need to learn the muscular anatomy to understand your husband's problem. this may take many days of study-- he should study with you. this is a great start-- but dont be overwhelmed by the content or the terminology. just take it slowly. BUT YOU MUST LEARN IT. you can get a muscle chart on the web at anatomical.com. there are many sites that show the muscles of the body. Once you learn which muscles are at the crux of his problem, you'll be able to fix it in time.
I would spend as much time as you can bear on Erik Dalton's site. It is extremely comprehensive, and will help you realize why your husband has all this pain. the site is really dedicated to his business of training therapists, but if you surf around the site enough you can educate yourself. There is a reason docs can't help him. Muscle imbalances/spasm and pain do not show up on tests, and dont respond to medication/surgery or injections. I cant tell you what to do, but in my case it got to the point where i stopped going to doctors because I had been to so many with nothing but disappointment. If your blood work is good, and you've had all these tests and opinions, and gotten nowhere, what does that tell you???? why keep going??? this was my feeling-- this is what convinced me my problem was muscular and related to posture/imbalance. Again, It took a long time to fix , but i had a greater learning curve than you do... it took me months to even find the better websites/books------
anything i can do -- dont be bashful.. keep me posted-- and be patient !!!! rome wasnt built in a day, and neither was your husband's pain!!!!
I totally agree with you. The Doctors aren't even offering any ways to fix this. The word surgery has come up but even his Doctor said not a good option. I think we all (my husband, his Doctor and myself) realize that the Doctor is at a loss. I feel like this is completely muscular and spasms are the root of all the pain. Last night was horrible. He woke me at 1:00 am and was in excruciating pain. I had him do some of the stretches from Dr. Bookspan site and he finally got into a position that he could sleep at about 3:30 am or so. I am pretty decent at researching on the web. I just feel like my brain is going to mush from exhaustion and it is just all so stressful. My books should come today from the e mails I recieved so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am going to go to Erik Daltons web site right now to start looking in to that. Again thanks for your time and interest. I will kepp you posted! Talk to you soon.
Not much to post as of now. None of my books have arrived yet. We have been going to see a Chiropractor who has done some actupuncture and oxygen treatments combined with trigger point therapy. I think that is helping tremendously for the anxiety that all of this has caused. I think the more he helps my husband with the stress of it all the more positive he will be. Oh just wanted to share in case anyone is reading this. The nerve block did nothing for the pain. Not even a litlle bit. So I wouldn't recommend that as I know they charged $2200 for it. Actually the first day he felt ok because he had a Vagel response so they sedated him so all the drugs in him made him feel good for a few hours. Unfortunately Mike you are SO right about pills, injection and surgery. We are supposed to go back to the doctor on Monday. Don't really see a point to it though. I will let you know more once my books get here an we can start that.
in he meantime while you are waiting for books you can read Jolie Bookspan's website.. she has many exercises and stretches right on her sight. You can print it out and give it to your husband to read. In my humble opinion, the sooner you stop hoping that doctors will"fix" him the better off he'll be. He is probably better off spending the time stretching thasn sitting in a car or a waiting room. I do not want to go on record as saying he should not go to the doctor. I am just saying that for me (and my case sounds similar to your husband's) all they did was give me false hope and cause disappointment. And I saw dozens of Mds. If he has a muscle imbalance syndrome, I would not expect chiropractics, acupuncture, injections, surgery or pills to work at all. Repeated visits to the doctor with no results eventually convinced me had to fix my pain on my own--ie that nothing a doctor could treat was wrng with me,
I have a similiar problem that started in August, and I would like to follow your suggestions, but everything I do seems to send me back into spasm, and I don't want to repeat those chest pains again. I've been trying to do no physical until it settles down - do you think that's the right thing to do?
If everything is really irritated, what is the best way to start?
if the chest is tight, the pecs ned to be manually released of their trigger points and then stretched... doorway stretches are the best for this--- also-- keep your head over your spine--chin tuck exercises. the scalenes and SCMs also being tight will pull your head forward-- so they also need trigger point release and then steetching-- as often as you can...
for the back-- do exercises that strengthen the rhomboids---shoulder blade pinching exercises.
i cant tell you what to do-- i can only tell you what i did..... it hurt to do all this stuff- sometimes i t made me worse in the short term.. when it hurt, i used heat, and then did more trigger point work and more stretching. then I iced the really sore areas. muscles are very very very very (get the idea??) stubborn.
This is a very interesting website...I've saved it as a favorite. I had C5/6 fusion in '04 and it went grate until July now my C4 and C7 vertebrae have deteriorated as a result of the fusion. Horrible numbness around my C7 vertebra with again horrible radiating pain to my shoulders/arms/hands/ collar bone!!! My Neurosurgeon doesn't recommend surgery until better options are available with artificial vertebrae ... he hopes in a couple years so I'm waiting for that.
So I started going to PT and now have horrible pains in my thoracic spine. I have a LOT of muscular problems ... but the PT was making my ribs hurt (floating ribs and ribs associated with my T10). I had already been to the ER because I had a lot of pain trying to breathe on night trying to sleep. They concluded after 4 hours that it was muscular/skeletal. I finally told my PT to STOP HURTING me worse than I already hurt!!! She looked up the results of my MRI online and the Neuro's comments said I have an abnormal blood flow at T10 and recommended a CT/Myelogram if any pain ever developed.
So, a week and a half ago I had the CT/Myelogram. Unfortunately, they sent me home with the film to wait for my follow-up appt with the Neuro on 1/3 (he was out last half of Dec for holiday). And I am, unfortunately, too curious not to look at the film, research online, and try to self-diagnose. There really isn't much info. out there for the thoracic spine. My Neuro warned me that surgery to the T-spine may help keep the pain from getting worse, but that there hasn't been much success in making it better ... even if they "cure" the problem. [Great, hun?]
From reading countless neurological abstracts, looking at CT/MRI images, etc. it "appears" ... and, yes, I know I'm no radiologist, I have a complete break-down/calcification of my T1-Vertebral body and what appears to be a tumor in T9-10 in the thecal sac pushing against my spinal cord. Even if he suggested it, I don't know that I'd let him perform any surgery on T9-10 if I was even close to a correct "self-diagnosis." I wish I could just forget about it until 1/3 when I see the Neuro again!!! I'm obviously not too good at patience!!!
I'm taking Robaxin, Vicoprofen, and Ultram (not sure if that one's doing anything). I also have a TENS unit. As long as I don't let the meds wear off and I use the TENS machine when the pain is really bad, I can get through the pain. So, I highly recommend the TENS unit if you (or your loved one, Marry256) don't already have one. It sends signals to your brain that interrupts the pain receptors so your brain doesn't receive the pain signals. They're a hand-held version of the machine they use in PT and at the Chiropractor's office. Of course, don't over do it, or you could put yourself in more pain ... I kept using my attachment (sorry, can't remember what they're called) even after the gel wore off and was giving myself shocks ... which made me have chest pains.
[P.S. I'm also past the days of going to the chiropractor ... I'd be too afraid to let them "adjust" any of my bones as they are ... I also have osteoporosis. Wouldn't want to give him an opportunity to make things worse!]
I have multiple disc problems as well in my cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. I've been diagnoised with Cervical & Lumbar stenosis, Myelopathy(spinal cord injury), degenetive joint disease, Fibromyalgia, TMJ and Multinodule goiter. I had Cervical fusion done in July 07 and had worsening pain/problems. I have been off on medical leave from work since surgery due to all these problems. My employer has not been paying me my benefits. I was thinking about filing for Social Security Disability. My doctors told me that I will gradually worsen. I see you were denied. Did you try to get approved just one time or several? If I may ask what was the reason for the denial?
I'm Lois who started this thread. I'm now in consult with the Cleveland Spine Clinic. Let me first state that this is not a muscle problem. Mike did you not see my results? I have large heriations that are cutting the blood supply to my spine. So I will have the thoracic operation and will have life long problems. Being paralized from the waist down isn't in my program, so I will try to fix it. I fell off a ten yard dumpster with huge trauma to my back. Telling people like me not to find a real answer scares me. I do need an operation to save myself don't need guys like you telling me or anyone else there is no pain. You have no idea what we deal with. The pain is very real and it comes from the herniations. So please make your own thread, I want to talk to people with my injury. Anyone wanting to chat can email me. Lois
Im with you I have a large midline disk herniation at t7 t8 and these people that want to come on here and play doctor get us in trouble, I tried these execises with hope that it would work, but guess what when your nerves are compressed they will hurt. This guy is either selling the books for them or is mad because he has the same pains but they cant find anything wrong with his disk. 1 year of this trianing muscle bs and probably in worse shape, thanks salesman.
I am a 43 year old male with severe thoracic pain. i have had mri"s they show the following...multi-level predominatly small central disc hurniations/protusions on t3/4 t4/5 t5/6 t/67 as well as hurniation/protusion with bone spurrs on c/4.There is also thickening of superspinous ligamnets in this region. anybody have any good suggestions or information for me. i have had epidurals, snrb"s and intercolostal nerve blocks. antiinflammatories have not worked for me either. steroid i njection's nothing. please let me know if you can relateand am i looking at surgey? the toracic thing scares me.
I have three buldging thoracic disks and I have had severe heart attack like chest pain. Did you just have a steroid injection????? Let me know, I had a reaction to the steroid shots and found out you shouldn't even have them in the thoracic area. Anyway, I have had this 19 years and have had all kinds of symptoms such as parylazation and I can't find a doctor willing to help. The won't help because they say it is too dangerous, also because it is not pressing on my spinal cord enough but it is on the nerve roots. The pain I have from this injury is so painful that I can hardly function anymore. I have a job now, but I am on temporary disability because of my pain. I am desperate to get help before I loose my insurance and my job. I can't afford to go on disability!!! I am so willing to take the risk even if I was paralyzed because the pain is so bad I wish I were dead! If a person had a dog in this much pain I am sure they would do the humane thing and put the dog to sleep! If anyone knows any doctor that does thoracic surgery for nerve root compression please let me know while I have a fresh MRI and insurance! Thanks, I know what you all are going through. I will have to write my list of symptoms sometime.
Pain in the Thoracic region is very complicated and it is different for each individual. The pain around the ribs/chest come from the nerves being pressed on from inflammation around the herniations? If you follow the nerves on a chart as from where they arise from, there is some understanding of that sort of pain. I have a small disc herniation at T8-9 and a large herniation indenting my spinal cord at T11-12. I saw a Neurosurgeon at first; the reason that surgery is risky in the thoracic area is because the spinal canal in that region of the spine is much narrower than the lumbar and cervical; also, there is an area which brings in large blood supply in that narrow canal. So it is risky for the spinal cord and it is risky with bleeding. The Neurosurgeon had a difficult time understanding why I was having so much pain ( I felt he didn't trust my assessment of my own pain), so he referred me to a Physiatrist. I really liked him and he understood my pain much more. I am an RN and my job is very physical and demanding. I will probably have to find a new type of job. What has been working for me: Ice, Ice and more Ice: 15 min. a few times a day. Acupuncture, Orthobionomy, Also, Mentally this has really rocked my world as I am only 47 and have always been very active. So, I am trying to embrace and accept this as a part of me, while still trying to find out what helps me feel better and what I can do and not do. I am also going to try EMDR with a therapist to "sort of re-wire" my pain pathways in my brain. Very interesting concept with chronic pain. I have only been dealing with this all for the past 9 months. My heart goes out to all of you. Don't give up....just keep trying new things. Our bodies are pretty amazing; they can do a lot. Jody
I am 39 years old and our symptoms and diagnosis are almost identical. I was in a car accident in Jan and pray everyday that the "next treatment" will be the one that provides me relief. It has been a never ending battle of ESI, meds, TENS unit, MRI's, ER visits with severe stabbing pain in my lung and chest. I am so early in the battle compared to most of you but i am already exhausted. I pray for each and everyone of us sifting through these websites for a glimmer of hope! I do have faith it will get better but at times I fear that this is the way it is going to be for the rest of my life.
I too have several (5)T-spine herniated discs, the worst of which is T6-7. The pain is getting worse so much faster than I though possible. (I was injured at work 2 1/2 yrs ago.) Surgeon says there's nothing he can do...yet. When I asked him when he would consider doing surgery, he told me he'd do surgery when thee was something that showed up on an MRI that could be fixed. Anyway, long story short, when I questioned him about what I had to look forward to, like weakness etc, he said no, that for now, looking at the MRI (which was done in Feb) that increased pain is the current prognosis, and because it's degenerative, it would will worse.
Anyway, I've just filed for SSDI. I'm not going to hold my breath on that score. I tell you what though, just sitting at the computer just about had me screaming in pain. (I'm on my laptop now, in a recliner.) The pain starts at the T6-7 area in my back, and wraps around my rib cage on the right side. There's some scapular and leg pain also, but it's minor compared to the thoracic and rib pain.
The ONLY thing that eases my pain, is laying on my back. I take Percocet, but even that does nothing unless I lay down, I'm guessing being horizontal gets the disc off the nerve, or something like that. (I'm convinced my head is too heavy and that chopping it off will relieve all of my pain!)
My question to anyone who has a herniated disc in the T5-6, T6-7, (these being more rare than T7-8) area is, how long have you been suffering, how has your "condition" progressed, and what is your prognosis?
I know this is an old thread (or whatever it's called, I'm not up to date on the lingo), but I hope someone finds this and can understand what I'm going through, and perhaps share what they have or are going through.
Looking forward to hearing from you. And thank you in advance.
Hi I having been dealing with multiply hernation in the t-spine for over 2 yrs now my worse one t7t8 witch is flatting my spinal cord at that level.Been to many doctors none wanting to help had many injection p.t. took a year off work and Im still in pain,I found a doctor in new York that said im a candidate for surgery Im going in Dec for a conslation,at this point I think Im ready to take the risk for sugrey Im sick of living in pain 24-7
Thank you for starting this thread. I have T6 and T9 that are herniated. Previous C5 fusion, and L4/5 and L5S1 lumbar surgeries 20 plus years ago. I have L3/4 herniation above the previous surgeries and C3 and C4 herniations still existing. The worse pain is the thoracic. By evenings end I have to take off my bra because I have a problem breathing. Taking a nap leaves me with with thoracic pain so bad I want to cry. I basically live in my recliner. The pain from the thoracic wraps around my ribs, causes severe muscle knots, spasms and swelling between my shoulder blades, and causes extreme heat from my back when I sleep. Taking chances doing fun things usually result in days down. Grabbing a laundry basket can drop me to my knees. Learning to live with this is very hard. My doctors do not believe in thoracic surgery. Nor do I want to take the chance of a higher degree of pain. Previous injections have harmed me, I faught 2 years to get rid of candidiasis in my whole body and caused issues to my immune system from 4 injections in 6 weeks. I get migraine type symptoms from nerve impingement in my neck. As many of us have to live with this type of chronic pain, not many people, including some of our doctors do not understand the severity of our pain and our loss of a quality lifestyle. I have tried most everything, joined a Gym, I am safe to use the low bike, tried slow stretching excersizes, light weights, and massage. I walk 4 days a week.
I will admit this causes depression at times. However, this belongs to me, I rarely discuss my pain with others but I do get out and live with the limitations I have. I live alone and my bigges fear is getting hurt and not being able to get help. I feel the hardest part is that people do not have the empathy for others in pain. So I have found myself more of a loner than I would like to be. Yes I have pain meds, pain patches, and lidoderm patches. And because of my meds I am not qualified to volunteer, and have been turned down for menial part time jobs. In this life we all have issues to deal with, physical pain I believe is the hardest.
I agree -- chronic pain is America's hidden epidemic that affects tens of millions of people.
For a number of reasons, people are finding it harder to get appropriate treatment. Many people are ignored outright, being told to "tough it out" or "it's all in your head."
Most PCPs would rather undergo root canal than treat chronic pain.
This was not always the case, and if pain patients get together and make a political statement, we can change things.
What did it take to get many states and the federal government to up the minimum wage -- perhaps a half-million demonstrators at Walmarts and McDonalds?
We are 100 million strong.
I encourage all who live with daily intractable pain to talk of their pain, to family, friends, medical professionals, the press, representatives in government, and the world at large through social media.
The country and the world need to learn of our plight. They need to hear about the suffering, the unfair practices we must endure to acquire medication, the prejudice and discrimination against us because of our disease, and our daily struggle to live a functional life.
Welcome to our pain community. I hope that you'll become an active voice for adequate and appropriate pain treatment for everyone in need.
I have upper thoratic herniated T6/7 T9/ T10 cord compression T12/L1 ..3 Lower back surgerys in the past..Course the worse pain is the upper..I not a fast typer..but have read your problem on here.and many others..am have a new scan done soon..just to update my problems..My pain relates to yours so much..thought with the hirting in my right lung plus more is scarey..plus have Anxiety.and ..and so I here neuro dr wont help us ones with this problem..battle everyday,,so glad to relate to others who have this problem.Mine is getting worse like yours..and to relate to others on here with the same problem..Dr say you have to live with this for the rest of my life so far have been told this..God bless us all that have this problem.and no help..gosh I see they can transplant a face on a person now..and more things dr do around the world..just don't understand why they cant do nothing for upper back problems..hope just speaking on here can get more Info on it..hanging in there like everyone else,,):
To understand spine surgery, you must first understand the anatomy of the spine.
You also assume that the person with a "face transplant" is pain free.
Surgery causes scarring. Orthopedic spine surgery cuts through the bones and ligaments that support the spine, which in turn supports your body. The thoracic spine supports the head, neck, shoulders, thorax, and ribs. That's a lot of weight.
It causes major scarring and people are too often worse off after surgery than before.
If you can avoid spine surgery -- do so.
But if the spinal cord or nerve roots are in jeopardy, then sometimes spine surgery is necessary to save those structures, at the cost of bone, ligament, and other tissue.
We do not regrow the structures removed in surgery -- we grow scar tissue in their place. Don't ever expect surgery to reduce pain, as scar tissue cannot substitute for the bone, muscle, ligament, vascular, nerve, and other soft tissue removed by surgery that were once part of your spine.
Healing from this kind of extreme surgery requires years. Often healing does not come.
Surgery should be avoided until all other more conservative forms of treatment have failed. Even then, surgery should always be carefully considered with thorough knowledge about the risks of surgery.
When the doctor says you have a 75% chance of improvement, ask: what do I risk if I'm one of the 25%? What will my life be like with failed back (surgery) syndrome?
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