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No recent trauma for thoracic spine herniated disc T3-T4
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No recent trauma for thoracic spine herniated disc T3-T4

My MRI reads as follows (impressions):


T3-T4 level demonstrates a prominent right paracentral disc herniation this impinges on and distorts the contour of the anterior margin of the thoracic spinal cord. The bony foramina are patent at this level. There is no focal edema of the cord.

T7-T8 & T8-T9 levels demonstrate a very mild spondylosis without canal stenosis. The conus position & signal is normal.

1. Prominent right paracentral T3-T4 disc herniation with mass effect on on the thoracic spinal cord.
2. Abnormal focus STIR signal intensity within the right transverse process of T2, the spinous process of T2 in the spinous ligament at the T1-T2 level
3. Abnormal focus of STIR signal abnormality in the posterior vertebral segment, pedicle & superior to thte facet on the left of the segment.


1. Left paracentral disc protrusion C5-C6 abutting the anterior margin the cord causing mild contour distortion.
2. Broad-based spondylosis effacing the anterior subarachnoid space at C6-C7.

My severe pain started about a month ago, but I have had back pain, shoulder pain & neck pain for years.  At 34 I feel like an old lady.  The pain got so bad I started off in emergency room, they of course ran no serious tests, my biggest fear is living with the pain forever.  I have already done physical therapy (pre MRI) and no results, but the pain was different then it felt more muscular, but now on a good day the pain is steady at 5, and ends at 7-8, stabbing pain in shoulder blade area that travels around to the front (breast area, above the nipple) originally started on the right side but now I feel it on the left side, arm muscle weakness, occasional numbness in hands & tingling in arms &  yes I do have a desk job. However I have not had any trauma in over 10 years!  Is it possible that this is something other than trauma related, I have researched degeneration of the spine.

I just had a CT scan of the thoracic spine area and I am awaiting the results of that.  I am exhausted and scared, can you offer any insight on my results so far??

What are my options, can surgery help, I work for an accounting firm so during this busy season I need answers and a cure.  Feeling helpless, sleepless nights due to Vicodin ( I think) , taking to many probably but pain is great & drugs only dull the pain.  I have tried multiple muscle relaxers and those seem to be useless.

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2 Comments Post a Comment
Avatar f tn
Welcome to the Back and Neck Community.  The members are here to provide non-professional advice and support to individuals experiencing pain or changes in their activity levels due to problems associated with the cervical and/or lumbar spine. Please feel free to post any additional questions/concerns regarding your symptoms and medical treatment and the members will assist you within their scope of experiences and knowledge.  If specific medical advice is needed, please feel free to post on the Expert Forum and one of the medical doctors will assist you as needed.

I am sorry to hear of your acute discomfort and can definitely understand your concerns.
I am not a doctor and my reading of your MRI report is given only from my personal experiences.
The findings do indicate two potential areas that may be contributing to your symptoms.
A disc herniation at T3-T4 with associated interference with nerve conduction,  plus at C5-6 and C6-7 an intervertebral disc protrusion which is causing changes in the positioning of the spinal cord at these levels.  Both of these findings do not necessarily require a significant trauma to have occurred, but can be the result of a slow process of wear and tear as we age.  The discs lose water content and are unable to cushion the vertebrae with normal movement.  As the discs dry out they can lose structural height and become more twisted than a normal spine.  The dryness may cause the annular covering of the disc to be compromised and the nucleus polposus (the center of the disc) to penetrate beyond this protective covering and place pressure on the nerves.
As the nerves are compressed, they produce the symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling and weakness of the extremities that they supply.
Since your primary discomfort is in the shoulder and arms, it points more toward the cervical disc herniation as the cause of your problems.
If you have not done so, I would recommend an evaluation by an orthopedic spine specialist or neurosurgeon who can review the clinical findings of your MRI in more detail and provide options for treatment.  Physical therapy in itself does not change the fact that a disc herniation is present, but can help reduce the symptoms of pain and provide instructions in body mechanics to help reduce the risk of further injury.
If the nerves and/or spinal cord are more severely compromised, surgery may be indicated.
Try and get a referral to a specialist and from their consultation you will have a better idea which treatment options to pursue.  Keep us posted on the results.
Best wishes -----
Avatar f tn
Hi, I am hoping someone can help me. I have had 8 total spinal fusion all within just under 9yrs. I am fused from T-5 to L-5 - S1. I have 2 titanium rods that run the the full length of my back along with 63 pins @ screws. it was discovered that my left hook at T-5 has become unhooked. My problem is I am experiencing severe pain at levels 3@4 just above the t-5 fusion. My Dr. wants me to have a facet injection @ levels 3@4. has anyone out there had this done @ if so how painful is it. I have had a discogram done along with an antiiflamitory injection inserted into my spinal canal by the base of my tailbone I never numbed but they did the injection anyways both were close 2 ten yrs ago but I rememer the pain like it was yesterday. I would rather face one of my back surgeries than go through that kind of pain again I have a huge pain tolerance, but this facet injection has me really psyched out. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated! Sorry this was so long.
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