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Thoracic Spine
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Thoracic Spine

My middle back right above the shoulder blades down has really been hurting.  Had an MRI done in July '07.  Showed from T-5 to T-10 disks are almost non-existent.  Tried PT, just hurt worse.  I know something needs to be done, but don't know what?  Have problems with lumbar as well, but the thoracic pain is making it difficult for me to breathe as it is uncomfortable to do so.  Can't stand or sit for very long, especially stand.  What, if any, resolution, i.e., fill the disk areas with a gel like substance, fusion, etc.  I haven't seen a neurologist yet, but will have to!  Saw one in January for lumbar, i.e., 2 herniated disks plus an extra vertebrae (6) & he wanted to do a fusion with titanium rods & I said no!   There has to be something better for thoracic & lumbar than that!  Thank you.
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Avatar_m_tn
i've never heard of an MRI report of the t spine saying "discs are almost non-existent". are these your words, or what the report says?  i would not be so quick to jump to the conclusion that your thoracic pain has that much to do with your T spine MRI findings. the t spine, because it is supported by the ribs, is very stable.. more than likely your difficulty in breathing and "tightness" is due muscle issues...........   most people make a crucial mistake in that they think MRI "findings" are the cause of pain syndromes. Most often, unless there is obvious trauma that has caused an obvious disc injury with predictable symptoms (not generalized chest tightness and pain), spine MRI findings like stenosis, disc dessication (desiccation), herniations, bulges etc were there way before pain started and have nothing at all to do with their current pain. Just some food for thought.
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Avatar_f_tn
i suffered a t5 burst fracture from a very bad auto accident.  which basically means that almost half of my vertebrae "exploded".  i had no other option but to have a multi-level thoracic fusion (t2-t8).  to ensure stability of my spine, and to not damage my cord, 3 vertabrae had to be fused above (t2-4) and below (t6-8) the damaged t5.  i was lucky to have maintained full body function.  i still have some numbness at my shoulder blades and ribs, but that could also be from my other injuries too (broken shoulder blade and bruised and fractured ribs), so i am sure it is all part of the healing.

so i was just wondering, since your post is from september 2007, if you'd made a decision about surgery???  i am trying to find another "thoracic fusion" buddy to exchange stories with:)))  i am 2 months post-op and doing amazing well.  i am wearing a pretty nifty (and expensive) back brace, which they say i'll be wearing up to 6 months.  i have a ct scan, xray, and 3 month post-op appt with dr in a few weeks, so i am hoping that my fusion is showing growth and overall success.

please update me on your condition as i am interested.
thanks for listening,
rebecca
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Avatar_n_tn
I think you may have what I have.  Is the pain between your shoulder blades like a burning pain...making you really irritable?  I am 30 and 2 years ago I had a baby.  About 2 weeks afterward I noticed burning in my thoracic back b/w shoulder blades and a little lower.  I have been searching for help since.  MRI's of thoracic showed a lower bulge that everyone agreed was not my problem.  I have the burning then spasms.  Sometimes the spasms leave me stiff.  This time was so bad that my neck stiffened and a month later is still somewhat stiff.  My chiro told me I needed a c-spine MRI, I have a broad-band disk bulge into the nerves at C5-C6.  Have they done an MRI of your neck, that may not be the problem in your lower back, but could be the mid-back problem.  My pain mgt. doctor of course recommends injections and meds.  My chiro has a DRX-9000 machine which is a type of traction.  They can target that specific part of my neck and gently stretch me.  That sucks the bulge back in and provides nutrient and hydration to the disks.  I just started this and have some relief already.  This is non-invasive and once I have done this 18 times, I can go in once a month, or year, depending on what my neck needs.  Something to look into, and it keeps the drugs out!  Just a thought.
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Avatar_n_tn
just got an abnormal result on thoratic back mri. Pain is in one spot at  t5, doc ordered a bone scan to check for cancer. worried, and scared. Been in pain about 6mos.now, no history of cancer, but it runs in my family. Pain has gotten somewhat better in the last few weeks. Mri showed  swelling near T5, . Pain gets better with rest. At this time do not need pain meds
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