I've been experiencing chronic back pain that has slowly gotten worse over the course of a year and a half. The pain is mostly occurring between my 11th and 12th rib, and at the very base of my 12th rib, where it connects to my spine. The pain also seems to be all along the entire 12th rib. Sitting and driving cause me severe pain. Any pressure against this area causes pain.
However, walking around seems to be OKay. The doctor ordered xrays of my lumbar and T-spine, and the results showed a compression of the T12 vertebra. He beleives this is most likely the cause of my pain. What exactly IS a compression of the T12 vertebra? Does this sound like the typically symptoms of a compression of the vertebra? What does this mean for my future, I'm only 26 years old! Does the compression normally correct itself, or am I stuck with it for life? Does surgery correct it? The doctor said that he's going to schedule a "thoracic medial branch block" injection to see if this will help my pain. Does anybody know anything about these types of injections, and do they normally help? The doctor said he needs to warn me that when doing these injections that my reproduction organs will be getting radiation, and since I'm a young woman who would like to start a family in the future, he needs to warn me about this. I'm wondering if this injection is going to affect my ability to have a child? I'm nervous about this, but, I just cannot live with this unbearable pain every day. If the pain wasn't that bad, then I'd just pass on the injection, but the pain is just so severe at times! I'd love to hear if anybody has any type of experience with this type of problem. THANK YOU!
Vertebral Compression fractures (if this is what you have) can occur after a severe trauma to the spine like if you fall from a height straight down on your butt. It usually occurs in older people who have osteoporosis or bone density problems (which make the bone more spongy). Basically the bone is crushed or compressed. Did you have any trauma to your spine or did this just start one day out of the blue?
If yours happened just out of the blue, I have a hard time believing that it is a compression fracture (although I would think they are hard to miss on x-ray). It could be what osteopathic physicians call a rib dysfunction. Basically, the rib just isnt sitting in its articulation with the vertebra correctly. This can be painful because there is a nerve called the intercostal nerve that runs right down the lower side of each rib. If the rib is a little out of whack, or the thoracic vertebra is out of whack, then this irritates the nerve. You could also just have a weirdly developed vertebral segment which is prone to problems and looks compressed on x-ray. (do you have any pre-symptom x-rays that your doc can compare to the new one?) Im not saying this is what is wrong with you, and chances are if you mention rib dysfunction to your doctor he/she will laugh/roll eyes because a lot of physicians dont believe in manual medicine. But, it is a possibility that I would check into before you go sending x-rays into your reproductive organs. See if a D.O. can fix you up with some manipulations. I hope this helps, but im not a doctor so take my advice with a grain of salt. I just think that if you arent comfortable with what a physician is telling you then you should be free to get a second opinion - especially if there are side effects to the prescribed treatment.
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