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t8-t9 disc herniation
I have been diagnosed with a large disc herniation at t8-t9(MRI).  I have pain radiating around my rib cage which is relentless and frequent muscle spasms around the disc area.  I can barely use my arms as it aggravates the problem and sets me back.  My surgeon had informed me that the surgery is very complicated and dangerous and does not want to do anything unless he is sure this will not improve with time.  He also infomed me that 3 out of 4  of these herniations will get better on there own without sugery.  Has anyone gotten better with one of these, has anyone had the surgery?  These are rare and no one seems to be able to give me answers.  I don't know if I should be active or do nothing, physio is giving me mixed messages and state they have never seen one of these before.  
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1043790 tn?1297008244
Doctors gave me predniscolone for my L5 lumbar problem. Apparently it speeds up the shrinking of the disc so it retracts from pushing against the nerve. Was also taking it concurrently with vitamen B12, with Lyrica at night.

Predniscolone is of course a steroid banned by the IOC - but it was great while it lasted. My same doctor never gave it to me for Thoracic problems so I can't comment on whether it works there.



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1043790 tn?1297008244
Good to hear you tried swimming.

Freestyle works best for thoracic I believe, it works those crucial muscle groups in the mid back.

Try hanging from a bar before and after swimming also, helps thoracics but also stretches the shoulder muscles nicely. For me, I have to stretch hamstrings also.

The biggest sign I used to get in the pool of the benefit of swimming was 'tingling' in my thoracic. Very noticeable feeling after 200-500m once you you stop and stand up.

And I mean a tingling feeling in a good sense, that was quite a BEAUTIFUL sensation.

I don't really have that feeling anymore.

I've now learnt and started butterfly, which seems to work the abs and lower back really well.
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thanks for advise.  I guess no-one knows exactly whats gonna happen until u face it head on.  Dr's have scheduled my op on the 8th March.  Have no other choice.  Meds are just taking edge off pain, but if I don't have meds three times a day, I really suffer.  If I stick to the meds, I can cope through the day.  My cocktail is neuronton 300mg at night, tenston sa (2 three x a day) and cataflam d.  Will go through with op and extremely scared.  Will face what happens after, after.
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Well I went to the doctors monday and decided to hold off on the scs the doctor said there is only 40 precent chance it will work so Im going to try the steriod injections again.my doctor also said he could see how stressed I was and I have to try to stay postive,and make the best of what god has handed me.I thought long and hard about what he said,and Im going to try my hardest to keep my head up and pray that the injections offer some relief.I know things could me worse but Im so young to have to live day in day out with pain.oxOangeleyezOxo keep us posted I wish you the best I know how you feelyou just want to be pain free.
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man sorry to hear scaredtoop...will you please keep us posted on this surgery?  I know a few of us are very interested.  I will be praying for it to go very smoothly for you.

Watto - i need to start the swimming...i normally hate it uggg

corey...only a 40% chance...yeah those aren't reassuring numbers.  please let me know how the next injection goes.

ox0angeleyez0xo - good advice...what is your next treatment plan?
  
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Hello everyone,

First of all I would like to wish you all to be healed from your problem and be able to have a better quality of life not suffering from back pains.

I have recently have an MRI on the thoracic spine and diagnosed with a small central disc herniation(3mm) at the T8-T9 that press the subarachnoid space and the spinal cord is shown satisfactory. The same disc appears some degeneration.

It has been almost 4 months since I have an accident but not until last week I get an MRI scan. The pain has reduce but it is still very annoying and sometimes it hurts a lot. The doctor suggest me to start swimming and I am intent to do so starting tomorrow. It has been 4 months since the start of the pain and I think that it will never go. I feel very sad about it since I am 25 years old and very athletic and active and that really cuts my wings. I have search everywhere to find any solution and the one that I found is the Discogel injection. I know that it is a new technique but I do not know if it can be use for thoracic discs. Is there anyone who know what this new method is about?

Also I would like to suggest me any other exercises that may help me recover. I there anyone that has recoverd and able to start activities or will I be always unable to do my favorite sports?

Please help.

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1043790 tn?1297008244
Cheer up, at least you have had an MRI already and now have some knowledge of the situation with some support, even if its just some random internet comments.

It wasn't quite the same 20 years ago, less access to internet and research meant relying on doctors who weren't feeling the pain you are feeling.

25 years old is about the same age I had my intital rugby accident. Alot of sleep related pain about 4-10 weeks after, then I had physiotherapy for a few weeks and the pain seemed to disappear.

Don't be fooled by this type of scenario. The pain returned when I was about 37.

It seems you only have a single disc problem so that is not so bad but the reality is that without surgery, its probably never going to repair itself so I suggest its best to try slow down the rate of degeneration.

I've made a committment to myself to swim for the rest of my life. Didn't enjoy swimming when I strted more than 3 years ago, but after a month I began to feel the benefits so I perservered with it.

Then I made some big decisions. I dropped all the expensive neverending physiotherapy for more swimming for about a 6 month period. Then I booked myself into the 1st phase T7/T8 surgery which probably fixed about 60% of the problem.

More swimming and did the 2nd phase T8/T9 surgery a year later, probably fixed about 20-30% of the problem.

I'm 18 months post op now and feeling good, even playing the occassional game of golf. I can survive 4-5 days now without a swim now before too much pain returns, compared to previously 2-3 days max.

In my case, the worst advice was 'surgery should be a last option'. I could have saved the value of a small family car on physiotherapy. Surgery isn't cheap either but at least it gave me a final result, and no more never ending physiotherapy costs. I'm not a high income earner at all, so I just had to accept the money pains, and treat it as an investment in myself, in my future.  

There was lots of good advice rather than a single thing, start swimming, hang on bars, lose weight, improve your diet, flexibility, give up golf....

Good luck, let us know how you get on
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Hello watto 1,

I must say that I admire the way you face your problem and mention that it gives me courage to face my problem.

I would like to ask you how serious was your initial herniation? I mean I have a 0.3cm herniation that as my doctor said me is not so serious yet! Is it possible that in some years this distance(0.3cm) will increase by its own? Moreover I would like to ask you if you search for the Discogel injection which is a new method for disc herniation for all the spinal(thoracic,lumbar and cervical) or ih any of the others here know anything about it.

Courage to all.
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1043790 tn?1297008244
Hi antrikkos00,

You can see 6 photos of my problems (both before and after phase 1 T7/T8 op) on my profile page.

The T7/T8 problem was worse than the T8/T9 problem overall.

The only herniation measurements I have are on image 2. after T7/T8 surgery 2011 (post phase 1 op but pre-phase 2 op) showing as follows:

1.) spinal cord width/diameter at T7/T8 disc with an improved measurement of 1.01cm (after phase 1 op/repair job).

2.) spinal cord width/diameter at T8/T9 disc (remaining problem showing mesurement of 0.80cm. This has since been operated on and repaired.

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5447446 tn?1368108733
Hello!
I am new to this forum,just found out about it and glad that I did,because I didn't know so far people with similar problems as I have and we all know how depressive it can be when no one can fully understand you.
2 years ago my MRI showed that I  have disc protrusions on levels T1/T2 and T2/T3,also a disc herniation on T3/T4 and osteophytes on T4/T5 ,T5/T6 and T6/T7-great story,haha :) It seems as my whole thoracic area is a bit ruined and I feel really blaming myself because it is all my fault.
It all happened when I created that habit to study in a wrong position since my first grade and did this through all my university studies as well and on the last final exam-OUCH,something was wrong,I felt a huge massive pain all around the back,shoulders,arms and ribs-like a heart attack and last but not least-troubles taking a deep breath.  I am also kind of into rock music and not to mention that since little I was doing that typical headbanging movements...:)
At first when i felt that strange feeling of severe pain I thought that i got sick or something and waited for it to pass away by itself.Since it only was getting worse I visited couple of doctors and all of them didn't suspect anything dealing with disc herniation.Then I started to work and since I am a lawyer all the days I was spending on a sitting position reading and writing and until one day I felt so bad that I could not take it anymore.Then I did that MRI and it showed the problem.I consulted with many Bulgarian doctors and all of them are pretty sure that I should not take the risk of a surgery. So what I do to ease the condition is physio and exercises and sometimes I feel kind of okay for months-especially during winter and summer. Since it is already Spring here the nightmare began with full force again.Because of the temperatures changing 3 weeks till now I was feeling like half -a-person again ,but trying not to show my pain to my close ones because it can only make them suffer too...
To me only cold laser and ultrasound massage helps...
Anyways,I wish you all the very best and to recover as much and as soon as possible.
P.S. Seeing so many people with thoracic disc herniation in this forum makes me think that it is already not so rare decease.Just the world and the lifestyle nowadays threatens us with all these sitting-like jobs,computers,cars etc.
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Hi all
Just met with surgeon today on this T-7/ T-8 Bulging into the spinal chord.
Not sure what to think, not sure if the surgery and risk are worth the pain that I currently have.
Wow I guess right now I am just confused and trying to figure it all out!
Sam
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Hi,
What a relief it is to find this forum. (Here I was thinking I was the only person out here with these problems/symptoms.) The discs involved are T5-6, T6-7, T7-8, T8-9, T9-10.
MRI impression:
Multilevel thoracic spondylosis with multiple mid thoracic focal disc herniations.

2007 I had an A.L.I.F. / discectomy and instrumentation at, L4-5, L5-S1.
2012 The same as above only at, C6-7.

The ruptured discs at the thoracic level were only found this year after the fusion on my c-spine didn't resolve all my symptoms.
I also developed sciatica pain in one leg after starting nerve gliding exercises with my legs during P.T.,which is now causing quite a bit of weakness and muscle atrophy. (Gabapentin is helping a lot with the sciatica pain, but has no effect on the mid thoracic and rib pain.)
I've been through P.T., which only caused more pain. Trigger point injections, which didn't help at all. Lastly, the E.S.I., which gave me 4-5 days of relief, not enough relief to go without pain meds, but to where the meds worked.
At this point in time I don't know what my surgeon is going to try next. (I see him next month.)
I'll be getting in the pool when the water warms up enough to not turn me blue. I would have gone to the pool sooner, but I can't drive the 40 minutes to the indoor pool due to my leg going numb and the increased pain in my lumbar from sitting. I keep as active as I can without going over that fine line which will land me in bed for a couple of days. I can't do a lot, but I do push myself. I'm looking forward to getting in the pool and I can't even swim! I'll work on moving in the water first and tackle the "swimming" bit when I can. It seems to be the least stressful way to get some cardio, tone muscles and keep range of motion.  
I'm past hoping and wishing this will get better, but I'm still hopeful that there's something that can be done to stop it from getting much worse, or at least, get to a point where the pain meds (Butrans patch and Lortab 10/325's) give more relief so that I can become more mobile and gain some strength back.
This forum is so informative. There's not much out there on this condition, and I'm so thankful for people taking the time to share their experiences about treatments (Even those treatments which don't work).
That white hot poker is burning me in my back, so I'll stop typing for now. I'll be looking forward to reading more. :)
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1043790 tn?1297008244
Great read, good attitiude.

Hang in there, have to imagine there is ice in the pool before you jump in, then hope the water feels a couple degrees warmer than the artic.

The enivitable mind game with yourself is choosing between cold water or sore back, never an easy choice, but once you're in and wet - no point retreating. A leap of faith perhaps? Nothing less than brave and admirable. A coldish shower before hand takes the edge off.    
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Too funny! Imagine ice at the bottom of the pool! (Sounds like you've done this before.) You're right though, when I think of all I've gone through, all the tests, the shots, the mylograms! What's a little cold water?
While on vacation in April, I spent a day at a beach. I was in the water for a good 3 hours, and even though there wasn't much swimming going on (I'm a poor swimmer), I should have been in a lot more pain than I was just from being up and around for 3 hours straight. I did have added soreness the following day, but no added pain. This should be a no brainer, but I never thought it might actually REDUCE pain.
I'm looking forward to testing this out. (Along with some swimming lessons.)
Thank you for posting about the swimming. It's rare to find someone who has tried, and stuck with anything (Other than meds) that helps.  
6 weeks after my lumbar fusion, I was back at work, withing 3 months, I  was back to walking 5-6 miles a day, 5-6 times a week. For the following 4 years I did this, not taking a single sick day. Yet the day after the injury to my cervical and thoracic spine, I couldn't take a breath without knee buckling pain. That was 2 1/2 years ago. I've tried walking more than a couple of blocks...not happening. I'm not over weight (Yet), and I don't want to think about carrying extra weight around with me. What does concern me is the inactivity and all that goes along with it. Swimming does sound ideal. Hopefully (There's that word, "hope" I try not to use), I'll reach a point where I can drive into town for the indoor pool this winter. I'm so ready to do this. How long did it take for you to realize swimming was working? How long before you FELT improvement? How often and for how long did you swim initially? What shape were you in physically, when you began?
What, if anything, did you do to remind yourself of your progress on those, "not so good" days?  Anything you can tell me that helped keep you motivated would be appreciated.
Seriously though, how cold is too cold for the water temp do you think? I've been neck deep in the north sea, but that was prior to back injuries. Is there anything, regarding swimming, that you would do differently, or wish you would have known? What advice would you give to someone just starting? I've asked a lot of questions and I'm sure there are some I've left out because I don't know them to ask. I'll re-read all of the posts in this forum to see what I can find. Sorry if I've asked anything that you've already posted.
Thank you for responding to my post. I'm looking forward to hearing from you again. :)
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Hi all
Iam new to this forum, my mum is actually the one with the problem she has T9-T10 disc herniation, which has calcified, her problems started last sept with some buzzing feeling in her hip, it has progressed now to complete numbness down one leg and numbness travelling up the other leg getting worse day by day. She is scheduled or surgery on the 25th June and has been told surgery is very risky, but the alternative is definite paralysis. She has been told that the nerve damage is permenante and that the surgery will not provide any pain relief, but just stop the progression of paralysis. Is there no hope for any improvement? She was a very active woman and is only 62, with many plans for her retierment, now looking possible that she could be wheelchair bound for the rest of her life. I feel so helpless and feel that she doesn't realise what is ahead of her in terms of recovery. The doctors have been very vague about recovery times.
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1043790 tn?1297008244
Apologies for the delayed reply.

Q. How long did it take for you to realize swimming was working?
Q. How long before you FELT improvement?
A.  From memory... the 1st sign (2-3 weeks after starting when swimming about 200-400m) was pain relief for 1-2 hours after swimming.

The 2nd sign was the beautiful 'tingling sensation' (obvious after 6-8 weeks when swimming about 400-600m) - it's euphoric, and used to kick in after about  400-500m.

The 3rd sign was both feeling & realising there was a definite colleration between swimming and diminshing pain. Understanding this gave me even more motivation to stick with something I honestly thought I would quit on after about 3 weeks. I have been truly surprised myself at my own self-discipline.

The key is the 1st sign, getting started and feeling some benefit to keep you motivated whilst understanding  the very simple logic that if you gradually increase your swimming, then expect a gradual increase in pain relief time after swimming. Hopefully you will get out what you put in.

Q. How often and for how long did you swim initially?
A. It probably took me 6 months to get to a point of swimming 1000m (4-6 times per week) for pain relief of 12-24 hours.

Q. What shape were you in physically, when you began?
A. Ok, about 76-78kg, carrying alot more body fat than I should have been. I wasn't fit and I struggled as all non- natural bad swimmers do. 1st swim was 6x lengths of an 18m long pool, and I was gasping for breath and had to rest at each end. Like I said, it took me 6 months to build up to 1000m. My weight has been consistently around 65-65kg for the last 18 months

Q. What, if anything, did you do to remind yourself of your progress on those, "not so good" days?  
A. Um, pretend you are Michael Phelps and try not to swallow too much water hahaha. Seriously, some days you just have to gut it out, count the strokes, count the lengths, push yourself hard to get to a designated no. of lengths before resting, etc. Apart from the frist lenght, usually I find the first half of the swim more difficult, once you have completed more than half its easier to to the end of it.
  
Q. Anything you can tell me that helped keep you motivated would be appreciated.
A. Warm water definitely helps the motivation, so does going anytime in the day before 6pm. As you get better, find a longer pool, its a lot easier believe it or not. Think about the FULL benefits, treat it as a chance to improve your overall health, change your diet, try green tea to hydrate yourself. I have never had the flu in 3 years since starting swimming, the amazing effect of chlorine or saline clearing out the nasal passages. Most important of all, do it for you and your family. That should be the biggest motivation for anyone.
    
Q. Seriously though, how cold is too cold for the water temp do you think? A. Not sure, i live in a fair warm climate. Get a swimsuit and a couple of latex caps otherwise.

Q. Is there anything, regarding swimming, that you would do differently, or wish you would have known?
A. Yeah, I wish someone had taught me to swim properly when I was younger. I'd have to admit a couple of lessons would have helped me, reading online was helpful.

Q. What advice would you give to someone just starting?
A. Just try relax, breathe as much as possible and gut it out. set some goals and don't give up.
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1043790 tn?1297008244
So sorry to hear for your mum.

It doesn't sound good for her.

I'm a little surprised that the symptoms are quite low, sounds more like a lumbar problem that you are describing.

Best wishes  
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I have a herniated disic  at t7 and t8. I haven't been able to work scence may I am having a very hard time getting any answers from my doc on how long will I have problems , how to fix it or any thing I had two epiduru shots they did nothing . pain meds nothing. I am going for nerve block next month. And my short term disability is turning into long term now my job is at risk .I would just like to know how this is going to end up so I can make life plans
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I wanted to give an update on how I'm doing. I did go to the pool, everyday for 3 weeks. I didn't get to swim very much though. I have gone from bad to worse, to the point of just being vertical for more than a couple of hours at a time causes so much pain I can't see straight. My surgeon has put me on Percocet. It helps, but if I don't lay down, on my back, it does nothing. The max amount of time I can be up (by "up" I mean in a recliner, or up and down doing little things around the house) is 2 hours. If I'm in a car, 30 mins is all I can tolerate (I gave up driving a couple of yrs ago due to the pain it caused). I'm rapidly approaching being house bound. In fact, I not longer leave the house, for more than a few minutes, unless I have to see a Dr., and that's becoming more difficult, as it's a 3 hr car ride (round trip).
I spoke with my surgeon 2 weeks ago, and he simply will not risk the surgery. At one point, during that visit, I begged for surgery, even if there was just the slightest chance of improvement, and yes, even if it meant I lost my life. (I had been in severe pain for about 3 weeks. I was at 8/10 - 9/10 on the pain scale. It was relentless.) The good news is, when I asked him what I had to look forward to as this continued to worsen, he said, that right now, it would just be increased pain (JUST!). Even so, I was glad to hear that. IF my current pain is ever managed, I'll be elated. I also know that pain, alone, is not reason enough to do surgery. When I asked, what would be reason enough to operate, he told me, when he could look at my M.R.I. and see something he, or another surgeon, would be ABLE to fix. (I'm not naive, I know he chose his words carefully, and if I'm extremely LUCKY, it won't progress beyond pain...there was a lot left unsaid.)
I feel myself getting weaker, because even with stronger pain meds, which help, they by no means allow me to get far from my bed. As a result, I'm losing muscle tone, and we all know how important core strength is, especially where the thoracic spine is concerned.
I've always been able to see the silver linings, and I believe, that WHEN my pain is managed, I'll be more like my old self, at least emotionally, and be able find my new-new normal. And last, but not least, greet each day with joy, not dread.
Most of us suffering from thoracic injuries or "conditions" will probably end up having to live with it. I can't tell you enough, how reading your stories, has helped me, especially when feeling so isolated. And while I hate that anyone has to live with this, I'm so grateful for each and every one of you that has shared their experiences and asked questions. I will visit this site often. There's such a wealth of information here, and some very warm, caring people. I hope, at some time, I will also be of some help.
    
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Wow...I am really glad to find this site....I have been dealing with the same issues as many of you. Back in December 12 I was running and felt a twinge in my back on the right side. Thought nothing of it. Then, I went back to lifting the following monday and had an incredible burning in my mid back. I have pain (tightness and soreness) that radiates around to the stomach and my ribs.

I had x-rays, Cat scan, and finally the MRI to reveal a (slight???Really) herniation in my t8. Doctors have put me on Lyrica, skelaxin, and prescribed a bunch of other muscle relaxers all of which dont help. I went to a chiropractor, physical therapist, all with no success. I am 42 and have been told after lifting weights for so many years this is what could happen. I was never a power lifter, not did I ever do squats or deadlifts.

I have been told I will need to try the epidural injections, but I am doubtful since everything else I try doesnt seem to work. I do get relief when I lie down, but it doesnt last. Have anyone heard of anyone who did recover from this? It is very depressing to say the least, and I am trying to figure out how science can put a man on the moon, but cant fix back pain...Any advice? Thanks and one again, happy I found others with this condition, and sad you have it too
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2 years later and mine is better because I have heavily modified what I do to keep from aggravating it. Gave up Golf, sleep in a Slumberjack cot instead of bed for 2 years. My back does not hurt 24/7 anymore but if I do something like fishing in my bass boat I know I will pay for it for a couple of weeks. I know that modifying your life so drastically sound terrible but it has kept me away from surgery. My back issue was slight T8, moderate-severe T9 herniation. I did re-injure it last October carrying a car battery jump box and twisting. Put my down for about 2 weeks and on light duty at work for 8 weeks. Good luck
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Hi to everyone wanted to give a update.I sent my MRI to a doctor in New York he speclizes in the t-spine he reviewed my MRI and said im a candidate for surgery,I also sent my MRI to a doctor in Michigan he said surgery is to risky and he would not do surgery.Now im really don't know what to do have the surgery and pray I get the relief I so have been longing for or continue to try to manage my pain with meds.I know this is a huge operation and the recovery is very long,but Im 39 and I don't want to live in pain the rest of my life.
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1043790 tn?1297008244
I have a point that I may not have mentioned before.

My matress is soft, which goes against most conventional wisdom about what is best for back pain.

Hard matresses have always made for a tough nights sleep with my thoracic issues, so I must have soft.

Initially even a soft matress didn't add many more hours sleep to my night UNTIL I started sleeping directly on my back with no pillow.

I have always had a thin pillow(and take my own to hotels) - but even the sightlest head and neck elevation gives me pain now.  

So I sleep like a baby on my back, no pillow, it's a winner. Can't sleep like that the entire night though so I lean my pillow vertically against the bedhead on its long edge, and flop it down during the night as required when I wish to sleep on my side for a while, the push it back up against the bedhead when I wish to sleep on my back again.

I've been sleeping like this for a few years now, it works great, give it a go,


Also I had some thoracic pain a few weeks ago, about 5/10, first pain in a long time actually. There was no obvious reason or cause for my pain but my body temp was almost 38 degrees (celcius). The pain was gone the next day along with the mild fever. Therefore, I would now theorise, even assume that there is a direct link between thoracic pain and fever. Which comes first is like the chicken or the egg question, I'm not really sure, but seems it was only a 1x night fever, then it is probably the fever that  caused the back pain.

  

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Thanks for your reply and at least I know there is a chance this can turn around. I too go thru bouts of good and bad days, with no rhyme or reason what aggravates it.
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Hi glue.My name is Dennis.My T8 is herniated and I have severe pain in that area and pain in my stomach and testicles and my legs.It is hard to walk and even lay down.I have been on heavy pain meds for years.They are slowly killing me.I was also told that the T8 is a complicated surgery.I am at the pOint and thats why Im online now  that I am searching for a surgeon to at least try.I have ni life because of this!Pain management is a joke.All they want is to zonk you out on meds.They just did botox injectios and I been sick ever since.I am at the end of my ropes!I really feel no drs really care!They make more from the drug companies just by writing rescriptions!I cry in pain a;; the time!If you find a surgeon to opeate.Please postthe name!I need help and noone cares!Im 42 and want a life.Since the age of 36 I had none from this!From not being able to walk well,I had a left knee replacement,my right nkee operated on and about 20 or so shots!I hope we both feel better!I dont even have relationships because of this!
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I wish I could help you. I have not had surgery + I understand your frustration.
Hopefully ,  if you post your province, state or country,  someone will be able to make some suggestions.
I understand there are surgeons at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta who have done this surgery.
Good Luck.
Keep us posted.
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HI,I know just how you feel I have been dealing with disc hernation 2 yrs now t7 t8 its horrible.It has stolen my life I try my hardest to keep a positive attuide but it is so hard when you hurt so bad every damn day.I feel the same way about my pain meds I hate that I have to take them but I know if I didn't take them I would have no quality of life what so ever.Here is a doctor that specilezes in the t-spine he is in NEW YORK Dr.noel PERIN GOGGLE him.Hang in there I know how horrible it is.
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I've had a herniated disc at T8&9 for over a year. I've tried every pain medication prescribed by pain mgmt. Plus I've has several injections which didn't seem to work either. Physical therapy was a waste of my time. Pain mgmt told me to lose weight and have a breast reduction. Easier said than done.
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please which hospital in Thailand you had your operation. And how does one go about meeting the consultant and so on. the procedure before the operation!
thank you,
myo
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1043790 tn?1297008244
BNH Hospital.

Make an appointment with Dr. Wicharn in the spinal clinic, then just rock up and register at the front desk,  Take any MRIs you have. Not sure how you would get on if trying to make insurance claims. Easy if you are paying yourself.
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I am the latest to join this "community"! I am based in Sydney Australia and have just found out that I have a bulging T8. Have not slept for a week as the pain at night flat on my back or side is excruciating. I can manage walking, sitting, standing and pretty much anything else but cannot lie down and therefore sleep is impossible.

I have read the whole thread and sadly this does not bode well.

I have just started anti-inflamatories and hope that this helps. I have absolutely no idea if I will ever sleep again and that is terrifying.

So, sign me up and I wish you all well and hope that we all find some solutions to our respective problems!
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It's been a while since I posted so I thought it time to update you on my progress. As far as "progress" goes, I'm progressively getting worse, at least as far as pain is concerned. I had a second thoracic mri done a week ago, and I'm waiting on the report. I can tell it's worse though. Despite stronger pain meds (percocet 10/325 x 8 daily), the pain has broken right through and NEVER gets below a 5/10. Most of my waking moments are spent in the company of a pain scale of 7-9/10. Arm and/or hand movements, or holding my head back or forward starts that stabbing in my rib cage and burning in my t-spine...I know you know the sensation.
I have filed for disability but I wont get my hopes up, as I've heard it can take up to (and sometimes longer) 5 yrs.
With no hope of a "fix" in my future, I have been on a journey which includes a lot of meditation, which, surprisingly, helps, at least in the moment, and keeps me from worrying about what my life will be like a year from now when I'm on so many pain meds I wont be able to think straight. I would highly recommend learning to meditate. Learning to live in the moment, is the only thing which has kept me sane. As we all know, worry, stress, and the gambit of emotions we feel on a daily basis, plays a huge role in how much pain we feel, and we have to learn how to cope with it, because, cope we must.
That's about all I have been doing for the past few months...learning to LIVE WITH, and accept, this lot in life. It's much easier to swim with the current, than against it. I don't mean to go on and on about it, but, when my surgeon said there's nothing to be done, and after several months of deep depression, I knew I had to find a way to deal with it, or the constant pain and physical limitations would destroy all quality of life, and to be honest, all I was doing, was waiting to die. Meditation, for me, is a life saver.  
I'm still looking out for ANYONE that has had thoracic surgery, specifically in the T.5-8 area (although I'm beginning to doubt such a person exists).  
Anyway, it's nice knowing I'm not the only one out here with this injury, and who can understand what it's like.
Thanks for listening (reading).                        
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I have had similar problems for 12 years. I have herniations & bulging discs in my neck, thoracic & lumbar spine. The cause was wear & tear from mail delivery and genetics I suppose. My father had a bad back. I have been on disability for 3 years and of course it's somewhat better but they keep telling me I have pneumonia!! Coughing has always hurt me and I get searing pain in right thoracic quadrant straight through my breast. To move is horrible. The last 2 times I had it doc thought it was pneumonia....if it is then I have had it like 20 times and I kind of doubt that!! Recently I had an abnormal ekg and need to see a cardiologist...in the meantime I got the horrid pain & cough again so IDK whats going on. You are not alone. I am 50 by the way and carried mail for 25 years before they got rid of me. I have 4 herniations in the thoracic area. I am sick of it all!
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7586247 tn?1392270430
Hello, I have had 2 seperate Costotransversectomies, two months apart. One @ T 6-7and one @ T 8-9.First surgery was 8 1/2 hrs long and the second surgery was 7 1/2 hrs long. About 53 staples in my back each time. It's a tough surgery. It's kinda like they filet you open. I received these awful injuries from falling out of an elevator. I actually had these surgeries about 20 years ago! I think it is because I had the obe surgery and then, not even two months later, had the second one, in which the surgical incission partly cut through some of the same area which I suppose was beginning to heal, but then cut through again, but I have developed tremendous scar tissue/adhesions throughout my epidural area. These adhesions are pressing on nerve endings, causing so much pain! In addition, I've also developed adhesions around the intercostal nerves (where they cut through the ribs) , also caus a lot of pain. I had no choice in having the first of my two surgeries, because the Dr said that the disc had only another milimeter to go before severing my spinal cord. He actually said that if I so much as tripped on my shoelace that I'd be paralyzed for life. But, what I have to say about my experience with the thoracic surgery is that I am in much more pain after the surgeries. Perhaps my body just over produces scar tissue. One Dr even said so much as it might've been some sort of autoimmune resonse. I don't know if any of this info helps, but I hope it offers you some perspective.
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1043790 tn?1297008244
Sorry about your problems.

Obviously technology has improved because my 2x costotransversectomies took 2.5 hrs and 1.5 hours.

I'm also embarrassed to say that it probably took the scrub nurses an hour to shave my back hair the first op.

Zero staples or stitches, it was just one of those tape joins which I removed after 12 days each time, swimming on Day 13. T7/8 scar was about 3" and then increased to the current 5" long the following year during the T8/9 surgery.

I'm feeling good now, still got to take care of myself, good posture and all though. It's as good a result that can be expected. I feel like it has improve even further during the last 6 months which I'm convinced is due to sleeping on my back with no pillow.

Don't mean to write this to belittle your or other people's the problems, rather I hope it gives someone hope, motivation or confidence.

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Watto,
When you had your surgeries did they actually fuse the vertebrae together?  

do you still have pain every day Watto?
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1043790 tn?1297008244
Hi Barca,

No fusion.

I was advised fusion is an absolute last resort for mid back problems.

The costotransversectomy the procedure did involve drilling a hole about 5mm diameter thru one of those knobbly bones for access to the disc.

I believe the old fashion technique involved taking a rib bone out or hacking a bit off it at least. I'm remember reading somewhere that 'costo' is a Latin word for rib.

I don't have everyday pain any more as such - not to be confused with absolute no pain either.

Using posture as an example, I can't sit on a chair without a back for more than about 30 minutes before pain sets in.

I have only learnt how to manage my situation better.
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thanks for the response...I thought with all T-spine they had to do a fusion....I am encouraged to see that is not always the case.  One other question I had for you is did they have to collapse your lung to do the surgery?

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1043790 tn?1297008244
No need for that. Sounds extreme.

Just a tube drain and bag for the first 36-48 hours.

I only stayed 2x nights in hosp.each time, any longer and I'd be addicted to the morphine, it's good, can't argue that.

Was far less nervous for the 2nd surgery and won't hesitate to do again in future if necessary
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Hello watto1, nice to hear you are doing so well after two surgeries! Can I ask what your doctors name was and where were you operated? I'm having issues with t6/7 and considering surgery.
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Hi everyone.

I have found it very interesting reading your experiences.

I have been experiencing severe electric shock type pain in my mid spine and stiffness in waking for about 12 months. This eases off through the day.
However, for about 6 months I have been experiencing burning/ aching and pinching type pains around my right rib cage and into upper right abdo. They started out lasting around a week each month, but it's now become constant.
All blood tests and scans of abdo and chest were normal and I am just now waiting for an MRI of my whole spine.
No pain killers have eased it at all. It is better in the morning, and worse as the day progresses. Worse on sitting and driving. The only thing that helps is a warm bath and dry needing of the little tight, painful spots in my upper right back muscle. However, the relief only lasts for mins after I stop.
I also get tingling around the upper back and ribs, like ants walking over my skin.
I'm desperate to find out what is causing this. My GP thinks is facet joint dysfunction.

It's interesting seeing your symptoms, as this the closest I've seen to someone describing how I feel. It's so odd and diffuse that I struggle to describe what it is like to anyone.

Thanks
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7721494 tn?1431631564
If this is facet syndrome, then you are in luck as there's an effective interventional treatment (medial branch neurolysis) that will relieve a large part of the pain.
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Have had disc against spinal chord for 10yrs but little pain due to Meds for neck pain (have had fusio c4-c7) of pain Meds 200 mg tramadol twice a day, fentanyl patch100 micrograms, and endone as required. Now have thoracic pain caused by pinched nerve at T8 which also is causing whole of body  hyperhidrosis and severe rib cramps where the floating ribs lift about 2 inches
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who is your surgeon because in ky I was told by other doctors that its complicated and that not to many doctors will perform thoracic surgery
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who is your surgeon because in ky I was told by other doctors that its complicated and that not to many doctors will perform thoracic surgery
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who is your surgeon because I have the same problem as you  and the doctors either say its to complicated and risky or there is not a lot of doctors that will operate on thoracic disc
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That is what I am told.
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547368 tn?1440545385
Please note that this is a very old thread - though there has been some activity by others on it - Robitaip made this one and only thread in 2009. Sadly he has not been active since that date.

Badbody, I encourage you to begin a new thread - "Post a Question". A title that states simply what you're looking for - or your questions should get you better responses - and certainly more visibility. In addition your questions will come up with a goggle search and may be answered by a non-member.

The cervical spine is much more complex and difficult for surgical purposes than the Thoracic Spine. Many surgeons, including those in KY preform Cervical and Thoracic surgeries every day. I suggest you consult another Neurosurgeon, one associated with a large teaching facility.

Remember surgery is the very last resort for any good surgeon. The procedure permanently changes the structure of one's spine - which often brings additional problems, especially with time.

Best of Luck,
~Tuck
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Don't know if you are still on the thread but if so please tell me more about this procedure.  I have a Herniation at T8-9 and just had my second Ep Steroid injection with a little improvement but far from good.
Thanks,
Damon
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Sorry you are having the pain and problems with this.

I was in a wreck in April of last year that caused me to have a herniated disk at T7-T8 and T9. I had the surgery in August, they removed the portion of the herniated disk that was against the spinal core. Then they fused the vertebrae from T7-T9, I was told that I would be back to 95% of what I was before the wreck. I am at about 50% currently and struggling daily with chest, rib, leg, foot pain and nausea. If I pick up something heavy I regret it  for the next few  days. Because the symptoms get worse for the next few days.
I guess that I would say that I feel a little better after the surgery, but i would not say that it was worth it. I tried physical therapy, it was not successful. I was told by my Dr that he is not sure why I am still feeling the pains, but he wants me to try pain management therapy. My guess is that there was damage to the spinal core that is going to take time to heal. I hope that it heals soon.

Hope that helps. God Bless
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I have the same injury and the only relief I've gotten is from a third epidural injection and it only lasted for 2-weeks but gave me hope. I would like to talk with you further if you don't mind.
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st. louis, MO