Back and Neck Surgery Expert Forum
Thoracic complications - your opinion?
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Thoracic complications - your opinion?

38 female: Mild scoliosis, Vit D deficiency. Multi-level DDD with compression fractures along thoracic, 4 herniated discs in thoracic, & 2 in lumbar. Conservative treatment for 8 months: inversion table, physical therapy, chiropractic, medications, injections, bed rest, accupuncture, massages, TENS unit, hot tubs. Recent mri shows progressions: t4-t5 (deforming anterior surface of spinal cord), t6-t7 (not contacting cord), & t7-t8 (extrusion, disc material has extruded into spinal canal & deforming thecal sac). Compression fractures spread.  Schmorls node on t10, cracks close to meeting. I own a dance studio & an aerobic instructor & personal trainer.  I'm having difficult time doing my job. Now I must work in morning, lay down till evening, so I can go back to work in evening. I'm getting ready to stop all the classes I currently teach because it has become too difficult. Symptoms are: t10 dull ache, deep burning pain over t4/5 & t7/8 vertebraes with radiating pain: chest hurts to breathe, under chest with numbness (near diaphragm where ribs meet), sharp pains around heart, under right ribcage, deep burning into R shoulder, traps & neck. I have R foot numbness & 4-5 occasions of bladder incontinence. I have pvc's (premature ventricular contractions) & the last couple of weeks as my back pain has become unbearable, the pvc's are worse making my blood pressure drop low making me feel nauseated & dizzy. My Internist said the herniations could be indirectly affecting my heart beat. Do you agree? Local neurosurgeons not qualified to perform thoracic surgery. I have an appointment with Vanderbilt University on June 30. I want as many different opinions as possible. Do you believe surgery is only option at this point? In your opinion, if I do have surgery to fix the offending discs, do you think I will be able to resume my current occupation? Is there a chance I could be left with permanent damage to my heart, R foot sensation, & kidney function? Thanks so much!!
Anna
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Dear Friend,
Please find my answers -
1) My Internist said the herniations could be indirectly affecting my heart beat. Do you agree?
         I really don't agree with this concept. Herniated disc are in no position to affect the heart. Hence don't thing of this condition presently.

2) Do you believe surgery is only option at this point?
    With so many co-relating issues, i will not think surgery as the best option available.
Physiotherapy , aimed at improving the spine muscle strength would be really helpful.

3) In your opinion, if I do have surgery to fix the offending discs, do you think I will be able to resume my current occupation?
    If your physiotherapy fails, then only surgery would be advisable. Else there is no use of this thing. Multiple level disc involvement would hamper the success of the surgery. Had it been only one level disc, results would had been different.

4) Is there a chance I could be left with permanent damage to my heart, R foot sensation, & kidney function?
   It would require a full evaluation with all doctors working in sync.
I am not in a position to answer this query of yours as i have not evaluated you.

Please visit a good physiotherapist and work on your back muscles.
Also a good orthopaedician's opinion is required, before the physiotherapist's, so as to manage the back muscles and bone strength in a better way.

I  hope my answers are clear.
Please discuss, if you need my opinion.
Regards
6 Comments
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539478_tn?1296624612
Thank you for getting back in touch with me. I teach Pilates which is primarily all core (back, spinal muscles, & ab) exercises. My back muscles are very strong, if they were not I would be in even more trouble. I have spoke to several Physiotherapists and have researched all the exercises they do & the exercises we do in Pilates is identical. Examples: Prone swimming, bridges, ab series, planks, push-ups, etc. We really target the back muscles including the erector spinae muscles in almost every exercise. I am also a personal trainer so I work out with weights regularly... so that is why I was considering surgery at this point.

I have tried everything for a year now & it is only getting worse. How much longer should I try conservative treatment since 2 of the herniations are pressing on my spinal cord & I'm  having myelopathy symptoms? I'm terrified of being in a car accident or having any kind of fall & possibly ever becoming paralyzed. And the pain is unbearable, I can't take it anymore, sometimes to the point of tears. So bad that I'm finishing out my current 6-weeks of classes then dropping all but a few classes that don't aggravate my back. And I love to teach!

Do you think an orthopaedician's opinion is better than a neurosurgeon? A local neurosurgeon that I saw said that considering the exercises I already do for my back seeing a physiotherapist would do me no good as I'm already doing the exercises. A physiotherapist that attends my spin classes said the same thing. So... do you think it would be advantageous for me to still see a physiotherapist? If so I will consider. I'm desperate to be rid of this horrible pain. I'm not sleeping well because I constantly toss & turn trying to get comfortable. I'm only 38 & to think of living like this the rest of my life is very depressing.
Thanks again for your input.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am no doctor  And my opinion may be obscure  but having had a huge hstory  with  a similat back  i have  C 2 to C 7 as a rubble pile  I have  2 Artificial Disks at C3 and C 56 C 67is old Fusion and stilll good.  THe common problem and I believe i will get Profesional  agreement with this is  If you Fuse one site the site belowbecomes ocer stressed to make the spine flexx and does damage to the upperlower or both  disks it  contonues throughout the spine like a slow train wreck . When I Chose the  C23 and 56 Artificial disks  I knew  trhat no amount of cementing of the  rubblke tah remained of  C 4 345 would save them  the patch ce,menting would  burst due to the  pessure of  the artificial disk. That  Accurred  3 weeks ago and with  a Hell Fire  revenge At the time in 20067 I had anothjer option to fuse C 2 to C 7 nooo not my concept of a neck I compeeted in Cycle racing  and did not want to give up my sport. now we are on the same page different  level in the book of what to do . I will retain the motion from the  artificial disks and should be fine untill death  I am awaiting surgery with a  badly  re broklen neck I went cycling  100 km on saturday and felt great but the nezxt day I payed .Like You I like to MOVE and hard . any Impact activity  you do will hurt the spine and  increase any pressure on the nerve rots  IF the heart is effected it coul;d get worse IF? but lungs and breathing I would  be also visiting a pulmonologist to test the  Peek flow and  just what is  the issue  and  rewlate the spinal process you have  T damage and I only have minor t10 -12 damage  i have a train wreck in Lspine and CYCLING IS my GREATEST allie I felt geat after a 3 hour not very hilly ride and I know i opened the gap at L5 S1 awaiting another  artificial Disk  DOCTORS  TAKE NOTE the  PRODISK ( trade mark model As shown in my side pic ) can resolve many  arthritic problems  the disk height can be made to Suite Ihave  4 mm of arthritic  bone on L5 and  mm on S1 this will be chipped away and the prodisk inserted  The modle for the l5 S1 is angulated to correct the  matting of the 2 vertebra . I am awaiting this surgery i have severe  damage to L123 andmild to l4 but this will not be touched for many years to come but indicaations are  severe for the L5 joint  what do I expect a slight shift in  wear routing of the L vertebra and  motion of the  degenerated disks  some improvement in Spine height but not enpugh to replace the  2 inches Ive lost from T 10 to l5 top I mAY be lucky MY guesses are typically correct for some reason  i at age 63 will findthis as a superbe fix of What i ws told the night the  last mm of  disk heightg collapsed  sorry  there is NO repair and just wait for the  endresult . Wait in extreme pain .  taking  medication like Dilauid * spelling )  And  Neurontin andother gaba blockers is no way to live  and having 2 Prodisks I set upa neurologist of my choice and he  Confirres with me this was my LAST HOPE.  In all get rid of  Diseased bone and  Add a titaniumand  Polyethylene  jpoint  weartested for life . IN the uSA it is hard tofind a Insurance Company willing to  follow doctors orders and  cover any of the artificial disks oF the  choice  fuse or  Artificial disk I want  Artificial  I have 2 and going for a third .  its not a cure for what ccan rest for a fewyears  Its a LAST Choice  move and My  advice is  Get a quality  bicycleracing not mountain  fit to YOU ridwe height  And  reach and you will be able to remain fit  aerobically and weight . and moderate your  body  tone to what you can do with no pain. dont give up and make the  insurance companyies read my statement. ben there done hagt and  know the consquencces .  i will post my latest MRIon www.webshots.com search :StormCloud FireD" I have my 2004MRI onthere to You I truely hope you have more spine left than I do  and stop competing fopr themoast broken vertebra  my Prayers and  hugs  gowith you
Peter.
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Avatar_n_tn
I Coached Cycling at the pro level in my leisure time.  it will help you maintain the back strength  and leg strength soinportant to  posture
peter
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539478_tn?1296624612
Hi Peter. I feel for you and I can certainly emphasize. I was forced to take 8 weeks off of teaching all my fitness classes to try to heal my back. Since my last post I seen a specialist at Vanderbilt & I found out more what is going on (I'll post my newest findings in new thread in the community back & neck forum very soon). After taking time off I've been told I should only go back to teaching maybe a light sculpt class only & that's about it. I'm so devastated! I'm in my 3rd week off from teaching but still personal training as that don't hurt like teaching does. Up until 3 weeks ago I used to teach belly dancing, spin, zumba, silver sneakers (weight training class for seniors), & pilates. Spin is on a bicycle & I loved it but it honestly did hurt my back since you must lean down to the handle bars. I've been told by the specialist at Vanderbilt as well as my primary doctor & my pain management doctors that I shouldn't teach spin anymore nor any other class other than maybe silver sneakers.

I've just had my 2nd epidural yesterday - the first being 3 weeks ago on my t7/8. They hurt like the dickens, much more than I expected, and the first one only gave me relief for 2 weeks. I just can't imagine living the rest of my life like this & not being able to do the things I enjoy! Right now I've been mostly at home since not teaching & I'm really having a hard time dealing. End of aug I plan on trying spin again to see if it still hurts me in hopes I can bicycle again one day - at least just 1 class a week. My prayers are constantly going out to all of us with back problems to give us strength to go on & to deal with the pain. Hang in there fellow sufferer & keep us posted!
Anna
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I will either post update in community back & neck forum or on my home page on this site soon...
Blessings & Healing,
Anna
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