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!!
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.
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.
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
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!
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