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Thoracic problems after lumbar fusion
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Thoracic problems after lumbar fusion

On dec. 2, 1999, I had a lumbar fusion at L4/L5 and L5/S1 with screws, cages and plates. This was due to disc degeneration causing nerve root and spinal cord compression. Now, 5 months down the track, my recovery appears normal and appears to have been a successful procedure. 6 weeks ago I developed pain between my shoulder blades, so I saw my PCP, and he advised a thoracic x-ray. The report says "Minor mid thoracic scoliosis concave left, and appears to be related to lateral wedging of the body of T7. Schmorl's Nodes are noted in relation to discs in the Thoraco-Lumbar region. Disc narrowing is noted in the mid thoracic region. Osteophytes have formed on the right at T7/8."
   My question is, could this condition (if pre-existing) have been exacerbated by the lumbar spinal fusion? Is this something I should be worried about?
My pain is increasing quickly (almost daily) through my left shoulder and down my arm and hand. I'm still psychologically recovering from the last surgery and don't really know what to do.
Thank you in advance for any advice and help you could give.
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Dear Allen:

I would not put too much trust in a plain film X-ray of the thoracic spine.  I think you need to talk to your neurosurgeon and see if this condition existed before your lumbar surgery.  Obviously, a MRI was done prior to the lumbar surgery and he/she will be able to tell you if this is a pre-existing condition or likely exacerbated by the surgery.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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