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thorasic disk herniation
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thorasic disk herniation

In april 2004 I had L5/S1 diskectomy, In May 2005 I had another one at T-6/7. I now have to have this one redone, because the disk either slipped out again or they left a small piece there, at the same time they also have to do T7/8. This time instead of going in through the back, they are going in through the chest.
    I have had severe pain for 4 years in my back to the left of my spine in the thorasic area, the skin on that area is numb, but I feel a constant terrible burning pain constantly. My left leg tingles occasionally, while my left arm and hand tingles constant. My last MRI shows the the herniation, and also shows that I have degenerative joint disease in the spine. I am only 28 years old. I don't know if I should do the surgery or not. I have had 2 so far, and they haven't taken my pain away. Can someone give me some advise or help?
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Avatar_n_tn
One must be clear that the symptoms are caused by the disc herniation rather than another cause such as muskuloskeletal or ligament injury, otherwise, further resective surgery will not benefit you. This is judged by an experienced practitioner and his exam and review of the xrays - I cannot do this, but perhaps a second opinion from an experienced center (such as the Cleveland Clinic Spine Center) would help - as you are so young, you do not want a surgery that you do not need.

If there really is a disc fragment, then this usually necessitates removal as it could cause truama to the spinal cord.

I do not know if your symtpoms were present from before the original surgery - surgery will prevent any further neurological damage but will not necessarily cure pain or reverse an existing neurological deficit.

If the surgery does go ahead, good physical therapy and pain management will be essential for rehabilitation and to avoid a 'chronic pain' condition, with or without overuse or dependence on painkillers which will just prolong the pain

Good luck
2 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to hear of your problem.....I ruptured T4 T5 T6 back in 1999 (I was 29 at the time)----I have the luxury of living 10 miles away from downtown Boston---and have been seen by some pretty big, well known names in Spine Health----Long story short---I was under the impression once my diagnosis was made, I"d have surgery and be done with it----None, and I mean NONE, of the surgeons I met with at Mass General, Brigham and Women's, New England Baptist, etc....would 1) recommend the surgery, or 2) would preform the surgery----Obviously every case is different, and where you had a prior surgery on another area of your back,  the operation would be best for you----the surgery as described to me was called a Thorocodomy forgive my spelling, and as explained, it's one of the most diff procedures to accomplish, and also to recover from----in my case, the risk did not outweigh the benefits----however, here i am almost six years later, on a regular dose of a heavy narcotics, and waiting for my disability to be approved----If I had to do it all over again, i may have gone to Dr. Nick from the get go (that's a simpson reference for those not in the know)---Let me know which direction you go, my friend, and if I can be any help or a source of info for you, let me know------Good Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, thorasic pain after spinal fusion T10-S1 was started.
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