Rib Pain, shortness of breath, multiple thoracic hern's
Hi, once again, I'm trying to get information on the outcome of my upper/middle back. I have to see Doc next wednesday so we can talk, but everytime I'm in there, I forget what I wanted to ask, and not look stupid when I do ask something. I am 56 yrs. of age, female and weigh about 176 lbs. I had a disc replacement in 95 with cage. L5... I've had 8 other back surgeries for bone spurs, nerve repair and buldging discs. Have a SCS in bottom back that takes care of all that pain. I have Arachnoiditis, that was the reason for the SCS. The CT scan is so confusing, being that I'm not in the medical field. If any one can help me understand my CT scan before I go to the Doctor, I can write down some things to ask him. I just finished 3 epidurals-Thoracic. You can understand more when I show you the results.
If you think I am a candidate for surgery, please let me know. I don't want anymore Epidurals, (he did one injection each of T6-7, 7-8, 9-10). I don't want anymore Facet Joint injections. NONE of these injections worked.
I am now, after the last epidural, getting pain in both upper thighs that go to knee, horrible shortness of breath, whereas sometimes I make a funny sound like a onesided hiccup.. the pain in my ribs is so bad that it's traveling to the front , it hurts to touch them below my arm pits.
So here is some of the details of this CT Scan
At T7-T8, there is moderate to large central mostly left-sided disk extrusion with inferior migration with moderate flattening of the spinal cord likely present. T8-T9, there is moderate central disk protrusion or perhaps extrusion
with likely mild flattening of the spinal cord. T10-T11, there is focal posterior spondylosis with likely mild to moderate sided disk protrusion and perhaps some impression on the spinal cord. T11-T12, mild posterior disk osteophyte hypertrophy with mild canal encroachment without gross spinal cord compression is suspected.
My scs leads end at T7=8. But they only control my lower half of my back. These words are so confusing. Not like a MRI. LIke "impression", spondylosis... What do these mean in Layman terms that I can understand.
I would appreciate any help I can get before I go to doctor. Thanks.
This essentially means that at T7-T8 (thoracic vertebrae) there is moderate-high grade disc protrusion with possible pressure on the spinal cord. At T10-T11 there is evidence of degenerative osteoarthritis (spondylosis), with mild-moderate grade disc protrusion and possible slight pressure on the spinal cord. At T11-T12 there is a bony outgrowth (osteophyte) into the spinal canal but without gross spinal cord compression. You may be a potential candidate for surgery due to spinal cord pressure, but the benefits of the surgery and the improvement potential would need to be evaluated against the risks before taking a decision. You may like to discuss this in detail with your doctor.
Hope this was useful.
thank you so much for you interpretation of the CT scan. It has helped. Question: do you agree that Thoracic disc herniation's can be the reason for my shallow breathing?...It only started after the third epidural..My back has become a lot worse (I'd say from CT I was probably at a level 7 with pain, now... I'm a 10 all the time.) It's crazy. I just want to be myself again. Not always in pain. If surgery is the answer, then so be it. I had a total disc replacement, how much more painful can this one be. I had to learn to walk again and everything.. I go tomorrow to see PM doctor at the CC. At least now I can go in with hope that he will order me a Myleogram to compare with the CT and hopefully can come up with our next move.
Surgery or not... I don't know of anymore injections he can give me.
Thoracic disc herniation is unlikely to directly cause breathing difficulties (this is a possibility with cervical herniation). Other causes such as cardiac and lung related are more likely possibilities.
Good Luck for the appointment tomorrow!
Here is my cervical CT... Would one of these be causing my breathing problem?
No evidence of acute or chronic fracture.The paraspinal soft tissues planes are maintained.Note made of left-sided wall up mastoidectomy ( I had Menerse Desease)
C3-C4: There is mild disk degeneration and left-sided disk osteophyte
hypertrophy , likely mild lateral thecal sac compression. Dominant left
facet joint hypertrophy. Minimal left foraminal encroachment
C4-C5: Mild posterior disk osteophyte hypertrophy ,bilateral facet joint
hypertrophy and mild right foramina encroachment and mild central spinal
C5-C6: Mild posterior disk osteophyte hypertrophy with mild canal
encroachment to the left side and bilateral facet joint hypertrophy left
greater than right mild foraminal encroachment
C6-C7: Canal and foramina are patent.
C7-T1: Canal and foramina are patent.
I also get horrible headaches when I lay down to sleep at night., but if I get up they go away.
I am so worried about my thoracic, I put off my cervical till I can get the rest in place. Can't handle both.
Thanks so much
I'm a MESS!
All because I fell in December on the Ice, this is crazy
With this cervical CT, the changes are still mild, progression of which could possibly affect breathing. Also with cervical degeneration, the thoracic changes may complicate the breathing process and could play a role in breathing difficulty as well. I would suggest discussing the possibilities in detail with your orthopedician/ neurologist/ neurosurgeon.
Hi to you again. thank you so much for your responses to mine..I truly appreciate it. I went to PM at the CC today and Dr. M said that he had the same idea as me, NO more epidurals. He is suppose to call on the "BEST" minimal evasive thoracic surgeons in the CC and they will call me to let me know about an appointment. I've been researching minimal evasive surgery's and boy did times make a difference from 15 years ago when I had my L5 replaced... wow... I sure hope, if that is what this doctor wants to do, I can have the m.evasive surgery.
Thanks again for all your knowledge, it's so nice to know you can go somewhere to get more one on one information and advise. Have a GREAT day...
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