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Spinal hemangioma at T8

My doctors have been on a watch and wait mode, for my T8 hemangioma, since 2002. Now I present with all sorts of pain and sensations. The worst is in my back, at the T8, lower ribs on my back hurt all the time in various intensities. Most of the time it is unbearable, I can not bend over or lean over a counter top. My upper left back and shoulder region also are constantly in pain. It all gets chronic, it seems, when the T8 is aggravated. When I sit, my left upper back (and arm) gets so painful/chronic, its unbearable. If I stand too long,the T8 area and associated left ribs get chronic as well.
I believe most, if not all, is related to the hemangioma. My doctors disagree. Thats OK. At least they're talking. I am scheduled for radiation with the cyberknief treatment. Do you have any thoughts what pain would resolve after the treatment?
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Avatar universal
The cyberknife radiation beam will reduce the size of the abnormal hemangioma growth, so that it is no longer pushing on or strangling the nerves that come out of the spine where it is located.  At first, the swelling that radiation produces may continue to cause some pain in your back and nearby places, but once you get past that, within a matter of a week or so, you'll notice improvement.  However, even tho the cyberknife is precise in its delivery of radiation, sometimes it just can't get it all, and in addition hemagiomas sometimes grow back over a period of time, but with that said, you should feel a whole lot of relief very soon from most of your symptoms, lasting a very long time.

Now, I'm not a doctor, but I fractured my thoracic spine in three places, and it hurts exactly and precisely the same way as yours does.  Therefore, since the hemangioma is the only abnormality you have reported with your spine, I disagree with the docs who you say they don't think your symptoms are related to the growth.  See, like you, I also cannot lean over a counter, so I can't fix meals anymore in the kitchen or load a dishwasher, really huge ache there in my back between the shoulder blades.  When I first had my accident, the nerves were on fire from the compression fractures and deformity my spine went through from a car accident, and thus my chest and ribs and shoulder blades all hurt very badly, and this is because of where those nerves are.  The nerves come out of the thoracic spine and wrap right around the chest, and it makes it feel like the ribs and shoulders and the whole chest is hurting.

The reason, by the way, that they are doing the cyberknife radiation as opposed to surgery, is because the thoracic spine is very hard to get to for an operation, the sternum and ribcage is in the way, they go thru the front to get to that spine rather than the back.  Don't ask me why, I just recall reading about it over the years, wondering about my own back misery.  

It could be you may have to come back for several treatments of radiation, I don't know too much about how well the cyberknife radiation method works on the first go... regular radiation shrinks abnormal tissues, and the more they do it, the more it shrinks.  But perhaps this gizmo they have now will take care of it in one go.  Anyhow, the smaller they can get the hemangioma, the less involvement there is of the nerves that come out of the spine at your T8 position, and thus the less pain you will feel when you are doing things with your upper body.

Once you notice the pain subsiding in a couple weeks or whatever, a physician might want to prescribe some very mild back-muscle strenghtening exercises and stretching movements to increase flexility, so that any oddball positions you've put yourself in over the years to prevent movement that causes pain, will be "released" thru physical therapy.  I hope a little of this helps you grasp the situation better, and I really hope your cyberknife radiation treatments work fast and give you close to complete relief.  

And if at any point you feel like things aren't going your way, feel free to get a second opinion.  But I'm like you, at least they're talking about doing SOMETHING for you!!!  Spinal pain in the thoracic area is quite profound and unless you feel it, you really cannot imagine what it is like.  I've also got lower back pain that is sharp, but it doesn't affect my psyche nearly as much as that deep dreadful ache in the midback.  It's like the difference between a lightning storm in the lower back, and black clouds blooming into a tornado in the thoracic spine.
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