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Thoracic disc pain
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martigk posted:
Hi everyone,

I am hoping someone will have some advice for me. I am from Dublin, Ireland and over the past 7 years have been injured twice.
As a result of the 1st injury I had to have a two level cervical discectomy with caged fusion (C5 / 6) which was very successful and although it took quite a while to completely recover (18 months) because I returned to work too soon I did get back to 85% of what I was pre injury.
This state of wellbeing was short lived as I was in another crash this which knocked the C5/6 discs out again along with my T6 disc which now has a large paracentral prolapse.
Since the day of the injury the left sid of my back from shoulder to bottom rib has been swollen and I have had to use a strong inhaler to help with the pressure this swelling is causing on my breathing. I have had tests to make sure my lungs are functions ok and they are, but over the past two weeks I have been gradually getting more pressure and am very breathless - as if I had a very bad chest infection (I don't). I am taking time release morphine (30mg mst twice daily).
my question - have any of you suffered with Thoracic Disc Herniation of sympoms similar to mine.

sorry for long post, thanks for reading

gentle hugs to all in pain

Martigk x x
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bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

wow! I have not heard of anyone having such issues like this.

I don't know what the medical care is like but maybe if there is a teaching hospital (University Hospital) around where you can go to.

Also, have you had any recent MRI's, CT Scans etc?? what did they show. Also, what type of spine specialist have you seen?

Please let us know - take care - Joy
 
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martigk replied to bj1208's response:
thanks joy,

have had numerous MRI scans but the reports are very short on detailed information - none of them have any measurements of the disc prolapse unlike the reports I have read about on this and other forums so they just say paracentral disc prolapse & that its against the cord. I am seeing one of the top neurosurgeons in the country (who carried out my cervical surgery) he has refered me to another neursurgeon who is the only one who carries out Thoracic neurosurgery in ireland, this surgeon dismissed my symptoms on basis of scan I had on a disc saying I definitely have a T6 prolapse but because there were no axial images on the computer disc the scan company gave me he couldn't see if the disc was pressing on any other structures and that based on what he could see this disc was not causing my symptoms & that I should try using an exercise bike - this comment was passed onto my Occupational Therapist who was horrified and advised that I go nowhere near an exercise bike as in her opinion if I use one I will end up in serious pain.
Gentle hugs x x
 
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bj1208 replied to martigk's response:
hi again -

I think I would try and see if you can find another spine specialist - either Orthopedic Spine or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist and take all your medical records. I'm not familiar with the health care there and don't know if you can go to a specialist without being referred but I would try -

we, here in the US, have had such problems with doctors and have gone from one to another until we found one that would completely listen and examine us. sometimes it feels like we are looking for the doctor as in a needle in a haystack.

I do hope you can find one that will listen. please keep us posted - take care - Joy
 
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trs1960 responded:
Most of my thoracic was crushed and while my symptoms aren't exactly the same I can relate. My lungs have been pushed in to my diaphragm 3-4 inches. This has obvious ramifications on breathing especially when something like bronchitas hits me. I have to keep an inhaler at the ready in case of a cold or bronchitas as it can turn to phnumonia very quickly.

Ironicaly about 2 hours ago I had an epidural done on T2-4. This triggered a horrific pain that feels like a heart attack. About every six months I get this radiating pain from my back (T4ish) around to my breast bone that would almost force me to go to ER. The first time it happpened I thought I was having a heart attack.
I'm hoping that since the epidural triggered this nerve that it means the medication is in the right area to help out once it has time to settle in. The pain has slightly diminished in the last two hours as I've laid on an ice pack (offf and on).

I've never had the swelling you describe, but I've had sever disc damage from T4 to L3. The nerves exiting the thoracic region serve your organs and abdominal region, not stuff you feel directly like you would with sciatic pain, but more dangerous than sciatica.

I would have your doctor keep a close eye on the inflamation issues you describe. Thoracic injury as you described already can negative impacts on your repsitory system. Opiad pain meds suppress your respitory system so be careful there too.

Best of luck and I'll raise your long post with a long reply. I wish I had a better answer...which is why I suggest keeping your doctor involved until your satisfied you're OK.

I know what you mean about "a period of well being." It's quite common to recover from a substantial back injury and then suffer a trigger event that is like dropping you off a cliff. I lived almost pain free for 3 years with 9 crushed and fused vertabrae held together with Harrington rods. Then I was rear ended at a stop sign...it didn't scratch my car, but triggered my back pain and caused horrific pain from a relatively minor tap to my hardware

Best of luck.

Tim
 
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martigk replied to bj1208's response:
Thanks Joy,
Sorry for not answering you sooner but have had a couple of bad days, still if we didn't have bad days we wouldn't appreciate the good days would we ?

My Neurosurgeon has suggested that I show the additional images the scan company found to the Thoracic neurosurgeon to see what he thinks - so I will speak to his office to see if he will do this for me - fingers crossed he will

Thank you again for your suppoort it means so much when you are in pain to be able to share with others who understand...

gentle hugs

Martigk xx
 
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martigk replied to trs1960's response:
Hi Tim,

Thanks for your response to my message, I am sorry to have taken so long to answer but have ad a couple of bad days.
I hope your pain has settled down and the injection is successful in helping you. If as you say the pain is so much worse you may be right that they hit the nerve causing the pain and hopefully they can sort or control it for you.
You really understand how I have been affected as you were re-injured and are in a bad way with pain, I wonder are you feeling as dissappointed and angry as I am too ?
After taking so long to get better to have someone do something so stupid as rear end you !!!! that is how I was injuered in the first place - was stationary at a pedestrian crossing with people crossing road when I was rear ended, like you no damage to my car so I took full impact, none of the car safety equipment was set off - I was just injured like I would have been in the sixties before seat belts became mandatory, my gp told me that people didn't survive these crashes then because they weren't wearing seatbelts they went through the windscreen. look up low velocity impact on internet to see what can happen

gentle hugs

martigk x x


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