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Old 01-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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Question plz help

Hi I'm a 26 year old female who has been suffering from a lot of back pain I recently had an mri and here are the results. FINDING: at t1-2 and t2-3 there is a anterior cord signal change more prominent on the right. adjacent to the chord changes at t2-3 and t3-4 there are osteochondral bars indenting the thecal sac. there is minimal narrowing at these levels without evidence of nerve root compression. a smaller osteochondral bar left of midline at t4-5 with minor indentation of the thecal sac. at c7 there is a small circular lesion in the vertebral body that is hypointense on t1 and hyperintense on t2. no cerebral or tonsillar herniation seen. IMPRESSION: anterior cord signal change at t1-2 and t2-3 possibly related to repeated microtrauma from the degenerative changes. small lesion inthe c7 vertebral body most consistent with a hemangioma. I am in a lot of pain but my family doctor says he dosent see any reason for pain on my mri report. To myself this looks like some things must be wrong but I'm no expert or doctor. Please help thanks

 
Old 01-12-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: plz help

I'll try my best to explain what is going on in your back and why your doc is wrong.

So the MRI is of the upper part of the thoracic spine. It starts at about your shoulder blades. The first thing they say is that they can see small areas of damage to your spinal cord, most likely from the bone spurs you are developing from arthritis. You are young for arthritis in your spine so I would wonder why you have it. Also, why are you making osteochondral bars as opposed to the usual osteophytes(bone spurs). That is unusual.

They then report that you have these osteochondral bars at other levels going down the upper thoracic spine. They are hitting the "thecal sac"....this is the membrane that covers the spinal cord and holds the spinal fluid in around the cord. Means they aren't hitting the cord or causing any kind of pain or problem but it is something to be watched.

Then at C7, above the other thoracic problems, you have a lesion in the bone itself. It is thought to be a hemangioma....a benign tumor. Hemangiomas are strange...they arise from a cell of the placenta left from before birth. I had one removed from my finger that had stopped growing and had calcified and was on top of a nerve and hurt when I touched the area. Recently I had another start to grow on my arm...out of nowhere. I'm 60....took a little time to start to grow! So they come and go and are harmless. But anything growing inside a bone will cause pain.

We've had others here with hemangiomas in the vertebral bone and they are in pain from it. One person had one in the cord itself and had to have it removed. Sometimes the ones in the bone can grow enough that they start to hit the cord or nerves. But the bottom line is that something growing in the bone will produce pain even if the doc says no it won't.

I think what your doc is reacting to is that no spinal nerves are being hit by anything and that is the primary pain producer in the spine. And even though the cord membrane is being touched, it isn't touching the cord so that should not hurt either.

But what no one is asking is why you are making these osteochondral bars in your back? There are disorders that cause various forms of arthritic bone spurs to grow. Bar formation can be from one of them. I'd be interested to know if they might even be syndesmophytic bars....a very particular type of formation. This needs watching.

I would ask your doc about a referral to a rheumatologist for a consultation. I know in the Canadian system you have to go through your primary doc for everything and that can be hard if the doc doesn't think anything is really wrong( I grew up in Montreal). But you DO have arthritis in your back....that is something wrong. Did they do the rest of your neck in this MRI or just the area from C7 to T7?

At the very least, some physio therapy can help to strengthen the muscles of your back and that can relieve pain by taking the strain off the bones. Taking an NSAID regularly can help...something like ibuprofen. The trick is to take it everyday even when you don't hurt. Even 2 200mg pills taken 4 times a day can help if you take it everyday. Or you could try another over the counter NSAID like naproxen that you take only twice a day....but take it everyday even if you feel okay. It's the inflammatory effect that builds up with taking it daily that eventually helps a lot.

For us women, there are bras that have a built in support for the back that helps with posture....kind of pulls the shoulders back and pushes the upper back in that can really help. It shifts the load that our upper bodies/heads puts on the upper spine. I am fused all the way from C3 to T1 and that has shifted how I hold my neck and body and so it was helped that upper thoracic area. And I now sleep only on my side with my head held at neck level. Even found a fairly inexpensive pillow called "the side sleeper" that wraps around you like a big U and keeps you on your side with the head held at neck level....reduced a lot of my pain.

That area takes a lot of stress from the body so reducing that stress in anyway, helps!

I hope this helps. We have a great group of people here with neck and upper back problems and we are all on the Spinal Cord Disorders board so I hope you'll drop by and say hello and we can see what others come up with in ways to help you.

hugs............Jenny

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
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Talking Re: plz help

Thank you very much for your reply. I cannot take any kind of muscle relaxer or anti inflammatory drug as it kills my stomach and I can not get up. That's another thing I have a problem with my stomach I have been to the hospital about 8 times and everytime I go they say that my insides are full of stool and give me all kinds of strong meds to make me go but they do not work. I usually go about once a week and have gone as long 3 weeks without going. I was fine and had no problems I got into an accident about a year ago and the same night I ate dinner and ended up in the hospital cuz I was vomitting non stop couldn't keep my dinner down. A few times I have also vomitted my own stool. I thought my back was hurting from my stomach but the pain has been getting worse every month and I've never had these problems before. Had a ct of my sttomach and everything looked fine. I am on percocet for my pain which was working but now 10 a day and not helping. The hospital just did a basic cervical and thoratic spine mri without contrast. My doc had to fight with the hospital to do it because they refused to do it saying I was too young for any problems. Thanks so much for your help

 
Old 01-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: plz help

Just so I get this right....you didn't have any problems with constipation prior to your accident?

Did your doc tell you that Percocets are very constipating? If you have a problem that arose from the accident and you take percs on top it, you are making it much worse. What has he recommended for the constipation?

hugs............Jenny

 
Old 01-12-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Smile Re: plz help

Hello thanks for the reply again. - have never had constipation before this also its been a year since the accident but only about 3 months since I started taking percocet the constipation happened immediatley after the accident. I have been given citro mag that the docs call the bowel bomb and nothing happened I've also been taking stool softner another med for the stomach called not sure of the spelling domperione and a few others don't have them with me right now. I eat very healthy I have learned to Live with the constipation but the back pain has got to the point where its excruciating pain every single day. Trying to get into my family doc today for my pain as the percocet is not helping at all. If I can't get in then I will have no choice but to go to the emergency room. But I will keep you posted. Also do u know where else I can post to get some more opinions I'm new to this site and not quite surE how to use it. Thanks for your help and support I really appreciate it. Great big bear hug!!

 
Old 01-12-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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Re: plz help

As I research, I keep finding references to constipation being caused by an injury to the spinal cord or nerves.....did you have any kind of injury to your back with the accident? I would suspect the injury should be lower in your back then the neck or thoracic area...although the lower thoracic may be involved. But I wonder about the lumbar.

Were you injured in the accident? Exactly where?? Seems like someone is missing something somewhere.

hugs...........Jenny

 
Old 01-12-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: plz help

Hi and thanks again. I didn't have any major injuries like broken bones or cuts I remember bouncing from the impact and my body going sideways as I was hit from the side. I was a bit sore but nothing major these bigger pain problems happened about a month or two after my accident. Spoke to my family doc and he sid he is concerned for me because I am young and in soo much pain he said I could come in and he would give me oxycontin but that would only mask the problem so he said to go to the emergency room so they can do a more complete assesment and get the ball rolling to get me into a specialist pretty quick. Thanks once again

 
Old 01-12-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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Re: plz help

Make sure they know the entire story...that the constipation started after the accident and so did the back pain. The nerves to the bowel that control how fast food passes through the bowel go along the spine next to the vertebrae and do join the spine nerves briefly as they go out to the body and they are at T12, L1 and 2. If you have any kind of injury to that area of your back, it could explain both the back pain and the constipation.

I know the back pain is the worst of it for you now, but maybe a consult with a really good gastroenterologist might help to find a solution to both problems. One may be causing the other. But you seem to have nerve damage to your bowels as well as damage to your spine.

Hang in there...there are answers....it's getting someone to listen to you.

Jenny

 
Old 01-12-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: plz help

Hi thanks again. I'm in the E R right now waiting the wait time is 6 hours and I have to sit up in a chair for that long. Grrrr this is soo painf and soo frustrating but I will let you know how it goes when I'm done. Thanks so much again for your compassion

 
Old 01-12-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: plz help

You are very welcome. I can hear the pain and frustration coming through in your posts...I'm sorry.

I'm heading to bed soon so I'll catch up with you in the AM. BTW, I'm on the east coast of the US(but grew up in Montreal) so it's only 8:30pm but my neck is killing me tonight and I'm heading to bed early. I'm most likely headed for a first low back surgery and 3rd neck surgery this year. Spines are a true pain!

hugs..........Jenny

 
Old 01-12-2012, 09:37 PM   #11
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Smile Re: plz help

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
You are very welcome. I can hear the pain and frustration coming through in your posts...I'm sorry.

I'm heading to bed soon so I'll catch up with you in the AM. BTW, I'm on the east coast of the US(but grew up in Montreal) so it's only 8:30pm but my neck is killing me tonight and I'm heading to bed early. I'm most likely headed for a first low back surgery and 3rd neck surgery this year. Spines are a true pain!

hugs..........Jenny
so I'm done at the hospital and very disappointed the doc basically looked at my back and told me the pain is from nerves in my spinal cord he didn't seemed to interested in what I had to say and gave me a script for something to calm the nerves in your spinal cord that takes 2 weeks to work. I asked him if he could give me a shot of some kind so I can make it through the night until I see my doc tomorrow and his reply was no. The emergency room was very busy and full at 6 and by 930 was almost empty and I watched a lot of people go in and leave 5 to 10 mins later which leads me to believe they were just brushing all non life threatning cases off.I was told you do not need surgery tonight you are free to go. Soooo frustrating so I guess I have no choice but to go back to the family doc and have him change my pain meds again and just keep popping pills unTil I get in to see the specialist. Have a good night and once again thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me... At least someone is listening To me!


 
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