Sorry to moderator, I was in so much pain when I registered I didn't read all of posting rules.
Lee, I don't think my thoracic herniation was from my accidents either. I remember my shoulders aching when I was real young, like when I would sit like at church. It got unbearable over time and I had a myleogram done and found out it was herniated. It hurts to breathe sometimes like someone is sitting on my chest, and I get wrap-around pain on my sides. Also, muscles get tight and spasm so bad it throws my upper back out of alignment and I get horrible headaches and migraines. I go get deep-tissue pressure point massages and see my chiropractor about twice a month. This helps somewhat, temporarily.
I found out I have a mild case of scoliosis in my upper back 10% curve in the shape of an S, that may have caused the herniation.
What I discovered was that the traditional surgery requires cracking open the ribs (like open heart surgery), deflating a lung, and moving the internal organs including the heart just to get to the disc. My doctor told me this chest cracking deal is harder to heal up from than the actual disectomy they do.
This is not an option for me, I have the disc laying directly on my spinal cord, and the chances of paralysis are too great. Scary stuff!
There is a minimally invasive surgery or (m.i.s.s.) where they punch 3 holes, under your armpit, one on back and one lower than armpit, and they go in with scopes and do the surgery that way. But it's still a relatively new surgery, and my Ortho says it's not a proven method that works.
Personally I would like to have this surgery if I can find a surgeon with a proven track record with M.I.S.S
If I can answer any questions I gladly will.