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Old 04-15-2005, 01:51 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Question Thoratic spine prolapse

I was just wondering if anyone else here has a herniated disc in the thoratic spine as I have been reading that this is rare and cant really find much information on it. I am a thirty year old female and haven't had an accident or anything to injure my back.

Old 04-15-2005, 02:51 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 158
blossom64 HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse

Lee, it is rare, like 1% of people with herniated discs have it. I am in that unlucky percentile also. My T7-8 disc is laying on my spinal cord causing alot of pain and problems. I can tell you alot more about it. I have done alot of research on it for myself. It's not a pretty picture as far as surgery goes, in fact my Ortho that did my low back fusion won't touch it. I can explain more about the surgery and all, but right now I need to lay down. You can email me thru this thread I believe it's enabled, and I can answer any questions you have.

Sincerely, Blossom

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Old 04-15-2005, 03:29 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,291
Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse


I had T-10, T-11 and T12 had to be fused along with all the lumbar and through S-3. Had all of this in Dec 04, being 4 1/2 mo post op now. Doing great.

If you are having problems with the spine, I highly recommend you find a spine specialist whether ortho or neuro, instead of a general ortho or neuro. Certainly I would not want anyone other than a spine specialist who has had a fellowship in the spine and dedicates their work to the spine instead of all the areas.

I have an ortho who takes care of shoulders, hands and other bone problems I have, but one of his partners is the spine specialist who has done just spines for the last 15 years. Having been temporarily paralyzed once, this guy has me up and going, and I'm even able to mow my acre yard this soon after the 10 level fusion. Spine specialists are going to be up on the latest techniques, and go that extra step. For instance, with my fusions, as I have severe DDD, spondy, stenosis, severe lateral listhesis, have needed laminectomies, dislocations fixed, osteotomies and more, he has on three fusion surgeries brought in special equipment and the tech from out of state to monitor my spinal cord throughout the surgery. Can't say that I enjoyed getting hooked up for that before going to sleep, but I'm glad that he was willing to take that extra step that isn't normally needed.

Another difference with him is that with the general ortho/neuro's I had seen, they used the anethesia dept of the hospital to do facet joint injections, discograms, etc. My spine specialist says that's too risky and he does his own. Done totally different. For instance. With the others, you got on the table and had the test or maybe even had some sedation, and say for a discogram, you had the pillow under you side to make the alignment correct. With him, you get placed in position by his team, and taped down to the OR table with at least 4 wide strips of tape to keep you from moving at all. Then they will begin the process of preping the back and make sure all is perfect before sedating you.

I've read how rough it was for some to have say a discogram. Mine with this doctor have been bad only that few seconds he has tested the levels. The rest of the time, I was either sedated or eased enough it didn't matter. I can tell you too, that my spine specialist can drain fluid from my spine without sedating me, whereas it hurt like heck when the others just did the locals.

Sincerely sorry you are having problems, but do recommend you search your state's medical licensing database and find a spine specialist.

Best wishes.

Old 04-15-2005, 05:24 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse

Thanks quietcook
that was very informative. I live in newzealand so I am very unsure of our availability of spine specialist over here. Our medical system is not that wonderful and good doctors are very hard to come by. I will take your advice and do some searching and see what I come up with.
Thanks again for all your information and advice very much appreciated.

Old 04-15-2005, 05:32 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse

Hi blossom
I am unsure of how 2 email you but would love to know more. I also am having alot of pain and problems. Mine is between my t6/t7.
Thankyou and look foward to hearing from you.

Old 04-15-2005, 07:03 PM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 158
blossom64 HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse

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.


Old 04-15-2005, 11:10 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse

My appoligies to the moderater as well. I didn't read the rules carefully enough either. So sorry.
Thankyou for your response Blossom
I also have had sore shoulders from a very young age which I didn't think too much of.
Then in my teenage years I started developing alot of headaches. 7 years ago in august I developed a headache that has not gone away some days it is a migraine and some days it is manageable.
Sometimes I get terriable chest pain and pain under and around my armpits. I too find it hard to breath and have learnt to breath very shallow.
When I do any exercise my body actually throbs all over with my heart beat. So I don't do too much cause of the pain and throbbing
About a 3 years ago my left arm went knumb one night and I lost the movement for 2 months and the doctors just thought I had strained something but thought I was over reacting as there was no reason why my arm shouldve been so sore.
Since then my body has just been breaking down my arms and legs are in pain all the time. My legs go very weak on me some days and my knees give way while I am walking.
I also get electric shock like feelings in my legs and arms which I take Tegratol for and helps alot. Over the last 6-9 months my bladder has also decided to not work and I have had to learn how to self catheritise myself for relief.
I cant travel in the car for long trips now cause I get nausia and very sore. I get alot of nausia even when I am not travelling.
I only found out a week ago that I have this prolapse, I was being scanned for MS so I am glad I don't have that.
My chiropractor also took back xrays 1 year ago and I too have a very twisted spine he didn't say to what percent.
It has been so nice to be able to hear that someone has similar symptoms as me. I know you are not a doctor but could all my symptoms be caused by this or only some of them? as I have been in the dark for a long time. Do you know any good webb sites that I could look at to help me get some information?
Thanks Lee

Old 04-16-2005, 01:13 AM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 47
lee6kids HB User
Re: Thoratic spine prolapse

Thankyou very much your help is much appreciated.
Look foward to hearing from you.

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