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Old 08-25-2009, 09:07 AM   #1
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Thoracic Disc Problems

Hi folks. I've been having problems with my thoracic spinal area for a while now, and I'm hoping someone might have some advice for me.

My symptoms are as follows:
1) Severe pain and difficulty breathing in the early morning hours. The pain shoots around my left side and feels like it's affecting my ribs to my sternum. I usually have to get up and sit in a chair for an hour before it gets any better.
2) Tenderness and limited range of motion in back throughout the day.
3) Occasional dizziness.
4) Occasional tingling in pinkies.

I had an MRI done that showed a T8, T9 disc protrusion with no cord impingement in February of 2009 and my doctor prescribed me Gabapentin, which has definitely helped. He also told me to do some light exercise, which I've also been doing (swimming, light weights).

The pain is just not getting any better. So, my question is should I try to see a specialist? If so, who? If anyone has had a similar condition, were you able to get it resolved?

 
Old 08-26-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
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Re: Thoracic Disc Problems

did they happen to also include your c spine in that MRI you had done? the lower C and the very first T spine levels are what actually innervate the area you mentioned within the hand area? given the symptoms you are currently having,the problem or at least some of it would have o be much further up than the areas you mentioned at T 8-9. that is simply way too far down to be causing what you are describing. and the fact that the pinkies are being bilaterally affected could indicate like a possible more centrally located problem up there like another bigger protrusion of some kind, herniation or bigger bone spurs... that is actually impacting both sides which would casue the bilateral pinkie symptoms. but i would be asking your doc, just given the symptoms alone, for another MRI done on that c spine which would also take in the upper T spine as well. the symptoms you are having just REALLY sound like they are from something much further up within that c or very first t spine area at the very least.

if per chance you did actually have that C spine MRIed at the same time as your T spine area, were there ANY hard findings up there at all? but like i mentioned already, if that C and upper T have not yet been looked at with MRI,this REALLY should be your very next step before even seeing any other doc on this. you just really need that info right now to just see what could be causing this in you. all of the spinal nerves that innervate down to the hand/fingers are from about C 6 thru T 1 with both sensory and fine motor functions. there is also ALOT of crossover from c 7 thru T 1 too where they can kind of play off each other? marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: Thoracic Disc Problems

Thanks a lot for the suggestions, Marcia. The only MRI's I've had were of the pelvis, lumbar, and thoracic regions (pelvis and lumbar areas were for a separate condition). It sounds like I'd better make another appointment with my doctor.

 
Old 08-27-2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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Re: Thoracic Disc Problems

i do agree, get that c spine area looked at much more deeply with the MRI. using a contrasting agent too would also help to better highlight certain areas that do not always simply show up real well without it. it just enhances the overall MRI scan. i just have a very strong feeling here based upon your symptoms that there just "is" something further up that is more involved here too. let me know what you find out.

also make certain to ALWAYS obtain your very OWN copies of any and all testing results that are ever done on you. trust me when i say that not all docs, espescially specialists will even TELL you all of what are actual hard findings found inside your own body. this just happens way too often. getting your own copies just assures that you are being told everything found in any test, not just what some docs who may not even realize a particular finding just IS an important one only becasue they lack a real sense of what it is or means becasue they have never seen it or it is not something they see alot of in 'their' practice decides to tell you. it just does matter how much real true overall experience and knowledge any doc actually has that will determine their overall 'impression" of any finding or condition. just get copies. they do come in very handy at certain times. Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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