Hi Everyone, Ihave adisc herniations at T8-T9 after falling off ladder and also breaking my heel. I've had severe pain in my thoracic back area for about 7 months now. Conservative treaments have done nothing to help me. Has anyone out there had surgery in this area of the back? I've read and heard it is very dangerous. This is no way to live.ANYBODY OUT THERE GOING THROUGH THIS or know of anybody who has?Desperatly need help or advise.
I hope you have had a MRI and have seen a spine specialist to rule out anything in addition to a disc herniation. I say this because I do not know your history. Sometimes people who have an accident go to the emergency room and are treated and "diagnosed" and told how to deal with the injury. They are not instructed to see a spine specialist. After months of pain and not healing, the patient eventually seeks help and discovers that something else had been wrong all along...and they have lost all that time.
I would suggest you find the very best spine specialist that is available to you, and have a consultation. Many will not perform thoracic surgeries, so you may have to be referred to a specialist who will.
If you develop any issues with bladder or bowel incontinence, go to the ER immediately.
I've seen 3 spine doctors since I fell on 2/27/11.Two of them have said no surgery, one said surgery could be a possibility. All I have read is that thoracic spine surgery is very dangerous. I would like to see a spine surgeon who specializes in this area of the back.But how would I go about finding one? I've had all MRI'S.My pain is in my middle back and radiates to the front and sies of my rib cage. Besides my raw pain the most disturbing one is the electrical shockwaves i feel in my back. All PT has not worked an in some cases made it feel worse.I'm starting to reach the end of my rope. Life isnt very enjoyable right now! Right now I'm taking pain meds because I have no choice. I'm feeling alot of anxiety also worrying about this. Any body have any ieas?
If you are willing to travel into Manhattan, I would recommend going to an orthopedic spine surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgeries, which is the top orthopedic hospital in the country.
On their website there is a physician referral number. It is staffed by highly trained individuals who could put you in touch with the appropriate physician. You do not need a referral to make an appointment to this hospital. They have both surgeons and physiatrists who could treat you, depending on whether surgery is deemed appropriate, or another form of treatment is recommended.
I know doctors do not like to operate on thoracic discs unless they are threatening the spinal cord. The space in this area is so small and the risk of paralysis is great.
HSS is a good hospital.....I saw Dr. Sama there.....spine doc to the Giants.
But I doubt anyone will operate as long as you are in pain. with thoracic, they generally wait until you develop symptoms of cord compression such as numbness in the legs, difficulty walking and even bowel or bladder issues. Pain means the nerve is alive and kicking but numbness and muscle dysfunction means the nerve might die and that justifies the surgery.
To get to the disk, they have to move your heart and a lung out of the way.....very dangerous. Unless you can find a doc who now works with the new instruments that allow surgery from the side....a spine doc invented very long instruments just to reach in from the side but it is very new. Other docs may offer you a laminectomy where they remove the bone over the back of the spinal cord and allow it to move away from the disk but the disk can keep moving and still hit it and that leaves your cord open to injury for the rest of your life(and it frequently falls apart anyhow). Avoid that if you can.
So I would keep trying pain management but find a top spine doc to see what can be done for you. but you definitely want Hosp. for Special Surgery if you can.Still time for the disk to solidify and pull back from the nerves somewhat.