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Old 12-26-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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T5-T6 Herniated Disc Extrusion

I am hoping someone can help me better understand some issues I am having with a injury on my spine.

According to my MRI report, I have a 5 x 7 right paracentral extrusion at T5-T6, with stable sublinamentous migration along the posterior margin of the T5 vertebral body causing stable enfacement of the right thecal sac, severe narrowing of the right lateral recess and mild cord impingement.

On cervical MRI report it state C5/C6 3 mm inferiorly directed disc extrusion causes mild flattening of the ventral cord and mild spinal canal narrowing. Residual canal caliber measures 8 mm. Uncovertebral spurring and facet arthropathy results in mild to moderate left and right foraminal narrowing. C8/C7 3 mm posterior disc osteophyte ridge flattening of the ventral cord and mild spinal canal narrowing. Residual canal measures 8 mm. Uncovertebral spurring and facet arthropathy results in moderate left and mild right neural foraminal narrowing.

The injury on my T-spine has gotten slightly larger in the last 5 months and may have to have surgery. Apparently the cervical is nonoperative. I wonder why?

I was involved in a rear end car accident a couple years ago and that is when I started having problems with severe pain and loss og mobility in my neck. Appreciate any feedback.

 
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: T5-T6 Herniated Disc Extrusion

Welcome to the board.

I feel more comfortable talking about lumbar issues as that's where my problems are located....but certaiin things are the same for all spinal segments.

I am curious what type of doctor you are currently seeing, who has proposed the thoracic surgery and who told you the cervical is inoperable?

 
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: T5-T6 Herniated Disc Extrusion

A Neuro Surgeon. I've had 3 MRI's of my T-Spine and he said he believes the lesion has gotten slightly bigger. I am having another MRI next week.

I should also mention I am having numbness down my right leg to toes and jabbing pain in back. I can not stand for very long and my legs get weak. The severity of pain comes and goes.

Last edited by Jewel99; 12-26-2012 at 06:16 PM.

 
Old 12-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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Re: T5-T6 Herniated Disc Extrusion

The MRI is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The spine specialist will take the findings of the MRI and correlate it to what is found upon physical and basic neurologic exam. Perhaps there is some reason other than what is found on the MRI that causes your surgeon to say the cervical issues are inoperable. From what I can tell there is nothing on the MRI itself that would indicate why your cervical issues could not be approached from a surgical standpoint. It may be that the compression is not bad enough yet that surgery would be considered.

Is the surgeon aware of the problems with your leg? Leg numbness is often a result of nerve compression in the lumbar spine...but when there is cord compression, as you have in the cervical area, it can also result in leg pain, numbness, loss of reflexes, etc.

The thoracic area is seldom operated on unless the condition is severe because it is so difficult to approach. Many spine surgeons do not even attempt it. For this reason, I hope you have had several opinions from spine surgeons from different practices...and with doctors who have extensive experience with thoracic spine surgery. You don't want to go to anyone who has done a handful of thoracic surgeries.

 
Old 12-27-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: T5-T6 Herniated Disc Extrusion

Thank you very much for your reply. I also have several herniated discs in lumbar. The NS I saw, spent a hour and half evaluating me but very uncomfortable with his diagnosis. He also said he would not rule out the possibilty of a tumor on the T-Spine although two different radiologists have ruled this out and say it is a herniated disc. Therefore, NS has ordered another MRI.

There is concern that the herniated disc is large and according to NS, after comparing 3 MRI's of my T-Spine over the last 6-9 months, it has gotten slightly larger. My spine is severely narrow in that area and according to doctor, if it gets larger, I could become paralyzed. I have heart disease and have a stent. Also had ulcers in the past and currently taking plavix because I can't take asprin. Don't know if this matters, but also have severe sleep apnea both types, obstructive and central. I am not overweight. NS is recommending taking me off plavix 2 weeks to 3 months if there needs to be a fusion. He is also proposing accessing the disc from the back. From the research I have done, most of the time it is accessed from the side by removing a rib or anteriorly by opening the rib cage.

I've been told it is rare to get a herniated disc in the T5-T6 area and it is in a critical zone. NS also said not to lift anything more than 5 pounds. Is it possible it is getting bigger? I thought herniated discs shrink and get smaller over time? Couldn't the numbness be coming from the herniated disc in T-Spine?

I have been having a difficult time finding a qualified doctor/Neurosurgeons that have extensive experience with the thoracic spine. Do you have any recommendations for websites to find and research doctors?

I am so tired of living my life around my pain, and depressed that I have so many limitations. I try not to complain to family and friends anymore, I am sure I must sound like a hypercondriac and I hate that!

 
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