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Old 04-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
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Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Has anyone had recent thoracic spinal surgery for Thoracic Disc Herniation I have a large T7 /T8 Disc Herniation with signifcant cord compression and moderate compression at T6 / T7 and T8 / T9, the Doctors say that surgery is the only option right now. Since I have developed degeneration below my waist and physiotherapy and osteotherapy has not helped.

any insight will be helpful from anyone who has any knowledge.

Last edited by zacmtl; 04-28-2011 at 05:54 PM.

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:57 AM   #2
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Quote:
Originally Posted by zacmtl View Post
Has anyone had recent thoracic spinal surgery for Thoracic Disc Herniation I have a large T7 /T8 Disc Herniation with signifcant cord compression and moderate compression at T6 / T7 and T8 / T9, the Doctors say that surgery is the only option right now. Since I have developed degeneration below my waist and physiotherapy and osteotherapy has not helped.

any insight will be helpful from anyone who has any knowledge.
Hi
I have a thoracic T8 - T9 herniation which is crushing the spinal cord. I have lost feeling severely over the last three months and am on crutches to stop me falling over.
I have been rushed through to surgery and being admitted into hospital on Sunday 4th Sept for surgery on the 5th. It is aimed to be a 10 hr plus op with them working from the chest. They are unable to work through the back due to the severeity of the disc pressing on the cord. They have to move my heart, collapse the lungs and remove a rib or two I believe! They have four surgeons on standby due to the seriousness but unless I have the op (they didnt give me a choice) I would be wheel chair bound by the end of this year if not before.
I am really scared, but remain positive and upbeat and determined to be up and about at work again by November.
This surgery is rare and they dont seem to do it a lot, my surgeon is at the Sheffield Royal Hallamshire Hospital, UK, and is a specialist in the area, I have every confidence in him and hope he can save my legs.
How are you coping, have you been suffering long?
Would love to hear from you, we are few and far between!
Caroline

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Caroline21 is right, Zacmtl. Thoracic surgery is tough. The disk is in the front of the spine and to get to it, they have to move everything in the chest.......unless, you can find someone using the new surgical tools developed just for thoracic surgery...long instruments to work in from the side(I'm tracking this as I also have a big herniation at T7-8 and compressed nerves at T6-7 and T7-8 and I think T8-9 as well).

In your signature you have "mtl" at the end....are you in Montreal?(grew up in west island town of Baie D'Urfe). If so, you do have the Neurological Institute at Royal Victoria Hosp. and it's long been a leader in brain surgery so I would imagine spine surgery as well. Do research.

Caroline, if you can, let us know how it goes. I know it is HUGE surgery and not done unless you are facing certain paralysis. I will be saying a prayer for you next week.

hugs to both...............Jenny

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Question for all three of you.... what was the cause of your thoracic disk herniations? I would like to avoid one, if possible.

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Same as for my neck and lumbar for me, Web.....something you don't have to worry about.......(even appears to have been fractured at T7).

cheers..............Jenny

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:41 PM   #6
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Hi

Firstly, there is no reason why this has happened that is really obvious, my surgeon said "just really bad luck". I had a car accident 25 years ago and it could have instigated it, along with a slip in the ice last winter, but the more I read, the more I realise there are a few more of us out there!
Its not really something you can go out and avoid sadly

I am almost looking forward to surgery, for the fact I want to walk properly again and get relief from the constant pain in the back and chest. Its relentless and now it is getting harder and harder to do things.

My surgeon showed me an MRI scan of a successful op he performed on an elderly lady, similar area with a more crushed cord (her symptoms werent as swift however which is his concern). He showed us the after surgery image and he had released the pressure and she was up and about in six weeks - THAT alone gives me the hope and positivity to keep focused on what is ahead.

I will post back on the forum once I am back up and about, I think it helps to know there are other people out there that have similar problems and the reassurance that something can be done.

x

 
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:58 AM   #7
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Follow up. In later May I had the 7 hour Thoracic disc Back/Spine surgery, the surgeon preformed a T6/T7, T7/T8 Discectomy and a particle T7/T8 Vertebrectomy & Spinal Fusion. He preformed the surgery on my Back, I stayed in the hospital for 5 days and then went home, the next 3 weeks were mostly spent in bed or sitting while taking small walks during the day.
As my strength got better in weeks 4 - 5, I started to take longer walks. At week 6, I started to drive sort distance of 10 minutes and less. In week 8, I started a physiotherapy program 2 times a week for 2 hours, now I am in week 12 and started to go back to work fulltime.

Thus I now have 4 titanium screws and two titanium rods holding my spine in place and a 15.5 cm (7 inch) scar, on my back. I have a lot less pain and more freedom in my movements.

 
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:09 AM   #8
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Hi
Great to hear you are doing so well.
My surgery is going through the chest so I dont know how fast recovery will be. I will keep this post updated though as its good to hear from fellow sufferers!
I am hoping that I will be back to work in the ten week period and life will resume as normal.
Did you have lots of bad symptoms of the cord compression pre op?
CaZ

 
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:39 PM   #9
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

2 1/2 years ago I was having low back pain and was referred to a neurologist, she order a lumbar MIR and found a small L4/L5 herniation and told me to try physothapry and exercise.

Six months later I started have issue with my walking and balance and she said it was sciatica and maybe an ostrothapry might help.

Then this last year I started getting worse I was have trouble with my internal organs and could not longer walk short distances and was referred to see urologist, Gastroenterologist , and a other neurologist they all ran test after test and found nothing wrong with me, only that my small lumar herniation was gone.

So in March I ask my family doctor for a referral to see a rheumatologist, think maybe I have arthritis of the spine. Upon seen the rheumatogist in April he order new blood test and an urgent complete MIR of my spine. Which none of the other doctors did, they only scanned my lumbar.

Two days after my MIR the radiologist sent an emergency message to the rheumatologist, about my MIR. Where his secretary put it in my file and did not avis the doctor. When I went in two weeks later for the follow up he found the message and the result of my MIR, and call the spinal surgeon.

I meet with the spinal surgeon a week later in late April and he advised me if I did not have the surgery in the next month the odds are that I won’t walk again in 6 months are 50/50, so I had the surgery 12 days later.

Last edited by zacmtl; 09-02-2011 at 07:46 PM.

 
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:58 AM   #10
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Wow sounds pretty much as fast as mine. My scan results came back instantly despite them saying a wait of two weeks and within 24 hours I was booked to se a neurologist at Sheffield hospital 2 hours away from me.
I was bad news being the t8 9 discs and they said there was no option but to have surgery as I would end up in a wheelchair, allmost certainly before the end of this year.
Hence the surgery now scheduled for Monday 5th.
They have worked pretty fast here and I although I am dreading it, I want the relief of being able to feel my legs again from the waist down and be able to walk properly. The chest and back pain restrict breathing and the steroids have meant wait gain which hasnt helped. Hopefully, as they said a 8 - 10 week recovery period and a 90% chance of saving my legs so I have every confidence in my surgeon.

Are you back to normal health now~ will this be something that could reoccur do you know?
Caz

Last edited by moderator2; 09-03-2011 at 05:14 AM.

 
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

My right leg sometimes gives me some trouble pin/needs & numbness but overall it is 80 % improvement from before surgery. As for pain right now I have what they call "healing pain" which is constant and tolerable, also for it reoccurring again my doctor said it might be possible but I should now worry about it.

I hope that your surgery goes as well as mine.

Last edited by moderator2; 09-15-2011 at 12:12 PM. Reason: please do not post a commercial website, for any reason.

 
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:46 AM   #12
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

zacmtl,glad to hear you are doing better. Did they go in through your chest as well, or just through your back?

Last edited by moderator2; 09-15-2011 at 12:11 PM.

 
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:49 AM   #13
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

Watching this thread closely, as I too have a herniation at T7/8. Please keep me posted as I'm struggling to decide on having surgery. I have conflicting spine surgeons. One says I need surgery right away to prevent further damage to nerves. Others have told me I should hold off and wait to see if I improve on my own. I have no numbness, but a great deal of pain which ranges daily from 5 to 7.

My injury happened two years ago when I bent over and lifted something heavy with one arm. Before it happened I had back pain coming and going, but nothing that kept me from having a wonderful very active life.

Most times it feels like I have a dagger stuck in my back right at T7-8, and have pain radiating through my ribs. Its weird how the chest pain changes. Sometimes its on the under sides of my ribs, other times it feels like I have a sword right through my back and chest. It often makes it very difficult to sleep as the knife moves a little with every breath.

Since the injury, I'm unable to do any upright activity (sitting up or standing) for more than a few hours without the pain quickly ratcheting up to where I need to lay down for the rest of the day. I hate pain killers, as I hate that high feeling, and they stop working after a while. At one time I was taking several percocets a day as well as being on the fentanyl patch to try and push through the pain, but the pain always won out.

I learned I'm better off if I take less pain medication, just listen to my body and not aggravate my back by pushing myself to do stuff. I've been unable to work or play last two years, and boredom is killing me. I'm only in my 40's, and am too young for this crap. Cant believe how much I actually miss working.

The surgery is the same Caroline describes of going in through the chest, having to move the heart aside and dropping a lung to gain access. I've been scared off surgery for now by a surgeon who told me I might have more problems down the road if I have this T7-8 surgery. As all the disks above and below my T7-8 are bulging due to scoliosis, and may blow out putting me right back where I started. But if I get numbness in my legs that changes everything, and then the choice is clear for surgery.

I wish you guys the best. Please keep me posted.

 
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:07 AM   #14
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Unhappy Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

New Update: Recently I have been having neck pain and electric shock every time I move my neck so the Doc sent me in for a MRI

Last edited by zacmtl; 10-19-2011 at 05:03 PM.

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:49 AM   #15
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Re: Thoracic spinal surgery ....on T7 /T8 Disc Herniation

I readed webDozers remark about his recovery from Laminoplasty but will like more comments.

I had a C/T MIR and my Orthopedics surgeon sent me to a neurosurgeon for 2nd opinion and consultation after receiving the results below.

Quote:
CERVICAL SPINE:
There is mild kyphosis of the cervical spine secondary to degenerative change.
  • C3/C4: There is a posterocentral disc protrusion measuring 1 .1 cm in transverse diameter and 0.4cm in AP diameter. Central canal stenosis measuring 6mm in AP diameter. There is mild narrowing of the right and left neural fore mine.
  • C4/C5: There is diffuse disc bulge and a right foramirial disco.osseous complex, resulting in severe narrowing of the right forarnen with possible compromise of the right C5 nerve root. There is mild to moderate narrowing of the left foramen. In addition there is moderate to severe central canal stenosis, measuring 5mm in AP diameter. No evidence of myelomalacia.
  • C5/C6: There is diffuse disc bulge, asymmetric to the right sides resulting in mild narrowing of the left neural foramen and moderate narrowing of the right foremen. There is also moderate to severe central canal stenosis measuring 6mm in AP diameter.
  • There Is diffuse degenerative change of the facet joints in the cervical spine.
THORACIC SPINE:
There Is associated atrophy of the spinal cord at T6-T8 with evidence of myelomalacia at the T8 level. The area of myelonialacia measures 6mm in craniocaudal dimension. Note is also made of mild focal kyphosis at the T7/T8 level.
  • T6/T7:There is residual left paracentral protrusion, measuring 1.3cm in transverse diameter, 6.5cm in AP diameter and 0.9 cm in craniocaudal dimension.
  • T7/T8: Previoushernia at this level is not present on today, following recent operative repair.
  • T8/T9: There is a small left paracentral disc protrusion, which has now progressed compared with the previous scan. It ext ends superiorly to the posterior aspect of the TB vertebral body. It measures 0.8x 3.5 x I .5cm (TRx AP x CC)and touches the spinal cord.

The neurosurgeon reports the following symptoms;
  • Signs of Hoffman,
  • Clonus,
  • L'hermitte
  • Dejerine's "onion-peel sensory loss"
  • Partial Spinal cord Syndrome

My Orthopedics surgeon wants to do Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty Surgery this February and it will be 7 months after my thoracic surgery but the neurosurgeon said I should wait until my symptoms are at there worst, and is more concerned with the myelomalacia at T7-T8 and the T8-T9 herniation putting pressure on it.

My concerns are that my MIR reports "possible compromise of the right C5 nerve root" and it could be a issue if I have PCLS, also decompression issues with surgery and the myelomalacia at T7-T8 and the T8-T9 herniation. also is it too soon.

;

Last edited by zacmtl; 12-15-2011 at 01:04 PM.

 
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