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Old 10-06-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Two doctors say "hey, we've never seen this" - has anyone else or does anyone else have this issue:

T6-T7 - 3mm protruded disk completely effaces ventral thecal sac with SLIGHT cord flattening and cord compression

T8-T9 protruded disk completely effaces ventral thecal sac with SIGNIFICANT cord flattening and cord compression

I guess this is highly unusual area??? No idea why spot to the left of my mid back is constantly hurting - guess this may be way. Neurologist on 10/31.

ANYONE ELSE???

 
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Not me, sorry.... but could you say how far from the spine the pain seems to be? I know someone with a similar problem.

 
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Welcome to the board. I think the doctors were referring to the statistical fact that thoracic disc herniations are quite rare compared to those of the cervical or lumbar spine. This is because there is little movement in this part of the spine, compared to how much movement the lumbar and cervical spine goes through.

As often as possible, thoracic disc herniations are treated conservatively, using oral medications for pain and inflammation, physical therapy and activity modification, as needed. Surgery is quite challenging due to the positioning of the disc in relation to the rib cage.

If surgery is recommended to you, it will be of the utmost importance to search for a surgeon very carefully. You may have to travel to find a specialist that has sufficient experience in dealing with thoracic issues. Don't let just any spine surgeon convince you that he/she has the experience to deal with this, when in reality he may only have seen it during his training.

What symptoms are you having?

 
Old 10-07-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

I agree with Teri. I have almost the exact same problem in the same place but I also have T7-8 with the same problems including sever compression of the exiting nerves and not just cord compression.

If these docs haven't seen it before, don't let them operate on you either. The "standard" way to operate on these levels involving opening your chest and moving your lung and heart to the side...risking damage to the heart. You can't reach the disks from the back.

However, new surgical techniques and instruments have been developed for entering the thoracic area from the side. Since the techniques and instruments are only a couple of years old, I'd imagine there a very few docs who are trained at this point so you need to look at major training centers for spine surgery to find someone who does it. but it greatly improves outcome and injury from having to move the heart and lung.

Most of my pain shows up on my left side. Right side has been numb for 20 years. Put every now and then, I get severe pain wrapping all the way around my side like a kidney stone trying to pass. As long as I have pain, I know the nerve is still alive so I will do nothing. and quite frankly, since my right side has been numb for 20 years, I'll wait even if the left side goes numb. The ONLY thing that will make me even look at surgery is if the cord compression starts to affect me. My cord was compressed to half thickness(5-6mms) in my neck and I was still walking so it would have to be very badly compressed to make me do anything.

This is one place where you don't want surgery unless you are in danger of becoming paralyzed. And we have had a couple of people here who were that bad....could no longer walk. So hang in there and wait as long as you can.

good luck...............Jenny

 
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:15 PM   #5
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonteri66 View Post
Welcome to the board. I think the doctors were referring to the statistical fact that thoracic disc herniations are quite rare compared to those of the cervical or lumbar spine. This is because there is little movement in this part of the spine, compared to how much movement the lumbar and cervical spine goes through.
As often as possible, thoracic disc herniations are treated conservatively, using oral medications for pain and inflammation, physical therapy and activity modification, as needed. Surgery is quite challenging due to the positioning of the disc in relation to the rib cage.

If surgery is recommended to you, it will be of the utmost importance to search for a surgeon very carefully. You may have to travel to find a specialist that has sufficient experience in dealing with thoracic issues. Don't let just any spine surgeon convince you that he/she has the experience to deal with this, when in reality he may only have seen it during his training.

What symptoms are you having?
Hi tetonteri66 was right on, about Drs. referring to the fact that, disc herniatins are rare in the thorasic region of spine. I have injuries all over my spine but, my two disc herniations @ T8-T9, T9-T10 have been my most troublesome. I very rarely ever get an answer why, I am feeling the way I do. Drs. simply don't know, due to the lack of injuries here. I have days where, it feels like someone has been beating on my ribcage with a bat. Extremely uncomfortable, to say the least! Most days are usually filled with, pain extending from my spine, under both shoulder blades to both sides of my upper torso. I have had many ESI's as well as trigger point injections. All with limited relief. I have been through many PT sessions and, exhausted that avenue. Unfortunately I live on pain meds, disability and stretch everyday to live a somewhat normal life. I wish the best to you and, I hope you find the answers you are looking for. Hang in there!

 
Old 10-10-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

WOW! You guys are soooo great. It's so nice to know that OTHERS are knowing just exactly what I sam saying.

For well over two years, I have a 'quarter' round SPOT that on a scale of 1 - 10, often is a TEN. I feel like a hospital bed with a morphine bag is my only way out. The spot is in the upperback area and if you went left about 5", right there.

Just tonight, a radiologist friend read my MRI's. His answer was that as urgently as possible, find THE BEST SPINE DOCTOR who has done this surgery repeatedly and even then, get a second opinion but YES, I need a neurologist/surgeon. "Not to minimize your MRI but even the smallest injury to your back will cause irreversible damage to your cord" Ughhhhhhhhhhh, I go for my first consult Oct 31st.

NOW, does anyone else have or been healed from this? I have NEVER been in an accident, had any serious injury...........

 
Old 10-10-2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

and now, the pain radiates over to my left arm (back of arm below shoulder)

 
Old 10-10-2011, 10:29 PM   #8
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Sherry... I see you're in the LA area. Fortunately, there is a plethora of good spinal surgeons on the Westside. Bit of a drive for you, but shouldn't be so bad mid-day. I really think that, given the rarity and difficulty of your condition, you really should get several more opinions.

Last edited by moderator2; 10-11-2011 at 12:46 PM.

 
Old 10-11-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

I soooo appreciate your responses.

My father, 18 years ago was operated on by a Dr. Dodson, neurosurgeon at UCLA - they opened his chest in the morning and the back in the afternoon - same surgery but for a metastatic tumor between T5 and T7 pushing on the aorta. He lived anotherthree years thanks to that surgeon. My mom and family felt confident in him BUT, I am feeling like technology may have improved, doctors are more knowledgable and I know they area where my concern is has greatrisk and complications. I almost feel better speaking with all of you than the med professionals so again, thanks so much.

I am a 55 year old woman in very good health but with a bad problem. I have been on SSI for a year, on complete medicare and AARP, Uited Healthcare supplement - so far, very happy with that. We are financially secure but i would never used 'our' funds for this great expense

Last edited by moderator2; 10-11-2011 at 12:45 PM.

 
Old 10-11-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

My sincerest apologies to the moderator2 for posting my personal info. I have thoroughly ejoyed the reads on here and thank you

 
Old 10-12-2011, 07:13 AM   #11
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Sherry... I have discovered that - on this board, at least - I actually CAN post doctor recs, so here goes.

1. Hyun Bae - Santa Monica - performed laminoplasty on me four months ago. Very friendly and helpful, although he might be a little bit optimistic

2. Ronald Rich - right next door to Bae (although not affiliated, as far as I know). Recommended to me, but I have not seen him.

 
Old 10-19-2011, 09:05 PM   #12
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Re: Supposedly very unusual spine problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAsherry View Post
Two doctors say "hey, we've never seen this" - has anyone else or does anyone else have this issue:

T6-T7 - 3mm protruded disk completely effaces ventral thecal sac with SLIGHT cord flattening and cord compression

T8-T9 protruded disk completely effaces ventral thecal sac with SIGNIFICANT cord flattening and cord compression

I guess this is highly unusual area??? No idea why spot to the left of my mid back is constantly hurting - guess this may be way. Neurologist on 10/31.

ANYONE ELSE???
I actually have a similar situation in the same area. My pain management Doc and surgeon both said it was very unusual and one said it is something that would most likely be seen due to a motor cycle accident!? Never been in an accident, and I too have been referred to a Neurologist Oct. 27. for some reason I have sudden onset left quad weakening, reducing my ability to walk uphill or stairs. I would like to hear what your Neurologist comes up with. Good luck to you.

 
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