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  • Thoracic Disc Extrusion

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    Old 02-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #1
    barca999
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    Thoracic Disc Extrusion

    Hi all....I had recent MRI that showed protruding discs in cervical and lumbar spine. However the disc that is symptomatic and troubling is I have a extruded disc at T7-8. It is centrally extruded with mild to moderate cord impingement. the scary thing is the MRI was done lying down which is generally my most comfortable position. I have been having pain in the center of my back since July of 2012 and remember having reoccuring pain in the same spot for 7+ years....I had no recent accidents or injuries but did have a pretty bad fall 16+ years ago...

    [B]Has anyone been able to treat\heal\overcome this type of injury using conventional therapies or treatments? [/B]

    I tried PT - no success
    Chiropractor - made it worse and really regret listening to all the people saying "try a chiro"
    tried Ibuprofen and rest - no success
    Currently trying high dose prednisone - not sure what to expect...time will tell...

    I don't have the typical pain wrapping around the chest. Mine is more really sharp and aching pain in the center of my back. Some days it feels like somebody punched me in the middle of the back as hard as they could 15-20 times. I can't do much with my arms outstretched or sit for any length of time.

    I am at a loss for what to do. I have consulted one spine doctor and was told since I am not having paralysis or bowel issues nobody will do surgery and he recommended I just live life. I reiterated I couldn't even do dishes without pain and he just stared at me...no answers. Pain managemnt doctor is a little more compassionate but also said to avoid the surgery.

    So my question is has anyone been able to heal from a disc issue like this? How did you do so....if any of you had surgery how did you choose a doctor? there is one surgeon here in Phoenix that seems to specialize in T-spine surgery but some stuff I read online kinda scared me of the outcomes.

    any advice from anyone would be super appreciated.

     
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    Old 02-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Extrusion

    I can't help you from personal experience...but I can tell you from my experiences on this board that surgery for a thoracic disc problem is avoided unless it is threatening paralysis. It is a very difficult surgery to perform, and, I gather, difficult to recover from...but I believe there are some new technologies that are becoming available for thoracic surgeries.

    Just because a surgeon advertises that he does thoracic disc surgery, you should do your research to determine others' outcomes, etc. Just because one can do something doesn't necessarily mean it is a good idea to do it.

    When people are in pain, it is hard to believe that things could get worse...but, with spine surgeries, that can and does happen.

    Until you have severe cord impingement, I doubt anyone will want to operate.

     
    Old 02-13-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
    barca999
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Extrusion

    Thanks for the reply. I agree with what you are saying which is why I am so discouraged. Surgery is definitely the last result. I am going to try all conservative options at my disposal and in the process hopefully not make anything worse.

    Have you or anyone else have a conservative treatment that showed promising results?

    decompression?
    prolotherapy?
    certain type of rehab?

     
    Old 02-13-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: Thoracic Disc Extrusion

    If cost isn't an issue, you might try prolotherapy. I don't believe it is covered by insurance. Also, there are a couple people doing work using stem cells that are removed from your blood, and then reinjected right into or by the injured disc. It might be worth looking into.

    I'm not sure how difficult it is to get a thoracic disc to heal. My husband ruptured the L5-S1 and let it heal on its own, just using exercises for the physical therapist. That was almost 20 years ago. He still does those exercises and stretches faithfully every single day. I joke that if we had a tornado approaching, he wouldn't take action until he'd "done" his back work.

    You could talk with the surgeon that you mentioned earlier, but I would proceed very cautiously.

    I'm not a fan of chiropractors or that DRX 9000 decompression so many of them recommend.

    Have you tried an epidural steroid injection? Sometimes that provides enough of a "boost" that it can begin to heal, shrink enough to move off the spinal cord, etc.

    You might try going to a physiatrist for treatment. This is a Doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Some specialize in orthopedic issues...and help people get back on their feet without surgical intervention.

    Last edited by teteri66; 02-13-2013 at 11:29 AM.

     
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    back, disc, extrusion, herniated, thoracic



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