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Help with Thoracic Disc Herniations.

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Old 08-31-2004, 08:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1
trifona HB User
Help with Thoracic Disc Herniations.

From my initial MRI in Aug 2003. I have 2 herniated disk between T7-8 & T8-9 plus loose disc fragments:

"Small extruded discs at T7-8 & T8-9, with superior migration of a small disc fragment at T7-8 and inferior migration of a small disc fragment at T8-9. No significant cord compression or central thoracic stenonsis."

At T7-8, there is degenerative disc disease with disc space desaccation and central disc herniation with an extruded fragment migrating superiorily behind the T7 vertebral body. This small extruded fragment does slightly indent the ventral thoracic cord w/o causing significant cord compression. The foramina are widely patent"

At T8-9, there is also a small disc herniation eccentric to the left with a small extruded fragment migrating inferiorly behind the left posterior T9 body. This disc fragment also minimally indents the ventral thoracic cord w/o significant central thoracic stenosis or cord compression. The neural foramina are patent."

I've dealt with this for 18 months now, diagnosed last August. For the 1st 6 months, doctors thought I had neuropathy of the back (also a Type 1 diabetic) I wake up in tremendous pain in the AM. Sleeping in my bed is the cause. Sleeping upright in a chair I feel fine. I take 4800mg of Neurontin daily, just started Zonagran a few weeks ago and upto 100 mg per day, heading to 200-to-300. The Neurontin is very ineffective at this point. I've tried the muscle relaxers and could not tolerate being a walking zombie. I take percocet 10mg off and on at night, but havent done so in the last month in order to guage the effectiveness of the Zonagran.

Tonight I feel some weakness/pain in my left leg, and wonder if this is the precursor to the neurological deficit that the surgeons said that would necessary before they would intervene.

Are there any experts in Thoracic surgery? I am in the phila******a area, and though there are a multitude of hospitals, a thoracic specialist isn't the easiest to find. I've seen Dr. Harrop @ Jefferson, and my Pain Mgmt Doc has suggested trying Dr. Balderston @ Penn Hospital. Any others?

Anyone gone through a thoracic disc surgery? Options are for a thoracotomy or an endoscopic procedure, which are still new in this application.

Any help appreciated.

Thank You.

Last edited by trifona; 08-31-2004 at 09:02 PM.

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Old 09-17-2004, 10:25 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2
Smile Re: Help with Thoracic Disc Herniations.

I Also Have Thoracic Disc Herniations And Am Currently In Touch With The Jho Institute In Pittsburgh, Pa. Dr Jho Comes Highly Recommended. He Does A Minimaly Invasive Surgery. You Might Give His Website A Look See. Just Type In Jho Institute.
Good Luck

Old 09-18-2004, 05:10 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: outside of Valdosta, GA
Posts: 76
dpaz HB User
Re: Help with Thoracic Disc Herniations.

I also have thoracic disc herniations, along with problems at L4/L5 and L5/S1. I am going to a neurosurgeon here in S. Ga who is supposed to be one of the best. I know that people come from all over GA to see him. He is willing to work on the lumbar region, but is VERY reluctant to touch the thoracic. The thoracic region was where all the pain began in the first place, but he'd rather focus on the lower back. I've had 3 lumbar epidurals, and now he can't even do any thoracic ones. He said they were dangerous and would rather focus on the lumbar. The ESI's have really done nothing for me, but since the last one was just a few days ago, he wants to wait a month, then probably do another myelogram to see if anything has changed (hurt my back worse by opening a large gate at work in July). Then he said the next step is probably surgery. I want whatever will help, but I know that if they do the surgery in the lumbar region, this still leaves the thoracic untreated. It is all very confusing. I hope you all get the treatment you need to get well.

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