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Old 06-27-2008, 07:32 PM
keystone keystone is offline
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Default Disc bulge at T5-6 & protrusions at T7-8 and T8-9

Hi all,

I took a fall in 2001 down my basement stairs and damaged my t-spine. I had a MRI in 2003 that showed a small right paracentral disc protrusion at T8-9 which effaces ventral spinal cerebrospinal fluid space. I also have a small protrusion at T7-8 without significant canal stenosis or neural formen narrowing.

I have been having a large increase in pain over the last 2 years and finally couldn't take it anymore, ( Soma and hydrocodone just aren't cutting it anymore) so I asked my PA if I could go the a pain clinic for an epidural, and he said not without a new MRI. So I had one this week on Wed and found out yesterday that I have a mild disc bulge at T5-6 that is new. No significant spinal canal senosis or foramen narrowing.

I am going to the pain clinic next week on Wednesday for some injections I am sure. I just don't know what the treatment is beyond that. I already limit myself tremendosly on how much I lift, how long I stand. I just don't even want to ever have to face surgery for this! Can these bulges and protrusions get better? The protrusions haven't changed at all in 5 years, so at least theres that!

I was also just reading a thread here that PT might not be a good thing for those with T-spine issues, I had thought about doing yoga myself at home, but one thing mentioned specifically in the thread was twisting, so I am taking it that yoga would be a no no ??

Thanks!
Lynda
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2008, 08:19 PM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Lynda, sorry you need to come here for this info but I am glad you found us as several of us have T-spine issues. The good news is that things haven't gotten much worse but your pain has increased. My current T-spine issues are similar to your's. Other than taking meds along with watching what activities you do, I don't know much more that you can do. Injections and meds are two ways to control the pain.

You are right to want to avoid surgery in this area of your spine unless the neurological impairment is severe. My fusion was a success but it is something I don't want to go through again as my recovery was very tough. I know that activities that cause me to reach or twist cause immediate thoracic spasms so sweeping, mopping, and raking are out. I think any low impact activity that doesn't cause you additional pain would be alright to do. Yoga includes a lot of stretches or twist that would jack my pain up so I don't think it is a good activity for T-spinies but general stretching should be okay.

I hope you get some pain relief with the injections if that is the treatment you get.
__________________
1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2008, 09:38 PM
mmglobal mmglobal is offline
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Are there neuro deficits (not necessarily painful). Problems walking, bowel, bladder, etc...?
__________________
1997 MVA, 2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy, 2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami,
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS! 2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova,
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs - back to the house of pain!
President: Global Patient Network, Inc., Founder: www.iSpine.org
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  #4  
Old 06-28-2008, 10:27 AM
keystone keystone is offline
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Thank you Mark and MMGlobal for responding,

It's nice to have someone to talk with about this. Mark, you mentioned chores that involve twisting motions but what about lifting? I love to garden, and sometime it involves a bit of lifting and I hate to ask everyone all the time to do things for me when I am the one that loves to garden and they don't! I am looking forward to the injections, I just don't know what all they entail. I had an epi a few years ago, but I have read that some people go on to have steroid injections also?

MMglobal, I don't think I have any neuro defects, sometimes I trip over my toes, but I tend to blame the shoes I am wearing. I tend to have diareaha a lot, but am not sure if that is a neuro defect? I don't have accidents or anything in that area if that is what you mean. I do have numb and tingling fingers and toes on occasion, but not constantly.
Thanks again to you both!
Lynda
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2008, 11:22 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Lynda, I find that as long as I don't lift anything too heavy for me, that I don't cause any spasms or pain in my thoracic area. The hard thing is to not twist as most things in life aren't straight up and down. A good rule of thumb is: if it hurts you don't do it and if you don't cause yourself pain or spasms go ahead and do it.

Don't worry about asking questions as this is a good place to ask. Someone has experience with your issues and can give you real life answers. That is what I like best about this place. I get answer from people that have dealt with the same thing I am and can give me their experiences. I have been here for years and at one time or another we have had questions about relationships, making the house easier for us to get around, pain and it causes, and sex along with many others so do worry about asking.
__________________
1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2008, 07:25 PM
keystone keystone is offline
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I just wanted to let you know the the ESI and the trigger point injection worked!! I am 97% pain free in my T spine!
Now, just to deal with the lumbar area, which i suspect was masked by the T-spine pain. But for now I am pretty happy!
Thanks!
Lynda
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2008, 02:40 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Lynda, that is great news. You are right about the pain being masked by the thoracic pain. I had a lumbar fusion and really my thoracic pain wasn't much of a problem until my lumbar pain was solved with the fusion. I hope your lumbar pain is as easily fixed as your thoracic pain has been so far.
__________________
1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2008, 04:49 AM
suede suede is offline
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Lynda,
Good to see you here. only sorry for the reason, however I hope the ESI'S continue to work for you.
Hugs,
Linda
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2008, 08:06 PM
keystone keystone is offline
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Is that MY Linda
Boy what a day, whew! Off Topic here but boy is it humid here, ugh!
Lynda
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2008, 10:11 PM
Judy4 Judy4 is offline
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Hi,
This is my first post. I had cervical fusion last summer C4-5,C-5-6,and C6-7. I have been getting lumbar epidurals which seem to last for 3 months. But, my real pain is from my thoracic spine.
I have scoliosis centered at T10-11. Also secondary disc space narrowing in the mid to lower thoracic spine. Anterior disc bulges T6-7 thru T8-9. Also a right sided posterior disc protrusion at T-8-9. Lastly a diffusely bulging disc annulus at T-10-11.
My thoracic spine has bothered me for a long time. When I was in pt for my lumbar a few years ago, I would comment to my pt and surgeon that my upper back hurt when hiking. They both thought it would go away after the lumbar was straightened out. My spine surgeon told me problems in the thoracic spine were rare, but finally sent me for the MRI last nov. I have had 2 sets of injections with little help.
It also bothers me when I am doing any type of leaning over a little as in washing dishes, leaning over kids desks. It went from only being severe pain when hiking to just walking in the grocery store now may cause problems. To relieve the pain I have to lay flat on my back on a hard surface.

Anyway my surgeon said he could fuse the 5 levels as nothing else seems to work.
What is life after a thoracic fusion like? What restrictions? How long are you miserable?
I just had my right hip replaced a month ago so I'm certainly not ready to do anything, but need to be thinking about my last option. Now I have to sleep on my back and I wake up everday with back pain.

Sorry this was so long, but there is not too much info on thoracic fusion
Thanks
Judy in So Cal
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