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Old T-12 Compression Fracture

aka_angelic37aaka_angelic37 Posts: 39
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello everyone! I am a chronic pain sufferer of 17 years since my car accident which caused a severe burst(compression) fracture to the T-12 area. I have facet arthritis, scoliosis, a few bulging discs that showed up on an MRI a few years ago. I am going in for an MRI in the next few weeks to see what a neurosurgeon can do for me. They never considered me a surgical candidate until recently (due to my age), and I dont know if I am a candidate now, but am ready to get rid of this pain! I have been taking vicodin on and off for probably 15 years and I am getting real tired of doctors telling me to go for yet another round of steroid injections along with physical therapy. I recently had both of my hips operated on due to bursitis, which was ultimatley caused from my back injury, but I am petrified to have a back surgery! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Talk to you all soon =]


  • Hi Angela,

    Welcome to Spine-Health. You are among a caring group of people here, who also live with pain every day.

    The T-12 compression fractures cause a lot of pain and you've been dealing with addtional pain in other discs, not to mention the facet arthritis. You have a lot of back pain, Angela. I can totally understand your feeling of, "Enough already"!

    What area did the last MRI show bulging discs at? I am glad you are getting an MRI soon, as it will let the Neurosurgeon and you... see what's going on now in your spine. There's always a chance that some areas might have improved over the past few years.

    How do you do with PT and what kind of therapy were you in? Are you able to do any land stretches yet?

    What kind of hip surgery did you have? I hope your surgery will rid you of the bursitis pain and you are recuperating well.

    I apologize for the many questions I asked. I would like to give you any advice from my experience, so far. You have more years of experiencing thoracic pain, but if I can be of any help... please know I would be happy to share with you.

    Do you have an appointment set for your MRI or Neurosurgeon yet?

    Wishing you a day with less pain,

  • Hey, I'm also an "old compression fracture" gal. Mine is at T2. I am not considered a surgical candidate because at this point the cure would be worse than the disease. If I start getting more severe nerve damage they'll go in, but honestly the doctor does not think it will cure the pain.

    The unfortunate truth is that sometimes they just can't fix what's broken. There isn't a lot of good "fix" out there for broken vertebrae. My PT jokes that I'm on the "spine transplant" list.

    I recently started Lyrica and am having some really good success with that. Yes, I still have pain, but I can do more before it becomes unbearable.

    No real advice, just commiseration!
  • Hi Tammy!
    Well the last MRI done 2 yrs ago showed disc bulging pretty much thru out my entire spine! One doctor told me years ago if I wanted to correct this to pick an area cuz they cant slice open my entire spine. So I am getting an MRI soon, actually I might have to reschedule this app for tomorrow cuz my doctor didnt write the script for my entire spine to be x-rayed he only wrote it for my lumbar region. What an idiot! LOL!

    The facet arthritis and disc bulging is probably the most painful along with muscle spasms, so maybe I will just have the neuro fix that. I dont currently have an app with him yet to discuss that, my pcp wants to look at the MRI first. What is your most painful issue?

    And.... my doctor has me on Vicodin 5/500 which is like taking a super asperin!They just dont understand what life is like living in constant pain all of the time, and its been this way for 17 yrs!

    PT was pretty much a joke, it made it worse.

    I had the bursas taken out of my hips and he cut some of the tendon out. My L hip is perfect but my R hip is worse since the surgery since that leg is longer than the left due to my scoliosis. But whatever at least I can walk on it right? LOL!
    Talk to you soon!
  • I also have a bone fragment floating around my spine somewhere??? ha ha...but this new doctor doesnt seem to concerned about it since I havent had an MRI in 2 years.

    The doctors told me when I was in my 20's that I wasnt a surgical candidate mostly because of my age I think, and maybe it just wasnt bad back then but it seems to have gotten much worse, so I an praying that someone will help me!

    Talk to you soon
  • It's good to hear back from you. :)

    Is your PCP the doctor who is ordering your MRI and prescribing your medication?

    I am so sorry to hear that your right hip feels worse since your surgery. Is the Vicodin also prescribed for your hip pain, or are you taking something else to help that area? I absolutely agree with you about at least being able to walk. I had a lot of tingling and numbness in both legs after my surgery and I was so scared that I would lose use of my legs. So yes, high-five to you on being able to walk!

    My Neurosurgeon took me out of PT, for the same reason. Once I could walk comfortably in the pool, aqua therapy has been one of the best sources of relief. It took a while to get there, though. Once you can do some little stretches, it might help with any stiffness you may experience.

    You know... it's really hard to tell sometimes, which pain is worse. The arthritis pain hurts and so do the muscle spasms. I get the weirdest pains all over. Some last for a week or two, some never go away. I guess I would have to say the crushing pains I get in my chest and my rib pains are the worst. I plan to ask my Neurosurgeon a bunch of questions when I see him on February 4th. Oh! Tailbone pain... that's a nasty pain, too.

    I will be so anxious to hear when you get your MRI set up and get in to see your Neuro doctor. Please keep us posted!

    Do you have a pain management doctor? With all that you have going on, I just wondered if your PCP has ever suggested a pain management doctor for you to see. I would have to agree with you on having to rely solely on Vicodin for pain relief... I would also compare it to a strong form of aspirin!

    Do you ever use a heating pad for your thoracic pain or any of the therma care heating thingy's?

    Hang in there and please feel free to vent anytime you need to.

    It's amazing how long you have been dealing with your pain. It's time for you to get some relief!

    Take good care,


  • "My PT jokes that I'm on the "spine transplant" list."

    You never know what the future may bring.

    Tammy :*
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