8 months I found out that.I have DDD with 4 herniated discs in my thoracic and 2 in my low back. The 3 problmatic ones are in my thoracic t4-t5 (protrusion deforming anterior suface of spinal cord), t6-t7 (protrusion not contacting cord), & t7-t8 (extrusion, disc material has extruded into spinal canal & deforming thecal sac).On top of that there are compression fractures from t7 through t12. The pain is so terrible! I am an aerobic instructor & personal trainer and can hardly bear to work now - must teach/train in morning, lay down till evening, then go teach again. I've had no luck in finding another job. I'm trying to get through my last 6-weeks of teaching then I'm afraid my teaching career is over unless I am fixed soon. We'll just have to go with less income till I find another career my back can stand.
The neurosurgeons I saw locally when we found the ruptured discs 8 months ago - one said not to worry about it, they wouldn't get any worse, to keep doing what I was doing, the other said they would get worse & to modify my high impact moves in my zumba classes but to stop teaching pilates (one of my discs ruptured during a workshop doing prone swimming). He stated he would have to go through my front to fix it & I would want to hold that off as long as possible. After much reading I definately agree! So now 8 months later with my pain only intensifying I recently had another mri only to see that the hernaitions, fractures, & a schmorls node (on t10) have all gotten worse.
Devasted, I tried to be seen away from where I live that could possibly do laser surgery. Wake Forest agreed to see me till they saw my newest mri then they said they couldn't fix me. So now I have an appointment with Vanderbilt University on June 30th. All my prayers are on this appointment hoping that they may be able to repair my back & hopefully maybe even go back to teaching if I am lucky. If I cannot I've accepted that possibility, as long as this awful pain can be eliminated.
From all the rest of you who are suffering with thoracic injuries & pain, does anybody know if those areas are fixable without going through the chest cavity (t4-t5, t6-t7, & t7-t8)? I'm terrified to do that & my family is against it because of the risks involved but they aren't the ones living with the unrelenting back pain even in sleep you can't escape from. My symptoms are: deep burning pain in mid thoracic that radiates to right shoulder blade, traps, & neck, deep pain in my chest that I sometimes can hardly breathe, like a heavy crushing weight is on my chest, intense pain wrapping around under right rib cage especially when I'm working out, & pain with tingly sensation in thorax area (near diaphram), sharp stabbing pains around heart, as well as pain radiating down low back, right SI joint & down right leg with right toe numbness. It also aches in the lower thoracic area but with a different feeling - not burning pain just dull constant ache. I'm sure a lot of you know what I'm talking about on a lot of this.
Does anyone know of anyone who went to Vanderbilt for thoracic spine surgery? If not where did you (or they) go? I live in western part of VA. Do you know of anyone who underwent this type of spine repair that was able to resume an active lifestyle? If anyone has any type of information on any of this please let me know as I am uncertain of many things right now & it is very much overwhelming along with the pain. Thanks so much! .