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i am new to this section of spine health {STRAKER}

strakerstraker Posts: 1,851
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
i do have TOS but that's not why i am posting .i am after advice .so here goes.i have had lumbar surgery as most of you know in between L5/S1 and i am now having pain at the top of my scar i cart tel whether its the lower thoracic or the first lumbar disc .the symptoms are.grate sharp pain with no radiation in to any limbs ,but very painful to touch and if i lay on my right hand side its hurts like hell also when i use my massage cushion }electrical thing that goes up and down your spine } when it gets to the middle of my back ..boy does it hurt ..it makes you wince!!
anyone think its a thoracic issue ?? thanks
tony {aka STRAKER}


  • Straker, only your doctor can say for sure...but a few thoughts come to mind:

    1. Sometimes the scar tissue forms adhesions that are so tight, any pressure or movement over them cause pain. I always try to do cross-fiber friction (a massage technique where you apply gentle pressure and move the skin back and forth perpendicular to the direction of the scar (I'm a massage therapist among other things). You can give that a try and see if it helps.

    2. Your paraspinal muscles may have contracted so much after the trauma of surgery that they're the/a source of your pain. Your stating that you have pain while lying on one particular side makes me think that the muscle on this side may have shortened a bit.

    3. Remember that you had surgery on the part of your spine with the most movement, and your fusion ended that movement at the surgical levels. It's unfortunately not uncommon to transfer your movement to the thoracic vertebrae, which were designed more for stability than movement.

  • I had upper back pain and when going for x-rays all was good in the thoracic area. It may have been a muscle trigger in my case. Your thoracic spine ends with your last rib. L-1 is right below your last rib and that's where my issues start with narrowing between the discs and DDD. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • i know very little about the middle bit of my spine because up until now its been fine ! so thanks for the info
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Tony, the thoracic area is something that you definitely want to have your doctors review and analyze. Reading medical journals, you will hear that the thoracic discs are very strong and connected to our rib cage, so therefore, they should not cause problems and if they did there should not be a lot of pain.

    Well, just ask anyone on this site who has suffered from thoracic pain and they will tell you wrong those textbooks are.

    I started with thoracic problems, after having lumbar and cervical surgeries. My surgeon told me that because of the upper fusion and old scar tissues from lumbar, my middle back started to take all the stress.

    After months of PT trying to address my middle/upper back problems, MRI's indicated that I had several herniated Tdiscs (T2,T3/4,T7/8). Still nothing to be operated on.

    The main 'culprit' of upper body pain/problems as described to me by my deep tissue person is the rhomboid muscle. Its a very deep muscle that goes from the center of our spines out to the clavicle.

    The thoracic discs can present themselves in many ways. The T4 area, can almost mimic a heart attack. I had a T4 problem, we thought was a heart attack, went to the ER, was admitted overnight for studies and everything was fine.

    Several weeks later, my therapist and I were talking about it and she pressed her finger hard into the T4 area... Those same symptoms appeared!

    Tony, even if you suspect Thoracic discs being involved, get this check out early to see what the problem may be

    Right now, my T-discs are still my biggest enemies.
    I have been progressing so rapidly with my shoulder replacement, Up until a point when they want to strengthen it. What they try that, my rhomboid muscle flares up and my upper back and lower neck go into complete spasms

    Some day I went get this all together....

    Meanwhile, Tony, talk to your doctors, see if they will run additional tests to see if there is any problem in your thoracic area
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • i am due to have the discography on the 23 Sept .so i have written to the surgeon and i have told him about the NEW problem in the hope that if he is not faced with this on the day ..he can now{before i get there} arrange for any other test to be done ON THE DAY} rather than sending me home and me having to wait another 16 weeks .i also rang my doctor and talked to him ..he said that he could do nothing and writing to my surgeon was what he would have done ! so as far as i know i have done the correct thing ..its the disk that the surgeon was suspicious of anyway .so i don't know what will happen i will have to wait until the 23
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