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Newbie to Chronic Board

jewelspetjjewelspet Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:47 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm new to the Chronic Pain Board but not new to chronic pain - it has just got worse. Seems from my head to my feet but I won't concern you w/ the other right now - the main pain is my back. I can not sit, drive, or ride with out terrible pain. I go to bed everynight on a ice pack. I'm so dishearted with Dr's. I go & all they do is a MRI - then tell me I can't have surgery - (thoracic area - too risky) They give me nothing or no hope so it frightens me as to am I only going to get worse - - since I am DDD?????

Here is my MRI report - although I think another one has ruptured or "something" in lower thoracic area since the MRI because I have some swelling in that area, a pulsating sensation & pain.

I'm also trying to get over rotator cuff surgery (which I think the therapy made the thoracic area flair up) plus sitting too much.

T5-T6 Posterior disc bulge which contacts the cord but not
compressing it.
T7-T8 minimal disc bulge
T9-T10 minimal disc bulge

Multi level disc bulges are seen in all 5 of the following:
L1-L2
L2-L3
L3-L4
L4-L5
L5-S1
Schmorl's nodes are noted at inferior endplates of L4 & L5
L3-L4 broad based posterior lateral disc bulge produces
moderate right neural foraminal stenosis.
At L4-L5 broad base dis bulge produces moderat left neural
foraminal stenosis.
Multilevel degenerative changes as noted in the lumbar spine

CAN SOMEONE HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY MRI?? AND MAYBE WHY I'M
IN SO MUCH PAIN.. Thank you very much.


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Comments

  • First off Welcome to Spine Health!!! On the top of the web page is a "search" box, which might help you with research, and too for questions, as others on here have thoracic issues as well.

    As to your MRI, we aren't doctors, so it is kind of a no-no for us to comment - plus it could be a disservice to you! Have you had any electrical studies done yet (NVC/EMG) to see if your symptoms match the MRI at all?

    Thoracic bites big time. I have DDD and spurs in mine (see sig, or click my name). I know I am not anywhere near a surgical candidate, and from what I've seen so far of *that* surgery, I am kind of glad, pain and all!

    I am on a high dose of Lyrica, but oddly it doesn't touch my thoracic symptoms/pain - I haven't figured that out yet. I wish I could give you the golden answer, and too sad that you are hurting. Please know that most of us are spine patients, and also care givers, and are here to support when needed. Again, welcome to the site. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks Brenda for reply. I see you have issues too.
    I'm on Neurontin. I've tried Lyrica. Taking Tramadol for pain & sometimes something stronger. Also take Bacoflen (muscle relaxant) (on other med's but these are the ones relating to back)

    I have cervical issues also - just haven't had a recent mri. I should have insisted on that when this one was done but didn't, plus dollars!!

    I hope to get in w/a pain dr. soon.
  • Jewelspet,

    You're welcome! Darvocet is my "breakthrough" med if you will. A lot of the muscle relaxers and I unfortunately don't get along - I puff up like the Pillsbury Dough Boy!!! :) Unfortunately, short of trauma from an accident, a lot of our spine results take time - argh! Patience is a virtue. I HATE that phrase, but find it to be sooooo true!

    Bucks..nodding, I can fully understand that. I hope you are able to get with a spine specialist, and too as needed a pain management doctor. Hey, if you have any skin (surface) pain from your thoracic, and they find something that helps rid it, please let me know! Take care. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of great information on here in the form of articles and videos and the members of the forum are very knowledgeable and supportive.

    Brenda is right, we can't interpret MRIs, but I can tell you that stenosis can indeed be painful. My lumbar surgery was due to severe stenosis and facet problems, not due to disc bulging, although I had that as well. My bulging disc was helped with an ESI and 5-day Medrol pack.

    I don't know much about thoracic issues so I hope you've visited the thoracic area of the board to see others' experiences and treatment.

    I can also tell you that everybody has DDD as they get older, it just depends on the severity of it. Degenerative Disc Disease is very misleading in that it really isn't a "disease" per se, it's just that our discs degenerate as we get older, some faster than others. I would imagine that most, if not all, the members here have been diagnosed with DDD.

    Anyway, I wanted to stop by and welcome you to the site and hope you get the support here that you need that you may not be able to find in your friends and family. Many times they don't understand, at least to the extent that we do. We can all relate to how difficult spine problems are and it's nice to know people who have walked in your shoes.

    Take care,
    Cath
  • Most of us here have issues :) You'd be amazed!

    We are really not allowed at all to help you with your MRI. You should be seeing your doctor for that, that's what they are there for! If the doctor you saw initially didn't go over it with you, find one who will.

    From what I've seen of thoracic surgery, they reserve it for severe issues. It's a nasty surgery!

    This is a good place to find different ways to deal with chronic pain. Also, has your doctor offered you conservative therapies? People have had great luck with things like aquatherapy and yoga.



  • Re: DDD - - well my Dr. did make me feel as though when I asked - - "I hurt so bad especially by late afternoon & night - what can I do" - - and he just looks at me & says -"well you do have DDD & it gets worse with age" - - He made me "feel" short of a miracle - no hope & all my disc are just going to play out - (he didn't say that - but that's how he made me feel)

    Thanks for your comments & replies. . I'm still waiting for the Dr's office to call me for an appt with the Pain Dr. . Do you all think a nerve block or injection (is this all the same?) will help the pain?? I had one yrs ago in the lumbar & said "never again" because it made me highly nervous feeling for a long time - & it didn't help the pain. I couldn't be still, couldn't sleep, my MIND was racing (awful feeling). but I need some relief if it will help. . I am having some kidney issues now & have to go to a Kidney Specialist on Tues. - He may tell me that I can't have any steriods . . I'm REALLY afraid he'll tell me "no pain medication" - - because of damaging kidneys. . If he does - I don't know what I'll do - the shape my back is in. . .

    Thanks for the Welcome Everyone - - Looks like I'll be here for awhile!!
  • Re: DDD - - well my Dr. did make me feel as though when I asked - - "I hurt so bad especially by late afternoon & night - what can I do" - - and he just looks at me & says -"well you do have DDD & it gets worse with age" - - He made me "feel" short of a miracle - no hope & all my disc are just going to play out - (he didn't say that - but that's how he made me feel)

    Thanks for your comments & replies. . I'm still waiting for the Dr's office to call me for an appt with the Pain Dr. . Do you all think a nerve block or injection (is this all the same?) will help the pain?? I had one yrs ago in the lumbar & said "never again" because it made me highly nervous feeling for a long time - & it didn't help the pain. I couldn't be still, couldn't sleep, my MIND was racing (awful feeling). but I need some relief if it will help. . I am having some kidney issues now & have to go to a Kidney Specialist on Tues. - He may tell me that I can't have any steriods . . I'm REALLY afraid he'll tell me "no pain medication" - - because of damaging kidneys. . If he does - I don't know what I'll do - the shape my back is in. . .

    Thanks for the Welcome Everyone - - Looks like I'll be here for awhile!!
  • I don't know why doctors do that. I really appreciated the article on this site, because it was the first one that explained DDD as a normal process of aging and not a degenerative disorder like MS or something.

    The other thing that they never tell you is that when they do MRIs on normal people, MANY people have herniated disks and no pain at all! They give us these MRIs full of bulges as though they mean something, when really they don't unless the bulges are specifically pressing on nerves, or they are indicative of some other disorder.

    They, of course, does not refer to all doctors. There are lots of good ones. Go out and find one! Get someone to explain your MRI and help you figure out how to feel better!
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