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Thoracic spinal pain extending to front rib cage, + other......

bonniebbbonnieb Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Chronic Pain
About 2 or 3 yrs ago, I got up from my bed, started to get off the bed when a major pain so sharp went through my upper back that I screamed in pain, my husband jumped up, trying to help start to rub my back, made the pain even worse so I just sat for awhile and finally the pain subsided enough to move a little, I sat for 15 or 20 min. getting up to use the bathroom, and lying back down very carefully. Since that time I have had more similar pain only while working in the garden, getting up from a bending over position,with the pain stopping me in my tracks. I had a cervical discectomy w/2 level fusion,which actually caused me little to no pain and healed great. I also have numerous other problems, spinal stenosis,DDD,Epidural Lipomatosis in the Lumbar area, sciatica in both legs...bulging disks...etc. If I stand for 30 to 45 min. my upper (thoracic area) burns like nerves on fire on the entire upper back, the lumbar aching at the same time. I have been to numerous doctors both neuro-surgeons and orthopedic surgeons, and a chiropractor that has the best state of the art equipment and adjustment techniques but nothing has helped. I can only alleviate the pain with 1500 to 3000 mg. of hydrocodone daily. I can only get the suggestons of losing more weight,physical therapy, more injections, exercising or walking which I cannot due without alot of pain..any suggestions out there are welcome!
Thank you...Bonnieb
BonnieB
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1

Comments

  • Bonnie,

    I have arthrosis, spurs and DDD at my T8/9/10, and I get the "ice picks" in my back, and too what I call my "burning ring of fire" around my ribs. Non-operable at this stage which is fine with me, but the burning was deemed Neuropathy due to the issues at those levels. Believe me, thoracic surgery isn't taken into lightly!!!

    I am on 300mg of Lyrica a day, and oddly, it doesn't touch it?!?! You will see as you search, a lot of us on nerve pain meds, actually get NO relief for the thoracic related issues! Weird, yes, but reason, unknown. Sorry to hear you are having issues in the thoracic.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this after your successful cervical fusion.
    I have had thoracic pain from 3 injured discs since a fall in July. I too have tried many therapies and am awaiting a consultation with a NS to discuss permanent Spinal Cord Stimulation for both the thoracic pain I now have and for the failed lumbar fusion from 2007.
    Please keep us posted. I have found many good threads to read through here regarding thoracic pain.
    Jackie
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  • Thanks for your comments, I was beginning to think that I was alone in this 'thoracic spine' problem! I didn't have any major crash like you...helicopter no less! I think mine is occuring from basically old age, though I am (or was) very active 73 yr. old! Not so active now, and yet that is one of the most important things I am told, to get active!! Easier said than done,but I do make attempts!Taking care of our G-grandson 17mo. old once or twice a week gives me alot of exercise!Takes me 2 or 3 days to recuperate. A neurosurgeon gave me Lyrica after having a Myelogram done in '09,which they found 'Epidural Lipomatosis' in my Lumbar area,I have a couple of bad disks there as well. The Epidural Lipomatosis is rare,but it is basically fat growing around my spine.I am on a weight loss program,but it has not shown by clinical studies to really do that much good,though needed to lose anyway in case surgery is needed.My orthopedic surgeon who did the cervical disectomy 2 level w/fusion said (like you mentioned)that surgery on the thoracic part of your spine is huge,going into the chest cavity since it is surrounded by the rib cage...pretty tedious surgery and risky.I've done the injection(s) bit and it never helped!So..I have a new primary doctor,so maybe she will have some thoughts on alleviating the pain so I can live a 'more' active life! If I find out any good news I will definitely post it. BonnieB
    BonnieB
  • :) Hi Jackie, thanks so very much for your comments, my sister has had a stimulation device in her back for quite some time, for another problem that affected her legs, I am not sure of the success of those devices, you might want some other opinions from doctors as I have read a few negatives regarding them. I know this is a frustrating ailment as it just won't go away! I spent $6000 out of pocket on chiropractor treatments, I have a few more to go,but they have done nothing so far and he has the best of the best machines and adjustment theories,that have helped other people with other types of back pain. So any thing I hear of to help us..I will post. Thank you, Bonnieb
    BonnieB
  • Bonnie,

    No, do a search on thoracic pain and you will see there are quite a few on here sadly. Thanks for defining "Epidural Lipomatosis." I first saw that term a short time ago on here, I had no idea what that was. Bummer! Now will your diet and weight loss reduce its affects on you?

    I hope they can find you some relief on your next appointment. I have a lumbar brace that I wear higher up for when I am active. It reduces pain from my clothes brushing the area, so I can be a bit more active, and or drive a bit more. Thought I would mention my technique as it might be something you can try. The brace is made by Mueller, and is fully adjustable and comfortable. Welcome aboard!!!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Hi Bonnie,
    It is not a decision I will make with haste. I have been a patient at an interdisciplinary pain clinic for a while now. Soon after i became a patient at the clinic I realized the most healthy way for me to approach my life is to learn to live in my body the way it is. This is no easy task, but just the change in my mindset alone has helped. I was so desperate for years to have my pain fixed. This lead to many procedures that did not help. I just always said yes to everything and now take my time to decide if I want to have a procedure done.
    So the verdict is not out on the Spinal Cord Stimulator yet at all.
    Thanks for your response Bonnie, it was really nice to read.
    Jackie
  • For years after my accident doctors would ask me if I had pain radiating around to my ribs and I happily replied, no. Just the last few years it has started and areas of my ribs are very tender. it almost feels like the ribs are rubbing up against each other?

    I have to ask about the "1500 to 3000 mg. of hydrocodone daily" ....is that correct? or is that including the Tylenol?
  • :))) Hi there, You really have reason for much, much pain! Wow! what a bad fall! I fell in my bathtub and hit the lower neck on the ceramin soap dish! Saw stars...but had MRI and didn't show anything, however it was 'after' my Cervical Spine Disectomy w/fusion which had gone great...though my thoracic pain started after that fall, so beginning to think it must have had something to do with it though the ortho surgeon said surgery was out of the question since it is very dangerous on the thoracic area, having to go from chest around to back...no,no,no!Won't do that anytime soon,though the pain continues. I try to take the Hydrocodone only twice a day 500 mg. w/tylenol (not sure of the amount of tylenol)but if pain is real bad I will take a third tablet.I really don't like to rely on Hydrocodone as it is a narcotic and too much tylenol isn't good either! I have to take tylenol p.m. for sleep, I take celebrex for joint pain and a lo-dose aspirin for 'heart' issues..to prevent heart problems..I don't have them...yet...I don't think??A neurosurgeon recommended Lyrica for nerve pain,but it did no good,so I stopped it. I am scheduled for an appt w/a different Orthopedic Surgeon that was recommended,for Feb. 9th,2011 at UTSW,to discuss all my issues and try to get 'yet' one more opinion of how to alleviate this lumbar and thoracic pain. I will definitely follow up with any info. I may receive. Thanks for your comment,let's stay in touch!
    BonnieB
    BonnieB
  • :/ Hi Brenda, I am back on here! Just realized you asked about weight loss, if it will affect and/or help the pain from the epidural lipomatosis. A neurosurgeon that I went to for a 3rd opinion, suggested losing weight and he didn't really know if it would help at all, but said "in the event I ever have to go through surgery that I should get back to a 'normal' weight (which would be about 40 more lbs. for me to lose!)so I am still trying,though haven't felt like walking much or exercising. It is a slow go!I am trying to eat small meals and proper food 5 or 6 times a day instead of the usual 3 sq. meals a day!I really have to watch it though. I did lose about 20lbs. though just had a birthday and probably gained it all back this weekend!! LOL...so trying once again to get back on tract! Weight is bad for any joint problems,and I have 2 knee replacements too,so I know all in all that 'fat' is bad on the whole body and system!So..will keep trying. Thank you for commenting.
    BonnieB
    BonnieB
  • Bonnie,

    One of the big things I see in your posts that is a big "plus" is your attitude. You seem to be staying upbeat, and positive. That alone is a huge step up for healing and pain control. :)

    Lyrica doesn't help my neuropathic pain from the thoracic, but it is wonderful for my arms and legs. Now the only "real" bad of Lyrica for me (but I'll take it any day over pain) is I gained 45lbs! Now I've lost near 20, so I guess my body adjusted to it, and is now letting me get rid of some of it. My hubby thinks much of it might be water retention which I do have with Lyrica. Shrug. (G)

    Keep doing what you're doing. Looks like it is working so far!! You go girl!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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