Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

question about test results - 8 herniated discs?

Robyn c5c6RRobyn c5c6 Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
It has been known for sometime that I had a large protrusion type herniated disc at c5/c6 and bulge at c3/c4. Holding off on ACDF because the large herniation has improved according to MRI, though the pain has NOT. Recently, my entire back has been hurting to the point where I cannot function normally and T-spine MRI was finally ordered. The MRI showed 6 more tiny to small herniated discs (t5 through t12), disc dessication and degenerative changes. I am 29 years old, just curious if it is normal to have so many herniated discs? I called the doctor to ask questions about my results, but haven't received a return call. I don't think she is too concerned. Just curious if anyone else thinks these results are startling. Thanks for any input.


  • After about the age of 25 you are going to see wear and tear on the spine. Many people walking around everyday with herniated disc and never know it, as they have no symptoms with them. So the fact they found those issues on the MRI is really not a issue, but rather what the MRI says, along with the type and kind of pain, and your doctors clinical findings. Some doctors will use other test as well, such as emg studies, discograms and myelograms to determine the extend of the issues. But if your not having symptoms from those areas they are not really significant. But you as a individual should focus on eating healthy foods and of course the obvious if you smoke stop, along with having a proper workout routine for your body. I would get in touch with a nutritionist along with having a physical therapist work with you so you no all the right stretches and so forth, so the disk don't become problematic. The option for thoracic surgery are still evolving so they would more than likely have to be really bad for any surgeon to address them, surgically.
  • Thank you for your comment. I know degeneration is normal and most people have herniated discs without ever knowing it, I was just surprised by the number, I suppose. Luckily, out of all 8 herniated discs, only 2 are contacting the cord. I have been in PT since November and don't smoke. I know it could be much worse, but the chronic, severe pain is frustrating and depressing.. I am sure you all can relate and that is why we are on here. Thanks for your input.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    those in our thoracic area generally are the strongest and most difficult to herniate. For a long time, the field did not think the thoracic discs would herniated (because of their connections to our rib cage) and if they did, it would not be painful.

    Things have changed so much and there is more and more known about problems in the thoracic area. Generally speaking, herniating one of the thoracic discs would be the result of some trauma or other major stress.

    I would keep all of this in mind and watch the progress of those thoracic discs. You indicated you are already a cervical disc patient and the thoracic discs you are talking about are on the lower side towards your lumbar region.

    Keep on top of this so it does not become a major problem for you
    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 can totally relate! I am 29 years old and have disc herniations at every level from T5 all the way down to T11. I had surgery on the discs from T8-10, which were herniated to the right and causing me right sided pain. Now I'm having issues with T7-8, which is causing left-sided pain. The original neurosurgeon I saw said that it is NOT normal to have this many THORACIC herniations at such a young age. The cervical and lumbar regions are the most common areas to have herniations in. The thoracic region really isn't that common, so to have multiple ones is of concern, but it depends on whether you are having symptoms. What type of pain are you having?

    The first NS I saw told me that people with multiple thoracic herniations like this, often go on to develop a genetic condition called ankylosing spondylitis later in life. However, I asked the NS who performed my surgery about it, being that he specializes in the thoracic spine, and he really couldn't confirm or deny. He said it wouldn't even be worth testing for right now, because there's nothing they can do for it anyway. Not sure if I buy that 100%. I actually have an appt on the 14th of Sept to meet with a rheumatologist to discuss this. I've dealt with pain for years, even prior to my back injury. I've dealt with joint pain, low-grade fevers of unknown origin, and other mysterious symptoms that no one could explain. So I guess I just want to exclude this as a possibility.
  • The pain is a terrible deep ache so deep in my low/mid back that I swear I feel it around the front. I went to the ER yesterday and they gave me a shot of Toradol and said they didnt know what else they could do for me. It hurts to stand up straight, sit, lay on my sides......... not sleeping well, missing work, and just exhausted!!
  • When do you see your specialist again?
    What are your full symptoms?

    I am sorry to say that both of my previous spine issues to a log time to diagnose. Some of us have spinal instability and that is not as straight forward as disc herniations (we have to find the reason for our pain since our hnp's don't look severe). That can take a long time.

    It was 17 months on my lumbar spine after 10 years of low back pain I finally got it checked out. On my neck it was less time but still ended up being close to 10 months do to my health insurance making me do non recomended treatment of PT.

    Maybe you can get an oral steroid dose pack phoned in? Have you had any nerve blocks with steroids (ESI's?) that may help. I know I may ask for one myself tomorrow (and I absolutley HATE the steroids, but desperation changes things). My NS moved up my visit to next Monday since I have a progression....

    When my c5-6-7 was bad before my surgery (ACDF) I had mniserable pain in the scapular area I was sure it was the Thoracic area and so thought my PCP. We were wrong. Once I had the ACDF (5 hours of digging out HNP's and bone spurs) I woke up rid of that pain and was good for about 8 weeks (until the MVA).

    Now I have a somewhat similar problem (same general area) but I can tell the difference (T-spine pain wraps into my arms/breast/shocking/numbness in my back the Cervical was aching in the scapula and lots of arm & hand pain& numbness and very bad headaches).

    My NS didn't believe me at first (thought it was risidual pain from the MVA and the ACDF) and finally relented and agreed to the T-Spine MRI. That was about a year ago.

    Hang in there. I am sure you will get your pain under control soon. If you have to go back to the ER then so be it.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    My right side..rib cage, front and back, mid to upper back pain...unstinking believable!
    It's as if I am dragging around a small person.. attached to my right side..and his job is to inflict as much pain as possible.
    Truly, sometimes I can't believe people don't see him. :)
    My doc has tried epidurals...no good for me.
    And then just the pain killers now. I'm grateful for them as they take the edge off. But my doc just kind of nods.
    This site has given me more info re' the connection of the thoracic issues and the pain associated with it than any doc.
    Good luck to you as you continue to advocate for yourself and educate yourself with your situation.
    I hope your pain gets under control soon.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Savage - that is a great way to describe the pain. That's exactly how I feel on my left side. It's a God awful pain...it truly is.
  • The neck pain and the back pain are definitely two very different pains. The neck is electric shock like pain from time to time with a chronic feeling of tight/gripping/spasm type pain that also radiates to the scapula area, more so on the left. The mid back is hard to describe.. a constant deep ache/spasm with bad knots.. more so on the right.. i have found myself saying "it feels like a boxer hit me in the kidney." "it feels like my back is bleeding" or "it feels like my mid-back is torn." Not sure if that makes sense. Going to see pain management doc tomorrow for facet joint injection in c6. I have already had 2 epidurals in c6, I think the second helped a little for about 2 months, but not the complete, functional relief I have been dreaming of!! Hope everyone feels better!
Sign In or Register to comment.