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What? Need some idea of whats happening and why.

New to this forum but have been dealing with pain becasue of spine issues for 4 years now. Following is a brief history.

In 2008 I was on the phone and bent over my desk to pick up a pencil so I could write a number down. As I did so I felt a sharp stabbing in my low back, my left leg went numb and I passed out all within a 3 or 4 second period. I woke up in the back of an ambulance on my way to the hospital. The hospital treated the pain with orders for follow up with family doc. I followed up the next day and she sent me directly to the hospital I usually go to (I couldn't go there the night before because the ambulance drivers have to take patients to the nearest hospital). I had an MRI immediatley and was ordered to stick around while they called my doctor. Result was a ruptured L5/S1. After two weeks of fighting with insurance company we finally one and my neurosurgeon was able to perform the laminectomy. Late 2009 I started having chronic pain, went to pain clinic where after several other treatmetns I opted for a neurostimulator. I LOVED it.... for a while.

This summer the med port I had for an infusion of medications became infected and caused me to go into Septic Shock. ID doctor ordered it out, but no one, not even me considered that the neurostim would have been contaminated too. The neurostim wasn't helping much anyway, but this fall I started having serious back pain and couldn't feel my left buttocks, thigh, leg and foot. I turned on my neruostimulator and it magnified the pain x 100. After chasing after this and that procedure I finally had a CT Mylogram (no MRI becasue of stimulator). The lumbar report showed no new information but I am concerned by the thoracic spine report and am hoping someone can let me know if I should be getting more insistant about seeing someone new. I should preface that I saw pain clinic doc a week ago and she agrees with the neurosurgeon that neruostim has to come out based on my illness symptoms and history from this summer. The surgeon had not sent her this mylogram report. Thinking I may hand carry a copy of mine in to her as it seems quite serious to me.


At T2-T3, there is central disc protrusion with dural sac effacement and minimal cord flattenin. The neural foramina are widely patent.

At T4- T5, there is also central protrusion of the disc with some dural sac effacement. There may be minimal cord flattening as well. The neural foramina are patent.

At T5- T6, there is paracentral herniation of the disc on the right which effaces the dural sac and results in moderate cord flattening. The neural foramina APPEAR patent.

Vertebral body height and alignment are well maintained. No acute fracture is identified.

Impression: Discogenic changes are present as discussed in detail above should be correlated with clinical findings.

During my consult with the neurosurgeon he simply stated that the orginal surgical site looked good, it appears to be failed surgery syndrome, and that he thinks I should have the stimulator taken out because it is not happening and may be the reason (as infectious disease doc, family doc, pulmonologist and pain doctor concur) I am still quite sick now even 6 months post septic survival. He also said oh and you have some degenerative disc disorder as he walked out of the room, failing to stop to see if I had any questions. He acted like I was an imposition to his time. Meanwhile I'm still in major pain,and wondering if some of my other weird symptoms are related to the rest of that report especially the herniation at T5/T6. I keep getting sensations like there is a small volt of electricity running up and down my body. My right abdomin, lower and upper, start hurting for no reason. I've been evaluated several times for appendix and gall bladder issues and none are ever evident. I've also had severe kidney pain, but when urine cultures are done, they appear very healthy. This past week while my mom helped me put a pain patch over the area that hurts the worst in my low lumbar area she noticed that my back was forming (in her words) a sort of canyon all the way up my spine to my shoulder blades. That was also the day I realized that I seemed to be waddling/ walking like I was 9 months pregnant (which I am not even pregnant at all) and my belly was quite protruded in front of me, to the point my friends asked what was wrong when I go to the new years party last week. I'm wondering if any of this can be explained by the Mylogram report and why the neurosurgeon didn't say anything about the specifics of the report? Is it possible that he wouldn't have said anything because I came to him complaining of lumbar problems so a report ruling that out, but suggesting thoracic reasons didn't fall under the scope of my complaint?
The only reason I have the report now is because the hospital has a system called My Chart where my doctor authorizes sending all my medical reports to my inbox so I have them in my records too. This is important to me because I have a genetic disorder called Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Proteinn Deficencey. I need to have all my medical ducks in a row whenever I see other docs/hospital. I'm very worried because with my medical terminology training ( I used to be a Medical Assistant) words like herniation and moderate cord flattening seem to indicate soemthing more serious, especially when used in the throacic region.
Thanks for any help and sorry if this post is to long.


  • HI,
    I would say you should look into this further for sure, and maybe ask the dr, if he does the whole spine or not. Some only deal with some areas,some do it all.
    The electric thing is weird...my left thigh and left foot get them if I walk too long.. 20% damage on left side from original lumbar surgery...it will not go away...will always be there from time to time.
    Sometimes med training is a bad thing...you know too much!! Just kidding, knowledge is power!!
    Don't know about the genetic disorder or if it could have anything to do with anything, but I would check that spine out further until you have some answers and a plan of action!
    Feel better!
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