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Severe thoracic pain, stiffness and tenderness. Help please

Please I need some advice. I injured my neck roughly 5 years ago carrying a very heavy object on top of my head. At first my neck would just lock up on me about once a month and gradually got worse to where it was just constant pain. After pt injections branch blocks rhizotomys mri x-ray ct scans etc the surgeon basically said that he would not do surgery because he could not pinpoint the source of my pain. Went for second opinion and he immediately said it was the herniation at c5 c6 and 4 months ago I had it replaced with an artificial disc. My problem is that although my neck feels good at the level of the new disc my thoracic spine is very tight, tender and painful. Almost any activity makes it worse usually I feel like someone just punched me really hard right between my shoulder blades and the tissue on my back is very tender. The pain is constant but becomes almost unbearable after doing almost anything especially driving or raising my arms above my head. After explaining this to you my surgeon he seems not to want to look into it at all and seems to be trying to convince me that he cured me with the artificial disc. I am working very hard with pt doing manipulation and posture exercises but am not seeing any results at all I roll over a rubber ball to loosn the tight areas but the tissue is so tender it hurts and I wonder if I am just making it worse. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks


  • I am sorry you are having such a hard time and so much pain. I ran into the same type of issue with my surgeon, after surgery because my acdf looked good and the x-rays showed everything is lined up, he states he did his job and doesnt want to hear of anything else. 'god' complex.lol I have read a lot of stories with the same type of plot. My best suggestion would be to see a pm doctor, follow up with second, third opinions if you dont like the answers. It is your body and you know when something is not right. It is not uncommon for someone to develope other issues or residual pain when nerves are'reactivated' or something to that affect. I am not a doctor and can not offer any real medical advice. But I can say we are hear to listen and you should find a doctor that will hear you. Ask your surgeon if he will release you if that need be, sometimes they dont want a fbss on the record or they dont want to admit they miss something, or they just see the surgery and if that waz sucessful then 'my' job is done and nothingelse matters... Hope this helps;) chin up!

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • I have this same pain and it is about to drive me insane! I had C 4/5 and 5/6 fused a few years ago. The pain in my thoracic area started a couple years after that, but my neurosurgeon had passed away! What luck. He was super! Now I cannot seem to find a doctor that will even consider something is wrong. I have been told it is Fibromyalgia and I will have to live with it. Problem is, I cannot possibly live with this pain at a level 10! My hubby just got home from having double bypass surgery and I am trying to take care of him, etc. It is hurting me so very badly and he feels guilty about me having to take care of him! I wish doctors would give us, at least, some respect considering we are human beings just like them. The pain is just awful and I have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks before hubby can start doing things. How I am gonna cope with this pain having to do everything is something I haven't figured out yet. I do hope and pray you get some relief soon. I cannot live like this, but I don't know what I am gonna do. Hang in there seems to be a silly thing to say but do it!! *frustrated*
    Gentle Hugs,
  • Hi Grey, we seem to have alot in common. I have had chronic pain for past 19 yrs. My first sugery in 1994 for herniation at L4-5 and then again twice in 2008 on same disc. Then last fall started having stomach issues and went through every test imaginable and no problems. Then in Feb. of this yr. started having chest pain and went through stress test and finally heart cath. All were normal but during recovery after cath I had to lie flat with head at 30 degree angle and had the most excrutiating pain in mid back. I cried for 3 hrs. straight. Long story short I went to neurosurgeon and had herniation of T7-8 and was compressing cord so needed surgery. My surgeon does not do surgery of thoracic with calicification so I was sent to specialist at Duke University in NC who are only ones who perform in NC on thoracic. I have had nothing but severe pain since surgery on May 24 of this yr. and am having another MRI this week and see surgeon next week to see why still having pain. M biggest issue is my hubby. He had complete heart failure and was brought back to us when my son performed CPR. This was followed by quadruple bypass at age 51 and their is still alot he can't do yet. Still tires easily and not much energy. I feel so guilty because I have always been the caretaker for everyone sick and having hard time letting him do for me because I cant. He said that we married for better or worse and I helped him through his worse and he will be there for me through my worse. Don't feel bad or guilty, just concentrate on helping yourself. I would love to talk anytime you want to PM me,

    Hugs to you
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