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

Thoracic Spine Trauma from car accident

My name is Ryan, aged 27. In 2009, I had a major car accident. It left me with thoracic spinal trauma.
I have 4 vertebral compression fractures T3, 4, 5, and 6, bone spurs (at T3/T4,T5,T6), hyper-kyphosis, intervertebral disc degeneration (at T3/T4), a curving calcifcation along the fibrous tissues of the facet joints (at T10/T11) and degenerative osteoarthritis of the thoracic spine.
I also have intermittent paresthesia of the thoracic spine- numbing, tingling, prickling, pins and needles.
Apart from the burning, throbbing, pounding, aching pain of the bones, I also have severe neurological pain- stinging, stabbing, shooting, sharp pains.
I'm due to have an MRI scan on Tuesday.
I actually have 2 questions. I hope that is okay. By the way, I just signed up. This is my first post.
Question1: Are these problems considered serious/severe? If all these problems keep deteriorating, what will become of my thoracic spine, and will there be further complications with the paresthesia?
Question2: What will an MRI show that an X-ray and CT scan won't?
Thanks for your time.
Yours Sincerely, Mr. R.G. Hayes,

R. Hayes


  • I have just signed up, and this is my first post. Hopefully, I will get some replies soon.
    R. Hayes
  • Hi Ryan.

    An MRI is much more sensitive than X-ray or CT. X-ray being the least sensitive. Have you seen your GP for a referral to a spine specialist?
    Have you had any treatments?

    Is the neuropathic, pins, needles,burning, stabbing located only on your thoracic back or does it extend to other areas such as arms,legs,head?

    Other than the back troubles are you in good health otherwise or do you have any other medical problems?

  • Let us know when you get your MRI! We would love to know how you are doing...sorry to say I understand! Lela
  • I too have thoracic issues, it's driving me crazy! Anelsen could you pm names of docs who have performed thoracic surgery? I have herniated disc protrusions from my t5/6 to my t8/9 one with a bone spur and two levels are touching the cord but without cord involment, I also had an acdf 4/5 and 5/6, I had the thoracic pain before my neck and I kept telling my doc spine surgeon and a pain management guy, I think they nought I was just complaing, now that I finally got right diagnosis after searching for 3 years I am ready to have answers!! Everyone feel better! Lela
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 07/22/2012 - 11:24 AM
    Sorry to hear that you have thoracic spine problems. They are quite rare, and generally they are caused by an accident. I also have thoracic problems, although not as serious as yours. They are not sure why I have them, because I haven't been in an accident, although I did fall out of a tree when I was 7. That was a very long time ago! and seems too long ago to be the cause. I do also have lax ligaments though, and they tell me that could be one of the factors that has caused the whole of my spine to be degenerated.

    Surgery on the thoracic spine, as others have said, is difficult for the surgeon and very uncomfortable and a long recovery for the patient. Many spine surgeons won't touch it. You do need an exceptional spine surgeon who does deal with thoracic issues. They will only do surgery if absolutely necessary.

    An MRI scan shows the nerves and cord clearly, so it is the best test to show up compression of either of these. An x-ray only shows the bone although the height of the discs can be assessed by the gap between the vertebrae. They will probably be looking to see if the spinal cord is involved, especially as you have paresthesia. The numbing is generally considered more serious than the painful symptoms.

    I believe that the compression fractures could heal, but the other problems are not going to go away.
    Where do you get your symptoms?
    I get a tightening band around my abdomen, especially on the left side and have been told that this is probably caused by the compression in my thoracic spine. My neurosurgeon, who does deal with thoracic spines, is not recommending surgery at this level, but has said we could try epidural injections. At the moment, I am coping with pain meds as the pain is not there all the time. He did say that thoracic surgery is very painful to recover from. He has recommended a two level ACDF on my neck.

    Do hang around and keep asking questions. There are others here with thoracic problems, some of whom have had surgery. Hopefully they will be along to share their experiences.

  • CarolineCCaroline Posts: 31
    edited 09/10/2012 - 2:17 AM
    I had thoracic surgery last year, you can follow the posts if you want.
    Do see a doctor and pursue things if you are not happy with something, you know your own body and if there is something wrong.
    Once you have seen someone and they have an understanding of what is happening in there, the options will be offered to you.
    Hope you get the answers and these forums are a great way of gaining knowledge.
    Best wishes
  • I had a trauma spine injury . motorbike accident, and don't think my thoracic spine is stable because trauma can damage ribs as well - my muscles were ripped from my rib cage so everytime I twist the pain is unbelievable. Am trying a brace and putting my right arm behind me in a sling and pretending I have only my left arm seems to prevent twisting motion. It seems to work that if you stabalise your spine the pain subsides sometimes for a bit. I only have an 80% wedge fracture of T5 so you sound pretty bad.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 04/17/2013 - 12:30 PM
    I wasn't braced because they didn't do anything then as they didn't realised thoracic trauma injuries are very different to people who have not have not had broken or cracked ribs from trauma injuries.

    They also missed a fair bit in both the MRI an Xrays because I was so badly injured they concentrated mainly on my spine- I didn't realise my ribs had been broken until years later when someone told me from old xrays. If you are in really bad pain I would ask the MD if he can brace you so your injuries have a chance to heal in the right place. Also it stops the twisting motion in your spine which causes me severe pain. I didn't realise how much I twisted my spine every day just through normal activities.

Sign In or Register to comment.