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30yo, my T spine is being slowly crushed

txas99ttxas99 Posts: 3
edited 11/24/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi there!

I am a tall, young, bookish fellow about to finish my PhD in an awesome field. I was always bad at sports, but better than most nerds, so have been able to enjoy playing frisbee, basketball, yoga, tennis and hockey until recently.

Unfortunately, I have a pain point in between my shoulder blades that has been getting worse for 10y; a disk which "pops", and on Wednesday I think it just completely gave up. I don't hear a lot in most forums that matches my experience, as I haven't yet had surgery and my deterioration has been drawn out. I'll try not to wear everyone down with my story, but I would really appreciate some seasoned advice, because my family and doctors haven't been much help. I will probably also post my MRI report... the doctor hardly even wanted me to see it.

Here are some issues I am facing:
1) How much longer should I try to work stressful jobs?
2) How many years can you live on NSAIDs, Tylenol, etc? I am about ~6/10 pain, 2x celebrex + 1 Tylenol8 / day
3) University Health system not really helpful with this major illness; bounced from doctor to doctor; yet feel shame for demanding more be done.
4) Could there be something else causing inflammation?
5) Does anyone use a Health Advocate? How can I make sure I'm not just too depressed (or busy!!) to heal myself?

Anyways, hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving!


  • llrufinlllrufin Posts: 3
    edited 11/27/2012 - 5:34 AM
    Post deleted - Forum rule violated. Members are not permitted to provide any advice regarding MRI reports
  • Hi Txas99

    Where is your injury in theT spine? I had surgery 3 weeks ago on a large central herniated disc atT6 T7
    I only did it due to the pressure it was putting on my spinal cord. It's not an easy recovery. Let me know if I can answer any questions you may have.
  • Hi Txas99, Which level of thoracic spine is your problem? I had a microdiscectomy at T7-8 for herniation that was compressing the spinal cord. Like Paula said thoracic is a very tough area to deal with. It is rare to have issues in this area therefore not many doctors deal with. I have had a 6 month ordeal since surgery and just had a RFA yesterday to try and get some relief. Please let us know what is going on with you so you can hopefully get some help from the vast experiences on here.

  • Hey all, thanks for your concern!

    They redid the MRI, this time thoracic, and the report is literally blank, which is shocking because that's where all my pain is. I went to see an neurosurgeon, who was quite confident there was nothing pathological in T-spine (I guess that's good), and confirmed the reading of the cervical MRI:

    Loss of disc signal and height at c5-c6, diffuse bulge with superimposed focal central protrusion (?) which is impinging on the anterior aspect of the thecal sac causing mild to moderate central canal stenosis. Also bilateral uncovertebral joint arthropathy causing mild bilateral neuroforaminal narrowing.

    Mild diffuse disc bulge and moderate to severe left neuroforaminal narrowing at C6/7.
    Impiression: Disc osteophyte complex with superimposed central disc protrusion at C5-C6, left uncovertebral joint arthropathy at C6-C7
    My neck is stiffer than it ever used to be, so maybe this is all new or maybe it's how it's always been and just got worse, and of course this is the first time we'd ever done a cervical MRI. As soon as I get a chance I guess I'll go do the cervical PT once more. Maybe my back pain has just been referred from the stiff neck all this time.

    I am having the most relief from newly prescribed Valium, ~ 2.5-5mg / day. It definitely brings me down below the threshold of "too much pain to do any work". There's not a lot of info on the board about Diazepam... can this be taken forever at a low dose?? Do doctors usually switch to another muscle relaxant long-term? Does anyone else find it relieves their primary symptoms?
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