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

Utterly Terrified

Hi All,
O.K. I guess I have to admit that I am not invinceable. I have my first appt. with a spine surgeon tomorrow and I have no idea what to expect. After having really strong back pain for a few years, along with some really awesome lower right back spasms, I started with these rolling chest pains and aching that would not quit. A few weeks ago, I was certain I was having a heart attack and went to the ER. They said that my heart was fine and that they had seen a two centimeter mass that appears to be a bone spur on my t-spine behind my heart, and that all my symptoms are likely a result of that. I put off dealing with the pain issues for so long mostly because i have addiction issues and I do not want to let that monster out again so I just sucked it up and pretended all was well. Now, the back pain and spasms are constant and the chest pains are daily, so here we go. I had a staph infection that nearly killed me 10 years ago from a knee surgery and have been told there may be residual issues from that. I have done enough research on all this to be absolutely scared to death. I have been surfing this site for a few weeks and read so many heartbreaking stories that I cant read any more. My love to all of you as you fight the pain.


  • 2 centimeters as in almost an inch long bone spur? I mean... the vertebras are only an inch or so long right? I have no idea, but I'd think if you had an inch sized bone spur they shouldn't have released you. I'd find a surgeon STAT. Good luck to you! Keep us posted. Try not to let your imagination get the best of you. Even on this forum, we are all healthy enough to post online right? So hang in there.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Welcome to spine health. Sorry that you are having back and chest pain, that has brought you here. As scary as it can be to go to your first appointment with a spine surgeon, it is great that you are. They will be able to access you and order any tests to help find answers. There is a great post on here about "what to ask a surgeon"

    Was your back pain brought on by an accident or did it develop over time? Besides narcotics there are many other things that may help, nerve meds, muscle relaxers, ice, heat, tens machine, accupunture, physio, esi's etc.

    Wishing you all the best. Please let us know how you are doing and how your appointment goes.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hi Dozer I know your afraid but your doing the right thing going to surgeon.Its what you dont know that will hurt you.They will find out whats going on and fix you .I know your worried about addiction issues, i hear you been there.Theres so many options now for pain ,just be honest with your dr.Your on the right site for support.We help each other.Keep us updated.I will be praying its nothing bad. Be strong you can do this. Kathy
    Kathy B
  • ...of addiction and your previous staph infection. The more info they have, the more they can note it in your chart and keep a special eye on those things, making sure to prescribe something that has perhaps lesser addictive side effects.

    Hopefully you like and trust your surgeon. That's going to be key to reducing some of your anxiety and fear, I suspect.
    If you are not pleased with your surgeon - his/her bedside manner, ability to deal with and respond to your concerns and fears, find someone else!

    I agree about reading so many of the posts on here, by the way. While so many are helpful, when in the midst of everything, it is difficult to read over and over again those that are "failed" surgeries.

    There is a lot of attitude and mindset that plays a part in the outcome and the speed in which people heal. Try to do something to manage your fear - talking with friends, a therapist, family, meditating - whatever it is that helps alleviate some of the stress you are feeling can make a huge difference.

    Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • dozerddozer Posts: 5
    edited 02/27/2013 - 10:08 PM
    Well, yep,,, cant sleep. massive rolling chest pains right now. dont see doc until 1:45 tomorrow. Thank you guys so much for your responses to my earlier post. I have a feeling I might just be around here for a while. There is a lot of love (and pain) here. I will post after doc appt. Love to all
  • Hi Dozer, Good luck today! We'll be waiting to hear from you on how it went.
  • Hi All,
    Went to see the new surgeon yesterday. I live an hour outside boston, and we have some pretty lousy hospitals out here in the woods, so choosing to go to the city and get the best care possible was an easy choice. The guy was awesome, I liked him the moment we shook hands. My wife has had 18 (yes 18) abdominal surgeries so we have been playing the surgeon game a long time and met a lot of Docs with huge god complexes. I have no tolerance for docs who think they are better than us poor suffering masses who need their help. So he pops in the disk of films that i brought and as soon as the first xray comes up he says "Wow, that is a huge bone spur" it turns out that not only is there the big one ( He named it the Paul Bunyon of bone spurs" I have a whole bunch of smaller ones too. We joked that i could host a bone spur festival. The big spur completely covers and has fused t8 and t9 together. It looks like a golf ball, even this guy was really blown away. I asked him if he could "fix it" and he said " yes, but it would destroy you" He also said I have DISH and possibly a pulled mucle in my back. He wants an MRI and that will take about two weeks to get insurance to bless it and get it done. He threw me when he said that he was not certain that the big spur was the cause of most of my pain, but perhaps he was wisely wording his final thoughts until we have more info. I think i was hoping for some more clarity but I knew we needed more scans before we could make a plan of action. I see my primary care doc on monday to talk about pain management, and that is good because i am in a stunning amount of pain right now. 2 nights in a row now with 0 sleep due to pain. The downside to that is I am a recovering addict, so this is very slippery slope for me. My docs all know this, everyone I deal with knows this as I make no effort whatsoever to hide it, and will freely discuss it with anyone. I have been places and done things that no human should ever see or do. I threw away everything i ever made on drugs and hurt everyone i know while doing it. So, yes, primary care doc on monday. She has said over and over that being a recovering addict does not mean that you have to live in pain. As terrified as I am of going on pain meds, the pain is overwhelming now and right now it is the only option until there is a plan with the surgeon.He said " We will figure this out". I will post updates as things move along here. Much Love
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 03/01/2013 - 3:52 AM
    Glad you have found a surgeon you respect and trust. Hope insurance comes through quickly and you can get some resolve soon. Sounds like you also have a very supportive PCP. Good luck!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • dozerddozer Posts: 5
    edited 03/01/2013 - 4:44 AM
    Yes the new guy is indeed a thoracic specialist with 29 years at a top Boston hospital spine center. I learned many years ago to go to the best docs in the field even if it is for a hangnail. Health is way too important to be casual about. The local hospital here nearly killed me in 97. I would not bring a dog there. Here is a funny one. In Boston we have the number one rated hospital in the country. The chief of surgery there told my wife and I that the top hernia surgeon in the world was in North Carolina. You can be sure we flew to Charlotte for her to see this guy. Oops is not an option.
Sign In or Register to comment.