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

Severe Thoracic Pain - Any help appreciated

Hi Everyone,
Will try make this as brief as possible. I was 18 when my lumbar pain began. I ended up having surgery a few years later.
In the early 1990's I had a double spinal fusion L5-S1 and L5-L4. 2 yrs later had L4-L3 fused. Then my pelvic joint was out and was told i needed to have the sacro-iliac joint fused on the left side, due to severe leg numbness.
I will say each surgery was successful on paper, but it only lasted 6months to a year max before it flared again in the next level of spine. Then they found out i had DDD and degeneration of the spine.
In 2001 I had a spinal stimulator implanted which was the best thing I ever did, was off all pain meds. Unfortunately in 2002 I was in a car accident, sitting at red light and a car rear-ended us. I had severe whiplash, so now have neck problems as well, but it made a mess of the spinal stimulator. They could not get it working again and because of the damage could not replace it. I have left leg weakness and numbness, and left foot drop, lumbar and thoracic pain and neck pain.

Hence here I am 11yrs on, and I’m having severe thoracic problems around the T11-T12 level. I don't know how to deal with it, It seems if I compensate for my lumbar pain I stir my thoracic pain up.
I’m not looking at having any surgery unless it was critical. I was wondering how others have worked around it and what have they done that helps them to cope on a day to day basis.
I don’t know how to proceed and am struggling on a daily basis.

I have had chronic pain for years but have managed it the best I can in the last 15yrs, have my good and bad days but knew what I could and couldn’t do most of the time.
The last six months have been absolute hell and don’t know how much longer I can keep going if it doesn’t improve a little. I’m more house bound as I struggle to drive now. I struggle to stand after ½ hour and walk long distances. It’s really affecting my life.
Please if you have any ideas or advice Id really appreciate it.
Thank you


  • I am so sorry that you are suffering such severe pain and that your once very effective SCS is no longer working.
    Thoracic spine pain is just horrible!

    Have you seen a pain management consultant? It sounds like you need advice from one. I agree that thoracic surgery is to be avoided unless it is essential. Have you tried ESIs for this pain? I have some thoracic disc and osteophytes problems in my thoracic spine and my neurosurgeon has offered me these to see if they will help. At the moment I am coping, but it is nice to know that there is something I can try if necessary. There are people on here who have got relief from them.

    I think you will find the support on here will be very helpful. Being able to talk to others in a similar position is very comforting.

  • Victoria40VVictoria40 Posts: 4
    edited 07/25/2013 - 3:14 PM
    Thank you for answering jellyhall. I've seen a few pain specialists over the years. They either want to reduce your meds lately or switch you to lyrica, neurontin which I don't cope well with, turns my brain to mush. My General Practitioner is great looking after meds for me.
    May I ask what is ESIs ?? I'm a little in the same boat, I don't want to exhaust everything just yet as I'm only 41 and have a long way to go, I hope.
  • I have PM ed you. Have a look in your in box.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 07/26/2013 - 12:33 AM

    ESIs are Epidural Steroid Injections. :-)

  • I have suffered with back pain since pregnant with first child in 1984. Had first surgery, a lumbar lamenectomy of L4-5 in 1994. I had 2 more lamenectomies of L4-5 in Oct and Dec of 2008. Although they were painful along with the sciatica nothing compared to the thoracic pain I experienced in 2012. I started having chest pain in Jan. And went through stress test and heart Cath. While laying flat on table with head at 30 degree angle for 3 hrs to recuperate I had the most excruciating pain in my mid back that surpassed labor pains. Left went to my primary whom I worked for and had stay which showed problem in thoracic. Was sent for MRI and back to my NS. Then CT scan showed calcification so was sent to Duke University to specialist who is one of few who do thoracic surgeries. Had microdiscectomy of T7-8 in May 2012 which did not alleviate pain but did take care of stenosis of cord which was severe. Still have moderate to severe pain over a year later and surgeon does not know what to do next.
    I hate to post a downer and hope you get relief for your pain. There is not a lot of info on thoracic pain and surgery. Say it is nearly impossible to herniated in this area but I did. If I can help answer any questions please don't hesitate to PM me.

  • Kelli Thanks for responding and im sorry your suffering as well. Its terrible Drs put us in the too hard basket at times.
    Don't be sorry about posting a downer, as I know its never going to be all positive. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info on what helps thoracic pain either.
    Hope you get the answers and help you need as well.
    Has anyone tried a thoracic brace ??
Sign In or Register to comment.