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New Member From Boston Area

mistavp05mmistavp05 Posts: 3
edited 04/22/2015 - 1:49 AM in New Member Introductions
Hey folks,
Just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I hope to learn about treatment options and share my experience.

My name is Dave. I'm 27 years old, and have three consecutive herniated discs in my thoracic spine, due mostly to an "exercise injury" from February 2013.

I've seen my PCP, a Physiatrist, and a Chiropractic Doctor. Have yet to see a spine specialist but am now in search of one as I am in the middle of a really bad pain/discomfort flare up.

What diagnostic test have you had and what are the results
Multiple MRIs resulting in the following result:

"There is mild loss of T2 signal in the intervertebral discs at T5-6 through T7-8.
At T5-6 there is a small left lateral disc protrusion which touches the thoracic cord.
At T6-7 there is a large left paracentral disc herniation which abuts and effaces the thoracic cord.
At T7-8 there is a small central disc protrusion which touches the thoracic cord."

What medications are you currently on:
None, but I take Ibuprofen at the onset of pain and sometimes it helps.

What treatments have you had so far? Conservative or Aggressive?
I've had chiropractic manipulation which had mixed results,and physical therapy which hasn't made much of a difference.

What are the recommendations/action plan from your doctor(s)
To try more conservative measures before seeking surgery.

Have you had previous spinal surgery? If so, identify when , what and the results
No prior surgery.

Here's how I injured myself originally
Picture yourself laying down on your back on a raised surface like a platform or a bed. Now imagine that you are not flexible at all and you decide you'd like to dismount from said platform by rapidly shooting your legs straight up and back, in an attempt to backflip off the platform. Midway through this attempt, I felt a weird pain in both my chest and my back, and there was a bulge to the left of my sternum. As I lowered my legs back down, the bulge (whether it be a muscle or rib, no one is certain to this day) went back into place. The constant pain continued for a couple days. That's when hindsight makes me wish I had seen a doctor immediately.

I didn't seek help until several months later, when I was at the gym and did some stretching exercises which really aggravated my injury. In the months leading up to that, and ever since, I've had weird sensations of pain and discomfort around my upper rib cage. At times it has felt like a bear claw is wrapped around my left side. At other times it feels like I am having a heart attack (have had my vitals checked, heart is normal and strong.) In addition to and caused by this feeling of a heart attack, I've experienced several anxiety attacks. I've even had a mysterious issue with my bladder that urologists could not identify after a multitude of tests.

Anything from lifting something moderately heavy (like my 25lb niece) to laughing or laying the wrong way in bed can trigger a minute or longer of intense pain, which can sometimes be remedied by shifting my body or sitting/standing in a certain way.

Basically, at this point I am highly open to the idea of spine surgery, something I had previously ruled out. I've recently been made aware of a newer minimally invasive laser surgery that doesn't require fusions.

What do you guys think? I hope I can be of some assistance to these forums as I try to get healing.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Dave - 27yo male w/ 3 Herniated Thoracic Discs!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Was your urologist aware of your spinal issues?
    Make sure all doctors are at least aware of all your conditions.

    While dealing with pain..yeah, can stir up anxiety.
    For me, anxiety lessened considerable when I had doctor who really understood and started to control my pain.
    My pain management doctor..and neurologist...has been most important.

    I have no experience re' spinal surgery....not a candidate....so can't speak to that.
    Keep us posted on how you're doing.......Hang in there
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Thanks for the replies..

    When I saw the urologist, I was convinced that a drug I was taking to stop/reverse hair loss (Finaseride) was the culprit. I think I vaguely mentioned my back issues, but he was very dismissive of that. His ultimate diagnosis was nonspecific urethritis, which is basically a blanket term for "unknown cause."

    I saw a Physiatrist who suggested surgery was a very likely, due to my timeline with no relief (We're going on over two years since the initial injury as of February.)
    He suggested I could try oral Prednizone if I wanted but he assured me it probably won't do anything. I am on my 2nd to last day and feel no relief.
    He also said that he bets I am getting all of the pain from the worst of my three herniations, T6-7, and again recommended surgery. I asked him if that automatically meant I'd need to get a fusion. He was confused as to where I got that information, because it is not always necessary.

    I also saw a Neurologist on Monday, who was actually a Physician's Assistant. She talked to me about options but said she'd like to talk to an actual neurosurgeon and then get back to me. Interestingly enough, she suggested that my bladder issues could be caused by my hernations.

    Today I got the call back. She said I should try the injections next.

    Probably worth mentioning, I am now randomly getting the feeling like I'm about to pass out or something throughout the day. Not sure if this is the actual injury or if it is an anxiety induced reaction.
    Dave - 27yo male w/ 3 Herniated Thoracic Discs!
  • Hi mistavp05 Let me see if I've got this right. You made an appointment to see a Neurologist, but instead you saw a Physician's Assistant? Why didn't you get to see the Neurologist? I have nothing against a Physician's Assistant, but they are not doctors. If I were you, I would run far away from that group. I 've never heard of such a thing. When you make an appointment with a specialist, you need to see that specialist. I would fin another doctor to help you. Good luck.
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