I hope I'm posting to the right place. New here, but I found the site via google because their appears to be a lot of smart people here!
I recently discovered I have a disc protrusion at t7/8 and could use some guidance in understanding it and understanding who in the medical field can help me. Chronic pain sufferer, but wondering how much this plays a part.
I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia because of pain and fatigue over the past 4 years. Some of the worst pain now is in a band along my rib cage, and my pain management doctor send me to the local hospitals pain management be evaluated for a nerve block for the intercostal nerves. They did the MRI to rule out any possible spine issues. Which they assured me was routine and I should not
expect them to find something.
Low and behold, they did. They found a "small right paracental protrusion indenting the thecal sac". I spoke to the Physican's Assistant who ordered the test, and she said yes, that will cause the band of pain I'm feeling. She said that she would expect it on the right side, but it isn't impossible its causing the whole thing.
So I did some interneting, and found some information that both surprised and astonished me. Namely the number of symptoms that can be associated with thoracic disc injuries, and how similar they are to my problems for the last 4 years. Here is the trouble I'm running into - They all seem to be referencing herniations. Even the band of pain I am feeling talks about that, not protrusions. But the Physician's Assistant assured me that it was probably the cause, and that the doctor recommended an epidural for relief.
I'm so very confused. In part, because I don't know who to talk to about this. I haven't even seen or spoke the doctor I was referred to, just the PA. My pain management doc didn't have much to say about it other than the epidural is a good place to start, and if it doesn't work, they can still do the nerve block (echoed by the PA). A friend with her own spine issues who is also a nurse told me that the amount of pain doesn't necessarily correlate with the amount of damage. I have seen that echoed elsewhere, but don't know what to think. It's seems excessive, I mean this pain is just so bad and so there every day.
I'm also wondering if there is any connection to the other conditions - the Fibromyalgia I was diagnosed with. I was diagnosied with Fibromyalgia as a "diagnosis of exclusion" because they couldn't find anything else wrong. Most of the pain is leg (feeling like it's radiating down from my buttocks/hips), hip, pain in the buttocks. I had a cervical and lumbar MRI to rule out issues there back when I first started having trouble. It started with pain in the legs and arms and I always just felt so weak, especially my legs. They were like lifting logs. The pain has increased with time and moved upwards and more to my core, if you will. I have other symptoms that seem consistent with thoracic injuries listed here
Counting Reference: Craniocervical junction.
Vertebral bodies are normal height. There is mild disc space narrowing and endplate degenerative changes at t7-8. Alignment is anatomical. The cord is normal in size and signal. The conus medullaris has a normal appearance and terminates at approximately L1
T7-8 there is a small right paracentral disc protrusion/herniation indenting the thecal sac. There is no cord compression or canal stenosis. Forma are patent.
The remander of the thoracic intervertebral dis spaces are unremarkable. Prevertebral/paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.
1. At T7-8, there is a small right paracentral disc protrusion indenting the thecal sac
2. Intrinsic cord signal is normal****************************************************************************************************** Welcome to Spine-Health
One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.
So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
. Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
. Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
. Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
. Physical Therapy
. Ultrasound / Tens unit
. Spinal Injections
. Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
. Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
. How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
. Name of Medication
. How long have you been using this?
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
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It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.Specific comments :Personal Opinion, not medical advice :
While you did provide us with a lot of information, giving us some more details about the questions above would be very helpful
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 09/09/15 19:37 est