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Drs. Say Atypical Hemangiomas are not Causing my Back Pain

wkingmomwwkingmom Posts: 3
edited 01/12/2016 - 4:49 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
39 year old female, 17 years of thoracic back pain. I've gone to chiropractors, acupuncture, physical therapists, used TENS machine, muscle relaxers, celebrex, etc. etc. Drs told me I have fibromyalgia, told me to do exercises to improve my posture, prescribe pain killers, you know the deal.

After dealing with this for years I decided to take a different approach and went to an orthopedic surgeon. He ordered an MRI of my thoracic back. The MRI report says they found hemangiomatas in T3, T6, T7, T9, and T11, with atypical hemangiomas in T7 and T9.

When I emailed the orthopedic surgeon about the MRI report he emailed back and said "You don't have any specific structural problem in the spine that is responsible for your symptoms, indicating this is primarily a muscular problem. Regarding the hemangiomas, don't worry they're not cancerous. They are very common. They are typically very small and do not cause any problems, and I believe that is the case for you. There is nothing in your actual spinal column that you should be worried about at this time."

I faxed the MRI report to my chiropractor and he said basically the same thing - don't worry, you don't need surgery. I said, "Even if these tumors are begin, if they're growing that could be causing pain." He said "Hemangiomas don't change. If the hemangiomatas were causing your pain you would have a fracture in your spine. And you would have pain in your spine, but your pain is mainly in between your two shoulder blades."

I then said just to make sure I heard him right "So you're saying that hemangiomas don't change?"
He then got a little huffy and said "Look, you can chase this thing, have 10 MRIs done and go to all these specialists, but the answer is all going to be the same." He said I could get trigger point injections but in his experience the relief doesn't last very long.

Now, to be honest, the pain that is the worst for me is basically two spots on each side of my spine, in between my shoulder blades. But I also have pain that goes from the top of my shoulder, down each side of the spine to my lumbar spine. I don't want to sound like a hypochondriac, but maybe the pain is so bad from the muscle spasms that I don't notice any pain in my spine.

Am I silly to think that these hemangiomas might be causing my back pain? I don't understand how they can say it's not causing problems, when they only have the one MRI, so they have no idea if the tumor has changed or grown over the years. And really, should you wait until you have a fracture in order to tell if a tumor is growing?

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional so not permitted to give medical advice. Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/12/2016 - 4:49 AM
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi Folks

    Am 55 year old male whom in the past have had the usual wear and tear back pains. However about 18 months ago I started to have a continuous dull pain in my left lumbar thoracic region and an accompanied trailing of my left foot. My partner eventually encouraged me to go visit my doc to see what was going on.

    Jumping forward about 10 months I now have had 3 MRIs, numerous blood tests, and 2 referrals to a neurosurgeon who has identified demyelination of spinal cord and areas in my brain which have resulted in a diagnosis of MS. I am in denial of MS as no one wants to be told they have such a condition but am reluctant to question the medical experts.. My back pain is still persisting 18 months later and in a recent visit to my doc was told one of my MRIs showed a hemangioma which they now will monitor and carry out further blood tests to I assume check if it becomes cancerous.

    I have been presribed many pain killers ranging from cocodamol, Gabapentin,  dulloxetine, etc all to no avail as still in pain which one occasions also radiates down my legs as pins and needles.  If I have a hemangioma I can guarantee they cause pain.  Currently I take Baclofen which is a muscle relaxant and gives me some relief and better control of constipation which I had suffered as a side effect of some of the other pain killers. 

    The more I read these forums the more convinced I have a straight forward hemangioma and would like to ask if any body else on here have had similar diagnoses of MS and nerve damage due to a hemangioma and haow they have had theirs treated.

    Thx Charlie  
  • So I saw an interventional radiologist regarding my hemangiomas.  He said even though they are located in the area that I am experiencing back pain, it is very unlikely they are causing my pain.  Then he proceeded to explain why.  He said, they are all very small, they are all located in the center of the bone and not near any nerve roots.  He said there is no compression from the hemangiomas either.

    Now, if someone had just explained that to me from the beginning, I could have accepted that.  Don't tell me, "don't worry, they're benign!" and not explain anything to me!
  • reed111968rreed111968 Pennsylvania Posts: 3
    edited 07/11/2016 - 2:19 AM
    Wking mom get a 2nd opinion

    5.10 You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities names on Spine-Health.com.

    Comment edited by Liz, Spine-health Moderator

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