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Inflammed end plates at T11 / T12 - options?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hello all,

I recently seemed to have hit a slump in my quest to be pain free as a result of two discs that I damaged almost 8 years ago by using improper lifting techniques.

The first disc I had treated was the L5/S1 which I had done the IDET procedure, PLDD (percutaneous laser disc decompression), and facet block. Before this was done, I had pins and needles in my feet, terrible low back pain, and could not sit for more than a few minutes at a time. After this surgery, the majority of that went away.

Upon healing from the IDET, I still had mid back pain, which became more obvious after the lower back pain symptoms subsided. It was at that time I had another MRI done which revealed a herniation at the T11/T12 level, which gives me constant mid back pain and muscle spasams.

Through a discogram, it was determined that the PLDD might help that disc. I had the PLDD done on that disc on 4/2007, and after the normal healing period, I was about 75% pain free for about 4 months. After that, it slowly came back little by little. As a result, I went back to my doctor and he tried an epidural steroid injection into that disc. It relieved 90% of my pain for about a week. We tried a second injection and it only worked for a day or two.

The next step was another MRI. That revealed that the disc appeared roughly the same, however the vertebral endplates showed swelling. I had a blood test that showed no infections.

This is when my pain care doctor said there wasn't much more he could do for me. So I went back to my orthopedic doctor, who said all he could do was a fusion, which is not easy at the thoracic levels, according to him.

I know where the pain is coming from, and what seems to be causing it, but a fusion seems to be risky. Does anyone have any advice or know of other options? Has anyone else experienced inflammed endplates? I am considering seeing a neuroseurgon or another orthopedic surgeon for a third opinion.

I have done physical therapy, seen a chiropractor, pretty much have done it all, with no lasting results.

Thanks and sorry for the long post!


  • Jad 1977, I to have been told they cannot help me with bulging T11 T12, your pain is the same as mine, I have had epidural pain injections and that was 8 weeks ago, all ok but for this week had a return of the old pains dont know what to do next, I am going back to work if it kills me as I dont want to stay away from the normal way of life any longer. I have lots of lumber pain as well as SI joint promlems, had the two SI joints done last week all ok right now keep fingers crossed.
    Are you able to work? I have a desk job but I will have to move around a lot or I will seize up, I have been off for 15 months and now its time to go back what else can I do I cannot do the normal things a father should do so all I have left is work.
  • Thanks for the reply! I do work, same as you, at a desk job. I also seem to "seize up" worse when I am not up and moving around, and the worse time is usually when I get up first thing in the morning.

    From what I read, thoracic lumbar pain is difficult to treat, but bulged thoracic discs are not that uncommon. What I plan to do is continue on with finding the right doctor for a third opinion, not sure what else to do.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    easy to correct. To start with the Thoracic discs can be broken down into two major areas

    T1-T7 - Effect upper back, shoulders, chest
    T8-T12 - Effect abdominal area and some leg pain

    These discs are connected for the most part to your rib cage so they are generally very strong and problems 'should' not occur. But if you read the posts here and just look at Spine-Health articles about Thoracic discs, more and more people are suffering from this discs. They are in an area that is very difficult to treat. For years, I had gone to so many different Physical Therapists, had many conservative treatments (acupuncture, spinal injections, traction), but none really took care of the problem. The surgical procedure for correcting Thoracic problems is also very difficult and complex. It calls for coming in through the front, cracking the breastbone , moving aside a lung to get to the T-disc. Not every surgeon is really up on this procedure. In the past several years progress has been made with the surgical procedure. There are some that go through the back or side.
    Honestly, I am not all that up on those newer procedures.

    I still suffer from T-disc problems, I am dealing with 4 herniated T-discs and problems in some others. My form of relief has come via Deep Tissue Massage which addressed a problem with a deep muscle called the Rhomboid. That has help making that muscle more pliable thus relieving some stress on the T-discs. Aqua Therapy, Using a large green exercise ball has also helped. Surgery is not an option for me, so I always need to find ways to manage the pain and discomfort.

    There are many members on this site that suffer from T-disc problems and I believe some of them have been through the surgical procedure.

    Look over some of the other posts here, search the main
    Spine-Health site for Thoracic to get more information regarding the problem.

    Good luck
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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