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thoracic back pain



  • I've had lumbar, cervical, and thoracic surgeries, all involving fusions. I am just 2 months post op after the thoracic surgery during which a fusion (T5-T6) was done, a syrinx was removed, and a 4 (T4-t7) stage laminectomy was performed. I am experiencing chronic pain across my shoulder blades and wonder if it will ever ease. I still need more surgeries both on my cervical and my lumbar spine. My neurosurgeon claims that future sugeries may help but at this point he would not attempt to operate anywhere until I am completely over the thoracic surgery. I am on muscle relaxers (Soma) and percodone for pain. I try to only take them when really needed to get through the day. Any one else experiencing this problem? Thanks.
  • Though I never had any surgeries on my spine....they are still not certain of what the problem with my thoracic is yet. Since they found problems in the cervical I spent most of 2008 working (radiofrequency) on the cervical. Their thought was that the pain I felt in my mid back, between the shoulder blades was referred pain from the neck. I believe now they may be convinced that it is a seperate issue.

    You may wish to begin a whole new topic with your questions, so that you may get more responses.

    Welcome to spine health. I hope that you can find some answers to your questions and support. I know that it has been a real help to me...just to know you are not alone and getting some feedback from other who suffer like you do.

    Keep all updated to your status. Take care.
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  • Hi Baffled-

    Here is a tip that took me too long to actually accept. Do not wait until you really need the meds bc by then it is too late. When you wait until it is too late you make your body spasm from the pain. Then the pain gets sooo bad you have to wait longer for the meds to kick in.

    I know it is very hard to accept this tip, but you must do it. It saves you a lot of grief. I wish I would've actually accepted my own advice sooner than I did. I made myself suffer far too long.

    I don't want you to do that. So please don't wait that long. Please don't wait until you really need it, it isn't better for you I promise.

    Hope today is a good day for you. Please take head to my tip.

    Lisa >:D<
  • I too have the pain that makes breathing very difficult. I am scheduled for a FCE today and I am very afraid of how I will feel tomorrow if I can even get out of bed.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,427
    are very difficult to correct. most of the thoracic problems can be identified via mri, and other diagnostic tests.
    the thoracic spinal area


    the thoracic discs 1-5 play a major role in your upper back. when you have problems with some of these discs, you can experience a wide range of problems. some are:
    - burning stabbing pain in the middle of the back
    - stabbing pain at the base of the neck
    - radiating pain up into your shoulder
    - chest pains, that can just about mimic a heart attack

    thoracic surgery is still in the dark ages when you compare it to the other spinal surgeries. there has been a lot of forward progress with these procedures, but still i believe they are risk and come with no qurantees.

    the thoracic discs are strong, it takes a lot to damage them. so when you do damage them, you could be dealing with some major pain. most of my herniated thoracic discs are in the top area. no physical therapy,
    spinal injection, acunpuncture, etc provided any relief.
    the first time in almost 10 years did i have relief was when i started to see a thai deep tissue massage person.
    the aggressive style of this type of massage was able to get
    deep into the rhomboid muscle, which is one of reasons you can have so much pain with upper thoracic discs
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • Thanks again, for that diagram. though, my mri shows no problems mechanically I have the burning, stabbing pain b/w the shoulder blades, pain into the shoulders and I have even gone to my gp to check my heart, from the chest pain! when things get real bad, it will go into my flanks (feel close to kidney stone type pain - had those too - 3 times)

    I am going - for botox for my back and neck - suspicion of a significant tear in my t muscle. Hopefully this will help, since the spine itself seems fine and burning of the nevers t345 did nothing. Will let everyone know the results after 2/13
  • Have any of you had a bone scan? The test of nuclear med injected and the 'hot' and 'cold' spots are seen
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,427
    One thing that it did show up was the mass of arthritis in my shoulder, elbow, hip and knee joints. Kinda of interesting looking at the print out of a bone scan. You see your a outline of your body and then there are this 'white' spots that fill certain areas. Those filled spots are generally trouble spots
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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