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Thoracic pain......or something else

yasminayyasmina Posts: 164
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:34 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Just to preface, I have an appt. with my pcp tomorrow PM.

About 2 weeks ago, I started to have spasms in the muscles behind my right shoulder blade. As time went on, it travelled to my right rib cage, central abdominal pain, then to my left rib cage. It hurts tremendously, like I have broken ribs.

To my recollection, I've done nothing to cause this.

When I take a deep breath, it hurts.

About 2 hours ago, I slipped on a 4 ft. hill, right on my backside and scraped my foot. No biggie on the scrape, but am concerned about my back.

Long story short, I had an L3-L5 fusion almost 2 years ago. It seems to have been successful, but now I'm concerned about my my upper vertebrae.

I know no one here can diagnose, but does this sound like thoracic back problems, or something else?


  • the the only thing that makes this pain bearable is to double up my dose of vicodin (5/500) and 4 otc ibuprophen ( which is prescription strenth).
  • how did things go with your pcp? Muscle spasms can hurt as much as or even worse than a break.

    I suffer terribly thru my sternum from between the shoulder blades. For me it has been determined that the problem resides from my neck - but they are not clear regarding my constant muscle spasms (even botox injections into the muslces released them from their spasms).

    let us know what happened.
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  • She thinks it may be my gallbladder, but hasn't ruled out add'l damage to my back.

    I have scripts for ct scans, xrays, and bloodwork. She want to check my liver and pancreas as well. I really appreciate how she is being proactive. She also gave me a script for double-dosing my vicodin - short term, for 2 weeks only.

    I hate the fact that I'm going to have to go back to work next week (I am a middle school teacher) either in extreme pain, or high on drugs. Well, that's an exageration, actually. When I take 2 vicodins, I don't get high, just a lot happier. But it's still not right in a school setting.

    Thanks so much for your reply. I will post again when I have any results.
  • if it is gall bladder - do the attacks come and go? Perhaps - being purposeful with your eating habits, you can decrease the amount of med to take when teaching.

    I use to teach high school kids and from time to time would sub in the middle years - God be with You!

  • I too have had terrible upper back, shoulder pain that hurts so bad it makes me a little sick to my stomach and even sweat. The upper right shoulder area was terrible! I called my doc and they too thought my gallbladder. I had some bloodwork to test my pancreas (sp) and liver all was fine. This Wed. I am having an abdominal ultrasound.

    While I have had indigestion, but sometimes my upper back just seems to be sore or hurt without the other intense pain. It seemed like a contraction or spasm. Now, who am I to say if it's something wrong with my upper back or my gallbladder. I have had spinal surgery before and wonder if it's just my back and not necessarily my gallbladder......

    I'm interested to see how your tests went.

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  • Well, I just got home from the hospital. Went Mon. to the ultrasound (mistakenly id'd it as CT scan in the OP). W/in 45 min. of having the test, they called my pcp and said that I had a blockage in my gallbladder and that I had to get to the ER ASAP.

    So I went. Turns out they found an elongated bile duct, but couldn't find a reason - no gallstones, no "sludge". While there, they did all kinds of tests, and couldn't find anything. So here I am, with a script to have an endoscopic ultrasound as an outpatient.

    One dr. did suggest that perhaps my pain was related to my spine. I will go through the EUS, but am inclined to believe it IS spine related, especially sinnce most everything else has been ruled out.

    I'm REALLY ticked off right now, as I have found out that I have been moved to another classroom. Doesn't sound like a big deal, until you think about everything one accumulates in 20+ years of teaching. I had NO notification of this. If I had, I would have been in to school before now moving stuff. How in God's name am I supposed to move my entire classroom and be ready for students by Tuesday??!!
  • OK, long time no update. It has since been determined via EUS that I have gastric and esophageal ulcers and Barretts esophagus. The gastro I saw last week has assured me that the likelihood of it turning cancerous is LESS than being struck by lightning. BUT, since my dad died of gastro-esophogeal cancer in the exact same place, let's just say I'm only somewhat relieved. I still have recurrent pain beneath my shoulder blades, particularly on the right side.

    I'm currently on leave from work due to severe clinical depression and have added to my personal pharmacy clonipin and abilify. There are issues at work that I'm not at liberty to discuss, but it looks likely that I will lose my job. I will say though, that before they move for dismissal, I will resign for health reasons (plenty of those there!) and will file for disability retirement.

    Sorry to sound like such a downer, but I'm not in a very cheerful frame of mind.
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