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MRI Results

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:39 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I am not new to back and neck pain, as I had an ACDF of C5/6 last year in my cervical spine.

I have had back pain in one specific spot for about 6 years now. It finally radiated around to the front, on the bottom of my rib cage and top of stomach. So the pain management doc finally ordered an MRI of the T spine, and here are the results:

1) Small midline T4-T5 disc herniation without cord impingement.

2) Small left T6-T7 disc herniation abutting the left ventral lateral cord and minimally flattening it.

Does this mean surgery? Or pain for the rest of my life?

Thanks everyone...I appreciate it.


  • As you probably know, thoracic disc problems are not that common. I'm not sure how many people on the board have much experience with thoracic issues.

    Perhaps you have seen this information already:


    If not, it contains some good, basic information that will help you to talk with your doctor.

    I hope you will be able to heal and will not need surgery.


  • That's the question I keep hearing. It doesn't sound like your herniations are pressing on nerves terribly. Could there be another source of the pain? Have you tried PT to strengthen your core hoping to releave pain?

    The areas you are talking about would be major open chest surgeries. Similar to open heart surgery since they have to open your rib cage to get it most of the time. Not a pretty surgery. I think you will find that any reputable surgeon will say that the pain you have is far less that what you could have with surgery.

    So the question they will ask is how bad is the pain?
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  • Hi-sorry to hear about the thoracic trouble. I have thoracic herniations from T6 to T12. I have also had the same pain you are describing. It's coming from the T6-7 area around my right side across my abdomen (just over the liver/gallbladder) I have had this for about 5 yrs. and it has gotten much worse over the last yr. - I am going to have a myelogram Tues. in the hopes of finding the nerve causing the pain. After that my NS says he wants to do a foraminotomy. Basically it is just making enough room for the large nerve root coming off the cord. Thoracic spine surgery is something that most DR.s will not even talk to you about unless you are facing paralysis or something else REALLY bad.

    Also, after I started having abdominal pain I also started having chest pain. It moves around like that. They even took my gallbladder out in hopes that was the problem, it was not. I have to see my cardio dr. 2 times a year just to make sure that it is "only" my back. For most people with thoracic problems it's just not much that can be done that I know of. As always, heat, ice, tens, heat, ice, tens, .....! Oh, and meds. Good luck and please keep us posted.

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