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Back Pain T6/T7 disc herniation with cord compression

lisamacllisamac Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:43 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Just got my mri back T6/7 with cord compression, T5/6 and T7/8 disc herniation also C5/6disc herniation. Im only seeing my regular Md now he sent me to eight weeks PT. no good just getting worse, not sure what kind of Dr. to go to a orthopedic or ??? Im having a hard time finding answers about the cord compression Meds Im taking are celebrex, tramadol and steroid (which is not working) just looking for some answers


  • You need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon right away. Cord compression is not something to mess around with. When was that MRI taken? I'm surprised that a PT would work on you without a prescription from a neurologist or neurosurgeon with specific instructions.

    I will warn you that surgery in that area is not common because of the complexity. Alot will depend on the severity of the compression and your symptoms.

    If you are comfortable share how this happened. The more details the more someone might relate to what you are going through.

    If you haven't already start a log of what you are doing and what you feel. This will help when you see the doctor. Remember that in most cases treatment is based on your symptoms not on test results. Many of us live with herniations and never know about them. Also I always recommend taking someone with you to the doctor so you have another set of ears listening. We usually only hear what we want to hear. So take notes.

    Good Luck and keep posting. Thoracic is rare so it is important that you share.
  • Get to a doctor who deals with thorasic immediately
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
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  • I understand how frightening it is to find all of this out, all depends on the degree of compression you have. I agree you need to see a neurolgist or a surgeon who specializes in the spine. Personaly I would start with the neurologist, who will be able to give you a complete neuroglogical exam and will probably do an EMG which is a nerve conduction test to see if the cord compression is doing any damage to the muscles. It is all a lot to take in, so take a deep breath and trust your doctors. I have cord comrpession now in the thoracic spine which is being watched, and I had it for a while in the C spine, and it was watched till it got bad enough and surgery was the only way to deal with it. I also have had lumbar surgery, but waited there too till it was a must.

    Please see a doctor who can give you the right answers, and please stop the therapies you are doing if they are not helping, but that is only my opinion, and I am not a doctor. For me when PT didn't help I moved on to accupuncture which helped,and soon I plan on trying PT again, when something doesn't help, or causes me more pain I stop it, and try something else, but that is me, everyone is different.

    Good luck at the doctor, let us know what happens,
  • With my T67 annular tear, it took 3 years to finally pin down what the source was. With thoracic injury, it can also cause pain in the weirdest places and can affect your balance, bowel/bladder function and other things. I had pain/numbness/weakness down my right leg as well as "ice pick in the back" pain at T67 and T78. The MRI at T 67 looked normal. It wasn't until they did discography studies that they found the annular tear....and it totally reproduced all of my symptoms. They ruled out lumbar injury the same way. Cortisone to the T67 worked 100%! but only lasted one week.

    Anyway, the Physiatrist was the one who kept at it until he found the cause. I've had to go to some IME's and they've either been a neurologist or an orthopedist. Neither of them felt I had anything wrong with me and they were skeptical about the tests that had been done by my Physiatrist. Of course, they were working for the insurance company!

    So a Physiatrist is a great way to go since they have the expertise of both the orthopedic AND neurological issues involved with spine issues. Look one up on your MD referral site. Just a suggestion of course, since I'm certainly no expert. But I love my treating physician. Couldn't ask for better or more thorough care. Let us know what happens.
  • Hi Lisamac
    Everyone is spot on with the advice to get into see a neuro-spinal surgeon. While an Orthopedic surgeon can perform spinal surgery it is best to get the doctor who specializes in those types of surgeries, especially since your injury is fairly uncommon. I had the same type of injury only two levels, T4/5 and T 8/9. When my wife finally took me to the hospital I was in a bad way and getting worse. I was told early on they wouldn’t consider surgery unless I was symptomatic, there were several symptoms they consider trigger points. Well I had them all so after a CT Myelogram confirmed severe cord compression at the T4/5 and 8/9 levels I was off the surgical ward. But that is a whole other story.
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