The first NS I saw told me that I have multiple thoracic disc herniations, which is not typical for a 29-year old female. He said that sometimes this points to a genetic disease called ankylosing spondylitis. When I went for my second opinion, which is the doctor who ended up performing my surgery, I forgot to ask him about this. Has anyone else heard of this? I was reading a little about it, and some of my symptoms seem to fit, right down to the pain in the back of the heel, especially when I first wake up in the morning. Walking down the stairs can be quite painful. I have my 6 week post-op appt with the NS on 8/23, and it's on my list of questions to ask him about.