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T10-11 Disc Bulge

babyruthbbabyruth Posts: 260
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:01 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
hey all. brief background - i've had 4 lumbar surgeries with my last one being in 2008, a fusion at L4-L5-S1. about 10 years ago, a disc bulge was found at T10-11. this was an incidental finding because the MRI was of the lumbar spine, and this thoracic outlier just happened to appear at the upper quarter of the lumbar MRI. i haven't really had any significant pain in my mid-back throughout my life to date until i had the lumbar fusion in '08. dang! dang!

my avatar shows a pic of the said area, and as you can see the T10-11 disc abuts the cord but does not compress it. this MRI was taken in 2005 or 2008. this finding hasn't been an issue because i haven't had mid-back pain, nor have i shown any signs of mylopathy.

however, now when i wake up on my back sometimes i have massive pain and spasms from the bottom of my rib cage to the sternum. it wraps all the way around, as if i were wearing a really tight belt. an OTC anti-inflammatory usually gets rid of it in 15 minutes or so.

i really hope i am not starting to show significant issues with my thoracic spine. the reason i am not sure is because the area in which i experience this pain does not particularly comply with what we would typically expect to see at T10-11 as per dermatomal mapping. with an issue at T10-11 one would think that my pain would rear its ugly head around the belly button. the bottom of the rib cage to the sternum is radically different than pain around your navel area.

i would appreciate any wisdom anyone with thoracic spine issues (or anyone else) can offer. having a gammy lumbar spine is bad enough, i don't think i could tolerate long-standing thoracic issues too. bummer .... thanks folks. i haven't talked to my doctor about it 'cause i'm hoping it will just go away ...

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