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  • RobbedRRobbed Posts: 3
    edited 04/13/2014 - 12:45 PM
    Hi I have just read the forum on wedge fractures in the Thoracic spine and found it useful. I came of a mountain bike 8 years ago and sustained a wedge fracture to. My T7 vertebrae. I have been in pain ever since and take 10 tramadol each day to get through. At night I take amiltryptiline to help me sleep. I have recently come back from a skiing trip where sadly some stupid guy skied into me from behind at great speed knocking me unconscious and although I was wearing a crash helmet and sports back brace he. Has made my wedge fracture worse and also broke my leg. I have been in terrible pain and although now home from France where I spent 3 days in hospital where poor Michael Schumacher is at present I feel like I have bee n hit by a truck. Had I not been wearing my back brace I have been told I would be in a wheelchair or much worse which is very scary.
    The consultant is going to try some pain block injections into the spinal area to see if it helps.i run my own construction company so am losing money all round. If any of you go skiing I urge you to wear a back brace and crash helmet.
    All the best
    Robbie D

    Post edited by Sandi- Please see the forum rules at the link below for more information.
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  • Rob I also have an 80% wedge fracture of T5. I was misdiagnosed for 8 years. I came off my motorbike and took all the pressure up through my right leg - broke my right ankle, ribs damaged my scapula and shoulder as well on my right side. I also sustained a lot of damage to my left side as well but that did heal.

    Wedge fractures of the thoracic usually occur to the front. Mine didn't, it wedge crushed to the right side. I have no idea why this was not picked up in tests and specialists which cost around $30,000 of my own money. I was in so much pain I would have done anything to get it to stop. I was told mine would get better too and it never did.

    What the physio realised is that my T5 wedge fracture was wedged to the right hand side, only 20% of vertebrae was there, therefore my T4 had nothing to hold it in place and was slipping out onto my spinal cord and nerves. I could actually feel my ribs sticking out to the right.

    My physio now tapes my vertebrae, shoulder and scapula into the correct mechanical position. She physically moves my T4 off my spinal cord and nerves. After 8 years it was instant relief of pain that was supposed to be in my head as it had 'healed. Yep it had but not in a good place.

    It is very uncommon to damage your thoracic spine if you are fit. So not many Drs have encountered it. It normally is caused by trauma. Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

    During a pain clinic, which had me on the floor by the afternoon crying with pain, that was fun, but I did realise my hips were out of alignment. I had my right shoe built up 10cm on the right side which must be how much my vertebrae was crushed on the right.

    T7 should be able to be operated on posterially. If you opt for an operation and find someone highly qualified in thoracic, it should have been sooner rather than later and you need to do a lot of research. Most surgeons will not operate just for pain - especially if you can still walk. The spinal cord is narrowest in your thoracic spine, also the space between your vertebrae and you spinal cord is the narrowest in thoracic. So it doesn't have to move much to cause pain. It is where all your vital organs are.

    I am on the same meds (not Tramadol, but MSContin I believe it is a more natural medication for your body) but did not find them very effective until they combined my meds with a muscle relaxant.

    So if it hasn't healed by now maybe it is crushed to the side. I don't think they can pick this up on MRI's at least they didn't with me, unless they were all assuming it was crushed to the front. They were just 'puzzled' why I was in so much pain. At $10 bucks a minute it would have been helpful if they worked out the puzzle and thought out side the box.

    My T5 looks so bad on my MRI's, it even flips me out to look at them, everyone concentrated on my T5 but it was actually the one above causing the pain. Dr's think the thoracic vertebrae is stable and it usually is unless it is crushed to the side. Mine was coming out of place constantly.

    It would be worth going to a sports physio like I eventually found and having them look at the ones on top (T6) and below (T8) your T7 to see if they are in the correct mechanical position. Your damaged vertebrae forces the joints on top and below to take more pressure to compensate for your T7. If they aren't get the physio to tape everything back in place or your muscles will spasm it back to the same pain position it has been in for 8 years.

    There is an interesting article I found in the American Spine Journal about it. I only read the abstract but that explained what happens really well.
  • Thank you so much for your very detailed reply for me it is so interesting to read all of your advice. I will definitely go to see a sports physic to see if he can help as i am in constant pain. At night i take amytriptyline to help me sleep otherwise i would not achieve any sleep. After this current skiing accident i came home and did not sleep for 3 days it was awful and had terrible anxiety and stress. the doctor gave me valium which was really good but will not prescribe any more in case i get hooked on it. It is dreadful living with back pain and i really sympathise with everyone on this forum who are suffering with so much pain. I wish you all good luck with it and i welcome any advice that may help. Sorry cannot thank you personally as your name is not on your reply. look forward to maybe hearing from you in the future. All best Robbie D
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