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Thoracic surgery

I am facing possible thoracic spinal surgery due to spinal cord compression of 2 discs. I have one personal contact to call. Has anyone had this surgery and can tell me your recovery experience?


  • Thanks! I do have a very special surgeon. I will talk to him about the options. While I have no major thoracic symptoms I have spinal cord compression in 2  discs and that is serious. A personal story-a friend of mine's mother was doing sit ups and was paralyzed. She did not know she had thoracic injury. I wouldn't know either if not for a request by me to have that MRI after my neck injury. We were both nurses with lots of heavy labor for years. I have had serious neurological from my neck and lower back so I KNOW that if it happens with my thoracic I may not recover-ie paralyzation.

  • Yes, thoracic surgery is a beast and very scary. Why did you think you needed surgery?

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  • So if your cord is compressed and that is dangerous how are you doing now? I have been coasting with my 2 thoracic cord compressions but after hearing about my friend's mom who was paralyzed doing sit ups I started to rethink things. I know that surgery is extremely complicated. You can be damned if you do and damned if you don't..Huge decision.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    I have 4 herniated thoracic discs.  When this first happened, the overall decision between my doctor, surgeon, family and myself was that the surgery to correct this may not be the best decision.  

    Because of multiple prior spinal surgeries, along with other spinal conditions, my spine was considered somewhat unstable to go through that procedure.  Plus, there was no real high level of assurance that the problem would be resolved.  That was back in 2006
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 240
    Hi, I am fused from T4-T10. Rods and screws. It is not easy. And he just did a posterior. I could not even imagine a anterior/posterior approach.  But, I fractured and compressed a couple. That was 15 months ago. And no better.  But can walk. Mine was done because of an injury. The doctor told me he couldn't fix me but only stabilized my spine from falling forward. Im not the best person to talk to only because I will not be back to the way I was. Just make sure you have a good doc.  And talk about all options. 
    Greg fisher
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  • Ron, do you have spinal cord compression with those thoracic herniations?
  • Thank you Greg. Terrible thing to go through. I take it you were not walking well before surgery?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434

    When you talk about spinal cord compression.   I have cervical stenosis and just had major decompression surgery for my lumbar stenosis.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Yes itsautonomic, I read that paralysis is rare yet there are a multitude of stories of this. I know "rare" well as a Cervical Epidural threw me in to early Cervical Myelopathy that lead me to decompressing my spine! No specialist wants to even document this for the public to see! I also had scary Cauda Equina symptoms (that resolved) with my Lumbar spine. So the fear of paralyzation is very real for me!
  • My neurosurgeon in NYC, whom I trust very much, told me that where my thoracic herniations/compression are located the surgery is too risky and complicated.1/200 are paralyzed just from the surgery he tells me. My worse news was that I am going to have neurological problems(Myelopathy)from my thoracic cord compression at some point and as far as I think right now, surgery is NOT an option. He also told me I WILL come out worse than I walked in! Spinal stuff is so difficult!! How are you doing? Can't be easy after that surgery.
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