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Anyone with thoracic spondylosis?



  • I'm the original poster and wanted to follow up on this. I mentioned that my rheumatologist initially suspected ankylosing spondylitis because of my SI joint pain, though I don't have any changes that appear through imaging. I've gone through physical therapy and am continuing to take diclofenac, which seems to help some with the SI joint and lower back pain. However, my thoracic pain has persisted and seems only to get worse.

    I was scheduled to have my annual visit with my primary care doctor and decided to raise this with him since I felt like this issue wasn't getting adequate attention from my rheumatologist (who has since told me to continue taking the diclofenac and come back very six months to a year to be watched for ankylosing spondylitis). My primary care doctor suggested taking the imaging of my thoracic spine to an orthopedic doctor to get his perspective. The orthopedic doctor was great--he took it image by image and showed me why he did not believe my discs are the source of my pain. Thus, while he was apologetic for not being able to do anything, I felt there was diagnostic value to this visit. The orthopedic doctor also suggested I visit a pain management doctor to get injections. He cautioned me that such injections are temporary fixes, but that there may also be some diagnostic value to going through the process.

    I recently visited the pain management doctor, and she agreed that there may be something inflammatory going on, as opposed to mechanical. Thus, she scheduled me for medial branch block injections to see if we could get some answers. I had the procedure done on the facet joints in my lower thoracic spine and felt immediate relief! This is the first time in a couple of years I haven't been hurting in this area. I'm sore from the injections, but I can tell that this is only muscle pain as it feels quite different from the deep pain I was experiencing previously. Interestingly, now that this more severe pain has subsided, I've noticed a less severe pain of the same sort located in my mid-to-upper lumbar spine. I've had imaging done there and there are no signs of degeneration in the discs or joint. In any case, I think I will follow up with my rheumatologist (or seek a second opinion) regarding the fact that I appear to have facet joint inflammation in at least my thoracic spine and possibly my lumbar spine, in addition to SI joint pain that seems to respond a bit to NSAIDs.

    Ultimately I think it was beneficial for me to think carefully about my condition (with the assistance of this website and the wealth of information it provides) and speak with another medical professional about the matter.

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