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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I will chronicle my fight with thoracic back and chest pain and my fight with doctors:

1. MRI- Thoracic spine t8/t9 small central herniation; Fractured costa chondral joints all a result of accident in September 2006

My symptoms- burning, tingling, numbness in thoracic spine. Discomfort, sharp pains, aching pains up and down both chest and thoracic spine. Inability to rotate. Trouble sleeping. Painful labored breathing.

I tried the following therapies:

* Accupuncture- Ineffective
* DRX9000- Ineffective
* TEMS- Ineffectice
* Chiropractic- Ineffective
*Physical Therapy/ Mckenzie stretches- Ineffective
*Drugs- Neurontin, Mobic, Percoset- Ineffective
*Neuromassage- Ineffective
*Vitamins and Juices- Ineffective

I consulted with two very prominent spine surgeons. They both said after these therapies that there was nothing more they could do. That operating on the thoracic spine was too risky. That I should live with the pain.

I researched the area and found that these docs were not experts in thoracic surgery nor were they experienced in the minimally invasive methods. They were old school fusion guys. The research from acclaimed journals say that using traditional thoracic surgical methods would result in a 50% complication rate. With the VATS (Video Assisted....)method, the complication rate was 14% with a 6% risk of paralysis or death.

Today I saw a surgeon experienced in the thoracic spine and he told me there is plenty of hope and that surgery may not be necessary. He, unlike the other bozos, told me he that in order to fully evaluat me he needed the following:

1. Flexion/Extension x ray
2. CT scan of thoracic spine

From this he could discover whether bony material was irritating the nerve. If it is then he could either operate or nerve block. If the CT scan is inconclusive he would order a CT myelogram and also order facet injections. He mentioned the facet injections could solve the problem because they have therapeutic value. If the facet injections do not solve the problem then the injections would still serve the purpose of allowing him to zone in on the areas which are causing the pain. He mentioned that diagnosing the exact cause of pain from a thoracic injury is difficult but it can be done. He must further determine whether my back is causing the chest pain or the chest is causing the back pain. This guy sat for an hour with me patiently answering questions while the other prominent bozos sat with me for five minutes and then ran to the next patient. I will keep any of those interested and upon my recovery recommend.

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