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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to the board.

As you know, members are not doctors...just fellow spineys who share our experiences in the wonderful world of spine problems..... So, I feel a bit guilty saying this, because I know you probably are attached to your PCP, BUT it really sounds like your problems have not been handled optimally.

I had a similar experience and wasted over a year believing that my internist knew what he was doing when he was treating me for sciatic pain. He sent me for the epidural steroid injections, which had almost no effect. Finally after over a year, he finally told me he would refer me to a spine specialist if it would make me feel better. He was confidant that the specialist would confirm what he had been telling me. Surprise! Two minutes after walking in the examining room door I was told he suspected I needed a fusion...but that he needed an x-ray to be sure.

There was a very small detail on the MRI that made him suspect that I had a spondylolisthesis which was likely causing my pain. It was a subtle detail that was beyond my internist's orthopedic training he received in med school.

The fact that you have had two very invasive discograms and have yet to see either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon makes me shiver.
And, that you had an attempt at a spinal cord stimulator without ever getting an accurate diagnosis is startling.

Neurostimulators are not some casual form of pain management. They are usually attempted as a treatment of last resort, after all conservative treatments and surgeries have been tried and have failed. Doctors tend to pass them off as a simple solution, but there are, in fact, many potential complications.

Resolving spine problems is not like going to the doctor and getting a prescription for an illness. It can be very frustrating and can involve a variety of specialists before you finally figure out what is the pain generator (s).

Pain in the chest is not normally a symptom associated with spine problems. A woman I know, who has a lot of degenerative spine problems, arthritis, etc. had something that reminds me of this. You might want to look it up and read about [B]Costochondritis[/B]. Pain in the chest wall around the breastbone (or sternum) is the most common feature of this problem.

Chondritis refers to inflammation of any cartilage in the body. Costochondritis refers specifically to inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone . The chest pain of costochondritis sometimes is severe, and many people think they are having a heart attack when the pain starts. I understand it is somewhat localized and it hurts when you press on the tissue around the area. My friend who has it also has rheumatoid arthritis and various spine issues. It might be worth checking with a doctor to see if this could be your problem. Other than finding a name for the condition, I don't know that they can do much for it.

From your description of the pain, especially the part of it hurting so badly when you move, sounds like it could be costochondritis.

So, please find a well-trained, experienced spine specialist. (This would be a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the neck and back.) Take your MRI with you and go for an evaluation. Please let us know what you find out and what plan of treatment is recommended. Also, keep the faith. You will find answers, and you will be able to feel better!

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