Worst back situation possible?

Well I got my MRI back, and is it so much worse than I could have imagined.

I am only 43, and devastated by the results. I only had one car accident, which did not result in anything other than banging into a side rail during snow storm.

I felt shaken but not too hurt.  I mean a walked away and just acted as if nothing happened.  Last year I hurt my tailbone, and that was much worse. and that healed up no problem.

I very baffled how it could be this bad, and I cannot recall any serious accident/incidents.

Please let me know if you know of anyone with this situation, and what you are doing today.


1. Broad based herniated disc with annular fissure with moderate spinal stenosis of T6/T7.

2. Broad based herniated disc with some protrusion on the right with annular fissure and mild canal stenosis of t7 /t8

3. Broad based herniated disc with mild canal stenosis of t3/t4/ , and t5/t6, and t11/t12.

4. Bulging annulus of t4/t5 and t8/ t9

5. No acute osseous abnormality.

A. How could I possible have this much damage, and not be bed ridden.  Currently taking naproxen 1000 mg a day, and brintellix 10 mg a day. Is that gonna cut it?

B. Am I in the early stages of pain?

C.  Should I go and try a chiropracter?  I was scheduled this week, but feel they will make it worse...honestly.. what else is left to herniate.

D.  So there it is... Do you have a worse thoratic spine, if so, what are you doing?

E. Should I even try to swim?




  • Thank you- That is great to hear.

  • challengercchallenger Posts: 1,832
    edited 07/15/2019 - 10:00 AM


    Until you see a spinal specialist do not read too much into those results, your doctor will also read your MRI, and he may see it differently than the radiologist. It does not require a specific injury to have disc problems. 

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,227
    edited 06/25/2019 - 11:31 AM

    I agree with Chip. The neurosurgeon I saw said lots of people have herniated discs and don’t even know it. Just because something is mentioned on your MRI doesn’t mean it’s what’s causing your pain.

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 147

    Hi Ed,

    That's crazy reading what you posted. I had a CT scan with dye and we have such similar results.  All my pain is in my thoracic spine and has been horrible for the last 2 years.  I have had injections, shots, microablation, burning nerves, trial with stimulator, chiropractor, deep needling, massage, shoe orthadics, pain pump implant and most recent special fisted back brace. 

    Nothing has helped besides the fitted back brace specially designed for the thoracic spine.  The doctors keep saying its osteoarthritis thats causing all of my pain which I haven't believed them.  I am now only 37 years old and I can't do nothing but let this continue to get worse.

    All of the specialists said the same thing, its osteoarthritis and nothing can be done.  Well I was talking to my current PA about everything, basically a one on one to let her know where I am at with everything.

    Well I finally got her to agree it is NOT all osteoarthritis causing my pain!! I was describing how I can move and all of a sudden I get this horrible deep pain in my thoracic where I can't move. It shoots through the T spine into my chest.  It feels like I am having a heart attack.  After 10 minutes or so it starts going away but it remains sore for some time. She looked at me and said that's a pinched nerve, that's exactly what a pinched nerve feels like.  

    FINALLY I say to her, this is what I have been saying the past 2 years but no one believed me. She's now going to talk to the head surgeon of their facility and see what he thinks our next step should be.  

    Now it's just a waiting game to see how long it will take to get back to me. I hate the waiting game!

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 279

    There is quite a bit of info on the Veritas site about the thoracic spine and the articles generally address the fact that many people do not experience pain or significant pain from thoracic spine problems. It sounds like you may be something of an exception as I am. As others recommended, don't get too excited or discouraged until you see your spine specialist or surgeon and he or she reads your scans as the experts sometimes disagree with the radiologist. Good luck!

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  • Thank you at this time, the main problem is pain inone shoulder. Yet if I use the computer Or sit too long, everything can start to lock up really bad as far as muscles and joints go. I went to the gym today And was able to use the Hydro bed. The last two times it is hard to matc and was able to use the Hydro bed. The last two times it is unpleasant

  • @jbower sorry if I missed it earlier but have you ever had a thoracic spine MRI showing any herniated thoracic discs? I seem to remember you did but if so I doubt they’d be blaming all this on osteoarthritis all this time. I hope when you see the neurosurgeon he or she can help.

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 279
    edited 06/30/2019 - 8:45 AM

    Ed, I mentioned in another post that I found out the causes of my thoracic pain from the PA reading the results of a 2016 MRI and I have problems similar to yours. From what I've read on Veritas and other sites, it seems that thoracic spine pain is not as common as problems with the cervical and lumbar spine and it's harder to find surgeons that work on the thoracic spine. Regarding your questions, personally, I avoid chiropractors as I am concerned that the adjustments might cause other problems. As far as exercise, if it causes pain I would avoid it but that is my personal, untrained, non-medical professional opinion. I echo the comments of others about seeking the advice of your medical professionals. I hope you continue to post about your journey as it seems several of us are struggling with thoracic pain. Good luck! Jerome

  • jbowerjbower wisconsin Posts: 147

    @L4_L5 I wish I could have an MRI but I can't.  My options are only x-ray or CT scan.  I have a Medtronic spinal cord stimulator which is not able to go through MRI. I had one neurosurgeon say he will not do anything without one.

  • jbower: I have a SCS, too, and you CAN have an MRI with one implanted it just has to be on the right type of MRI machine. I'll leave it to the experts to explain which one that is, but the representatives who deal with the doctor and answer my questions about my device are the ones who know where the MRIs are that can handle a spinal cord stimulator and still produce a perfectly valid MRI. For me, the SCS reps' involvement - including a day-of-MRI-testing-of-my-SCS-report they had to run on their laptop in the waiting room for the MRI tech before I went into the room, which the reps had no problem doing it appeared to be part of what they're used to - was key. 

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