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#163469 - 12/17/09 05:58 PM MRI of Thoracic Spine
aslee9 Offline
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Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 2119
Loc: michigan
I received the final report of the mri results and am thoroughly confused. If that's all there is, why does my upper back hurt so bad?

Findings: Alignment and marrow signal are within normal limits. There are small anterior pre-vertebral osteophytes present at multiple levels. No fracture or dislocation. The thoracic spinal cord is unremarkable. No cord compression. No significant central canal narrowing. The neural foramina are fairly patent at all levels, except for minimal right-sided neural foraminal encroachment at T4-T5 related to posterior element degenerative change. There is mild multilevel posterior element degenerative change present and changes on the right at T11-T12 encroaching on the posterolateral aspect of the thecal sac, but do not cause any significant central canal narrowing. There are tiny posterior disc and osteophyte complex changes present at multiple levels without significant encroachment on the central canal.

Impression: 1. There is overall mild degenerative change present in the thoracic spine region. The central canal is patent at all levels.
2. The thoracic spinal cord is unremarkable.

This is all Greek to me. Does the mri explain my upper back pain or not?????

Any help anyone here can give me in understanding this lingo would be so very much appreciated.

Ann
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Ann
HLAB27+
62 years old flexeril, tramadol, tramadol er, percocet, lidoderm patch, flector patch, voltaren gel + other meds for other conditions + lots of vitamins


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#163470 - 12/17/09 06:08 PM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: aslee9]
mrye4709 Offline
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Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 2224
Loc: Oklahoma
It explains better than mine did, it showed everything was unremarkable. I was in horrible pain, maybe the muscles?
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#163474 - 12/17/09 06:41 PM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: mrye4709]
aslee9 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 2119
Loc: michigan
The doctor did mention referred pain because I definitely have lower back issues that showed up on both the mri and emg test. My lower back has always hurt, but now my upper is almost hurting more than the lower.

Ann
_________________________
Ann
HLAB27+
62 years old flexeril, tramadol, tramadol er, percocet, lidoderm patch, flector patch, voltaren gel + other meds for other conditions + lots of vitamins


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#163475 - 12/17/09 06:54 PM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: aslee9]
mrye4709 Offline
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Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 2224
Loc: Oklahoma
Mine has times like that too, I think it can also come from the neck. Different parts try to compensate for anothers weakness and it snowballs. Isn't AS fun? NOT.....
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#163476 - 12/17/09 08:24 PM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: mrye4709]
jewelz Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 1545
Loc: Wisconsin
I'm pretty sure the osteophytes are because of AS. Anna, Spencer or someone could confirm this, I'm sure.

The canal narrowing can be an early sign, I believe too.

I have them both too and can tell you that I understand your pain.

I'm sorry,
Jewelz

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#163479 - 12/17/09 08:51 PM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: mrye4709]
mcda Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 52
Loc: utah
My pain doc specializes in spine disease. On everyone of my mri's he finds things that the radiologists missed also he told me that with the bone growth on the (I think he said facet joints) causes pain b/c that is where the nerves come out. So that could be part of the pain. Did you have your neck done?

I had mine(MRI) done on Nov 30Th and at C 3/4 and C6 and T1 the bone has grown completely around my spinal cord, so when I move in different directions its smashing my spinal cord causing major pain,dizziness, and numbness! I'm now waiting to hear from the surgeon. If they can do surgery they have to go in and cut the bone out from around my spinal cord I'm really really scared!!

Sorry kind of took over your post. what I was getting at is that the MRI shows our spine from laying flat and not the way we move! The extra bone growth pinches, rubs, and grinds against our nerves our bones and our muscles etc, and that's where the majority of the pain comes from... That's what my pain doc has told me!!! I hope that helps and hope you get better as much as you can this disease really sucks!!!

have your doc go over each MRI picture with you and explain whats what that always helps. Good luck

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mcda

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#163482 - 12/18/09 12:28 AM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: mcda]
winelover Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 2157
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
my thoracic area is feeling pretty good right now (good for me anyway, touch wood) but has been VERY painful in the past,
I have an xray that shows mild degeneration of the thoracic spine and I also have anterior osteophytic lipping in the lumbar spine

I think women with AS commonly get upper back pain

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#163488 - 12/18/09 06:22 AM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: winelover]
JenInCincy Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 13278
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Agree about referred pain - neck and shoulder problems can be felt as thoracic pain.

Also agree that many docs can miss subtle AS-related findings esp. if they are not explicitly told to LOOK for them on the MRI!

Osteophytes are common with osteoarthritis - they are "bone spurs." This would align with the comment about degenerative changes. They can definitely cause pain.

Also agree re: facet joint involvement and pain. At my pain dr. yesterday she mentioned that is the one nerve they can truly kill if it IS causing the pain - small silver lining!

Ann, my thoracic MRI results are equally "unremarkable" - a few slightly squished discs but no osteophytes, no encroachment; nothing to write home about. I too am left shaking my head and muttering "so why does it hurt so %$#&^%$# much???!!!"

I do wonder if there is enthesitis that the doctor simply missed? Also, if things are out of whack in the spine, the muscles around it do spasm to help hold things in place - I think LOTS of folks here have this secondary type of pain. Is this going on with you?

Wish I could help more. My worst pain has almost always been in my upper back, too, and it is SO perplexing!!
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Jen, 42, happy partner of James and Moma to Evan, 14, & Lucy, 12.5 (Crohn's dx @ age 3; on Remicade since April 2010.) I take piroxicam, Flexeril, & Nucynta ER nightly. 3 anti-TNFs didn't pan out for me.

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance." -- Hippocrates

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#163491 - 12/18/09 07:13 AM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: JenInCincy]
garden13 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 602
I now have thoracic pain too. One dr read the x-ray as squaring and almost fusing, another said probably not. The MRI read nothing. But I had a bone scan a couple weeks ago. The radiologist said everything looks fine, the dr read the images and said the radiologist is wrong and there is moderate inflammation there.

But with the inflammation comes muscle pain trying to hold myself in different positions to help the pain feel better. It's a catch 22.
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#163493 - 12/18/09 07:41 AM Re: MRI of Thoracic Spine [Re: garden13]
aslee9 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 2119
Loc: michigan
Thanks all. I had an appointment this morning with my pain specialist and I left feeling even more confused. She only looked at the last two sentences under the impression. She gave me a choice of injections or manipulation. What the h--???? She's a pain specialist (md) and also does manipulations? It concerns me because with AS isn't manipulating the spine the LAST thing you'd want? She mentioned this last month when I went in also.

I opted for the injections which I can get done on January the sixth and then I'm coming in for lumbar injections again on the fourteenth. She's also approved a temp. handicap parking permit since I'm having a few "drop foot" issues.

She changed my medication from Neurotin to Lyrica - does anyone know anything about this medicine? I complained about developing tremors on the Neurotin and she wants me to try Lyrica to see if this will eliminate the tremors.

I'm just so darn tired of it all. It seems that with each step forward I make, I take two backward.

Ann
_________________________
Ann
HLAB27+
62 years old flexeril, tramadol, tramadol er, percocet, lidoderm patch, flector patch, voltaren gel + other meds for other conditions + lots of vitamins


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