Herniated theocratic disc

I have a herniated disc in my t11 t12 space and while I finally got my fibro back in check my back seams to be causing me some issues. The last MRI I had was years ago and my doc sent me for X-rays which showed a negative lumbar spine and a degenerative disc in the t11 t12 space. I have some leg weakness and sometimes cannot get up from a squatting position. I also have pain in my back the seams to me like it radiates up into my shoulders. I also have a band of pain just under my brests all the way around in my ribs that can be shooting, stabbing, or aching. My doc says the disc shouldn’t be causing that pain but might. He currently has me on another antiinflamitory which once again doesn’t seam to be doing anything. I was wondering if anyone else had any herniations in their thoracic spine and what kind of issues does it cause you. Thanks for your input.

Hey there,

My dad has herniated his discs at C2C3 and L4L5 and I have had to look after him for a while because of it. He has now been operated on and had a ACDF (anterior cervical discetomy and fusion) operation in his neck to stabilise it.

His main symptoms were intermittent weakness in his hands and feet, including pins and needles. His extremities were cold to the touch when the rest of him was warm. He also had pain radiate from his back and neck through his arms and legs.

Have you spoken to your doctor about the possibility of having it operated on? It is a reasonably straightforward procedure and would eliminate the need for medication or at the least reduce your need for medication. If you are interested I can talk you through what they can do for you.

I hope things go well for you whatever happens. Remember you are not alone. If you need to talk then I am here.


Yeppers! I went to back doctor after back doctor. First one wanted to do major surgery on my spine after a five minute consultation. I got 2nd and 3rd opinions and they were horrified by his suggestion. As were 4th and 5th opinions. They said it wouldn't help at all, as the herniation was mild and not narrowing the space between the spine. Mine is in the lower spine and radiates into the buttock. Had multiple cortisone treatments on the SI joint which didn't help at all. Horrible pain for 5-6 years from the SI joint. Saw a pain doc who thought it might be due to arthritis above the SI joint and radiating down into it and he suggested cautherizing those nerves. Well he did it, and I was in agonizing pain for 3 weeks. But now I'm feeling better and some of the pain from the SI joint is gone. On a good day it's 70 percent gone. On a not good day, it's 50 percent gone. So the procedure did help. But it's not permanent; once the nerves grow back the pain'll return.

I mention this as maybe arthritis is also coming into play in your back. I don't know if fibro also makes it worse. It's hard for me to distinguish one pain from the other. But you could ask your doc about the arthritis and see if the cauterizing might be an appropriate treatment for you.

Thanks mike, thanks petunia. The last MRI I had was before I got pregnant with my now 3 1/2 year old so I think it was 5 years ago and that’s also when I went through seeing if it was my back that was causing my issues. One guy said yes another said no and one guy said surgery is a last resort because of where the herniation is (it’s in the front) my ribs block it so they would have to go in through the front and move everything, which if it would for sure stop it I would totally go for it. After that I went for epidural steroid injections twice and at the time it didn’t help, but I’m wondering if it did and I just didn’t realize it. That would explain why it started again, like maybe it wore off, or else it got worse. After the docs office called me with the xray results I had to call them back because the back pain got worse and doc put me on antiinflamitory and when I asked about maybe having a MRI the nurse seamed hesatant even though the doc had mentioned it. It’s been almost 2 weeks and I have no relief. I have had a couple of better days and I think that’s whats keeping me from calling them back yet. I hate calling them cause sometimes it’s like I can’t get anywhere and it’s really kind of annoying, but I guess I’m just gonna have to suck it up and do it. Thanks for your advice.

You would be better off pestering them until they help you because at least then you may get some relief. Some doctors are lazy and will do the minimum necessary. If you push them then they will do more to help.

Just a suggestion; if you are taking anti-inflammatory pills you should ask them for a proton pump inhibitor, such as omeprazol or lansoprazol so that you do not end up with your stomach bleeding or ulcerating; especially if the anti-inflammatory is going to be a long term thing.

Finally if you have problems come on with losing sensation in your feet and hands, or any incontinence at all then you should probably consider having surgery if you can because it means that nerves are being damaged more seriously than just pins and needles would be an indicator of.

Take care.


I have 2 herniated discs in L3-L5 and yes it causes all those symptoms but I was told surgery might not help and there is many risks involving it. I opted not to have the surgery and they are treating it with pain meds. I have pins and needles and numbness also coldness and heat. Your back is all nerves so yes it can contribute to the fibro and even make it worse, as it has in my case. My muscle relaxors and a heat pad on it help slightly but I know of nothing that will permenantly help me. I have had 8 MRI's, 2 CT scans and 10 xrays in the last 2 yrs to figure it out. Yes you have to nag the dr in order to get them to help. Good luck and before you opt for the surgery get a second opinion and seek out more than 1 surgeon just in case.

Thanks guys, I have some weakness in my legs, like trouble getting out of a chair and up from a squating position, but nothing extremely bad. I am defanatly calling the docs tomorrow. Thanks again and hang in there.

thank you and you too and good luck

Dear Rebecca,

Glad I came back through these, I had internet access down due to severe storms.

I have DDD, and a bulging disc, my arms and fingers on the outside are numb, Degenerative Facet, Spondylitis, Stenosis. I also have that rib pain right where the bra goes around, it has been so bad that I could not pick up a tea cup, husband took me to Doc, they held me down he have me a shot of Demerol in the sternum area! Whew, that was memorable, but it knocked me out of that pain cycle, it has returned, no where as bad!

I'll tell you, if they had a dx like yours they would think otherwise! No wonder you suffer, girl!

I've got just the gal to talk to you about herniated discs. I'll send her a message.

I am glad you know something, finally, but sorry to hear what it is! Stay strong, as JC says. We are all here for you!

Love and hugs,


HI Mike, how did Dad do after the surgery? Did everything clear up, and did he have any problems from the surgery?
Just asking, because this seems to be my next step. I don't hear too many success stories, so I'm a little nervous about doing it.

Ah, yeah. It's a very major step. My first "specialist" said I needed this done after a five minute visit. At first I was all for it but after reading about it, I changed my mind (he never told me that being overweight could affect the success of the fusion.) Just read up before you do it, Renie, although I'm sure you already have. Make sure you know all of the ins and outs of the procedure and can live with it if it doesn't go quite as planned.

After the surgery he was sore for a few days but much better after that. The surgeon he had had carried out over 2000 ACDF operations (but only two on the vertebrae my dad had operated on) and has never paralysed anyone or caused anyone permanent damage xx

Hmmmm...I wonder if the pain in the breast area is our good friend, costochondritis, again, courtesy of fibro:


Might be worth looking into, Becca.

You have been given some good advice here, Rebecca, hope that it has helped you. One more thing I would like to say is to go to a good hospital, a teaching hospital, to get their opinion on surgery. From all I have read on the Psoriatic Arthritis site of BF and another group I belong to who have spinal stenosis, they warn you away from the quick fix 'laser clinics'. They will tell you anything, promise everything! Take care to stay clear of them.

I wonder the exact same thing!

Isn't it horrible, that we don't want to call our doctors offices for things we really need, because they make us feel like we are begging for help? Like Mike said, keep pestering them! Don't worry about the nurse's opinion.... they look at it from a different perspective than the doctors. Go over her head, leave a message for HIM to call you back because you are having pain....then talk to him directly.

SK wanted me to fill you in: My issues are all cervical and lumbar-sacral, not thoracic. But I know there is definitely pain!
Here's the rundown: 45 years old, severe osteoporosis, herniated C3-C6, and L3-L5, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis. I was told 3 years ago that if I didn't have my C-spine fused x4, I would probably become paralyzed very easily. (never had it done!)

Symptoms: Pain in spine at those points, chronic numbness and tingling in both arms and legs, weakness in arms and legs, peripheral neuropathy in feet, severe bursitis in hips, "electric shock" type pain that generates from my LS spine and shoots around my abdomen, bladder issues, chronic headaches, chronic stiff neck, swelling in my legs and hands, muscle cramps, and I'm sure there is more! The LS herniations have caused sudden-onset scoliosis, which REALLY threw things out of whack. My left hip is suddenly 3" higher than my right, and I can't stand for more than a few minutes, but walking is not too bad.

The neurosurgeon had done a second MRI, and she said that things had changed over the 3 months since my previous test, that it was no longer as urgent. She explained that the disc material can move around, or heal somewhat. So sometimes it can be pressing directly on your spinal cord or a nerve, and then retreat, or start pressing on a different nerve. My symptoms do change, sometimes if I hurt my back, all the pain moves to the other side of my body. I never know what to expect!

I'm glad Renie talked to you, she goes through hell, just like you, just like anyone with herniated discs do, there are quite a few who have this terrible injury! I hope all of you can get some serious relief!

Big hugs,


I have 10 herniated discs with this fibro. I have herniated thorasic disc from t5-t11, plus in the c and L areas, cant remember which ones. Have had the thorasic since 2000. Been to several surgans and all say the same thing. I think thorasic is the worst of them all.

Wow thanks. Yes the last time I went to se a surgeon they told me surgery was a last resort cause they have to go in through the front. Some docs tell me it causes my band of pain in my ribs and some say it can cause it. Thanks again.

Thanks I almost missed that everyone posted on here. I talked to the good nures last week, my favorite one, last week, she actually has a sister who has fibro so that’s a bonus. Well any way she clairified where my pain was and I told her that I am also having some potty problems. She talked to the doc and I had an MRI today and I have to wait to get in to see a pain management doc, but at least I am headed in a forward motion. Thanks for all the advice and thanks for renie.