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Chronic Pain After Thoracic Fractures

Started by mike-d on 06/28/2017 6:20pm

About a year ago, I was lifting a computer and suddenly felt a shift and sharp pain in my lower thoracic spine. At first I thought it was a back sprain. Within two months, the pain became unbearable. My doctor told me over and over that we just need to give it time to heal and that there's no need for X-rays. Long story short--and after four months--my spine was finally X-ray'd and the image showed three vertebral fractures. These were compression fractures that resulted from early onset osteoporosis --unusual for a 57-year-old male.
After much research, I learned that if my diagnosis had been caught early, I could have been treated with a kyphoplasty procedure, but now the bones are healing.
I now suffer chronic back pain. What I find troubling is that a kyphoplasty could have provided me instant relief, at least this is true in many patience. Can anyone weigh in on whether this lost opportunity has affected my chances to get relief from this unfortunate condition? Has anyone in this forum had or dealt with this condition after a missed opportunity for early treatment?

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1 Response


Hi, mike-d--thanks for sharing your story with us. We are so sorry to hear about the compression fractures you've suffered and the late diagnosis you received.

You mention not receiving kyphoplasty, but did you undergo any other spine surgery to treat your fractures?

While we aren't doctors, we are skeptical when it comes to any treatment offering "instant relief" when it comes to a spinal issue. Even with minimally invasive approaches, there's rarely instant gratification for the patient. Spine surgery comes with a recovery period that may be quite painful and challenging. The spine, being the complex structure that it is, typically needs time to fully heal and sometimes complete relief isn't possible.

All this is to say that you do have options. With the spine, rarely is there one magic bullet treatment. So, perhaps it would be worthwhile to seek a second opinion to understand what treatment options you have to manage or possible eliminate your pain. You can read more about the benefits of a second opinion here ( Second Opinions: Five Things About This Patient Right ).

We also have a lot of content on SpineUniverse about compression fractures and osteoporosis that we'd like to share with you:
( Compression and Wedge Fractures )
( Compression and Wedge Fractures: Treatment and Recovery )
( Osteoporosis Causes, Risk Factors, Complications, Diagnosis and Treatment )

We hope this information is helpful for you, and we wish you the very best of luck!