Originally Posted by grade2teacher
T8-9 is pressing into my spinal cord. I have had numbness, electric shocks, and huge muscle spasms in my chest, gut, and legs for over two years and now I finally know why. Dr. Eltahawy, a neurosurgeon in Detroit, is doing my surgery in January. I am wondering if anyone knows of a neurosurgeon that is experienced in this type of surgery. Knowing how rarely these surgeries are done makes me quite nervous. Thanks!
I don't live in the US so I can't help with surgeons but I can tell .you that I underwent a transthoracic thoracotomy in July for the same condition at T7/8. The surgery was huge as it involves many fields eg lung, ribs etc just to get to the site. The relief from having the disc excised has been incredible. I no longer have the electrical tingles and awful spasms down my left leg. My herniation compressed my cord and the risk was that if it moved further it would have caused permanent damage. As it is I still have an indentation in my spinal cord from it being compressed but I have been told that it will right itself over perhaps another 18 months or so.
I still have discomfort from the surgery. My left arm and shoulder are still problematic from being stretched over my head for four hours to allow access through my ribs and my ribs are still uncomfortable especially when I first get up in the morning. But the important thing I keep reminding myself is that I am able to move and really I am incredibly lucky. I returned to teaching this term which has been a challenge. I also still have numbness and my legs don't feel right as yet but that is all to do with the indentation in my cord. So everything is done carefully and I still get incredibly tired.
My advice to you is if you trust the surgeon and you are at the point where really life so uncomfortable you really have to have the surgery. You will feel very uncomfortable from the surgery itself but you will also feel tremendous relief from your symptoms. I certainly have. Thoracic disc problems like this are not common. Usually the result of an accident. Mine just happened - I also have had four surgeries on my neck over the last twenty years so I have obviously got a problem with my discs and my biggest fear was that my spine would start to go down like a deck of cards. But I am working with my physio and doing all the right things as I have always done and as I said before I am really incredibly lucky because it could have been a hell of a lot worse in terms of outcome.
It is not an easy position to be in. Keep in touch.