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Thread: T-7 Compression Fracture 15 years later. Pics.

  1. #1

    T-7 Compression Fracture 15 years later. Pics.

    Hi, I thought i'd start looking into my condition now with the vast amount of information on the world wide web. Its great because I can find so much info now that i couldn't 15 years ago.

    I was 22 when I Injured my back. I low sided on my Motorcycle going about 70 mph in a turn and slid on my stomach into a 3 ft tall dirt burm. The collision of my body hitting the burm caused me to compress my T-7 into a Triangular shape with the pointed end facing my front. I lost about an Inch in height. Fortunately, I was about 15 Lbs. heavier with muscle. I was a Physique Print Model at the time and was constantly in the gym and eating healthy. Doctor said that i was lucky to have such a strong back and core because I should be paralyzed.

    The Doctor said, very unsympathetically, that I needed surgery. Which consist of opening my rib cage, lifting the bones, putting in bone placement along with bots and rods, doing the same to my back side with bolts and rods. Then 3 months later, go back in and remove all the Hardware! I was like WTF! Granted, I made my living with my physique. I thought, "Damn I should of stayed in school!!!" If i didn't do the surgery, I'd get mobility back but not sure to what extent the pain would be nor would i gain the height and or not sure about how much mobility I'd have.

    I opted to wait and see another specialist. This Doctor was very sympathetic to my injury and said alot of doctors just see money signs with these kinds of injuries. She said that I was lucky i was in such good shape and that i didn't drink or smoke because my lungs were healthy and strong, but that in most cases like this there is some type of paralyses. She said to wait and see how i heal with wearing the brace to keep me from bending forward, but in the future i will most likely have some difficulties.

    Well, its been 15 years later. After the accident and when I was able to be more mobile, about 3-6 months after. I lost about 20 lbs of muscle and I decided to rehabilitate myself because the therapy was too slow for me and i did not have any health insurance. As long as I stayed healthy, stayed in shape, only doing workouts that involved Retraction and not Contraction of the Spine then I should be okay.

    Im 37 years old now and im in better shape then any of my peers. Although I have had pain when my body winds down in the evening from a long day. I work for myself and my job is pretty labor intensive. Im a metal fabricator which involves me being on my feet for long periods of time and some heavy lifting. After about 4 hours I have to take a break and either hang to retract or lay down on my back for awhile. 6hrs max is about all the work I can take of hard labor.

    Im getting worried now about my future. Im wondering if there are surgeries now that are less invasive now that they didn't have when I was younger?

    I stopped take the pain killer meds immediately after I was able to rehabilitate myself. I didn't like the way they made me feel and i couldn't feel if i was slouching or not. Although I will occasionally smoke medical grade marijuana before bedtime to relax my joints and muscles, but only at bedtime.

    My friends think im in better shape then them but they don't realize the severity of my injury and or the pain level it can get. Oh, and I don't have any medical insurance. I just can't afford it nor do I think they would accept me with my injury. If i did have surgery, I would most likely have to go to another country to have it done.

    Im sure I can go on years to come with maintaining my physique and staying fit to keep my posture somewhat straight. But I worry about my older years and condition once my bones start to get weak.

    Anyways, are there less invasive surgeries that I should look into?

    I posted some pics of my back along with the articulation when I bend over. In the last pic I drew what my T-7 looks like in the xrays. You can see that most of the articulation in my spine stops at that point which puts alot of pressure on that area.

  2. #2
    I am not sure I am following you. What would they operate on? Everything is fused after 15 years. Are ther eany new changes? You should never have surgery, especially in a foreign country, unless you cant stand the pain anymore, getting weaker or some major change. and definitely need it. You could wind up worse than before but maybe Dr.Young has an opinion.

  3. #3
    I read about a new procedure were they insert a small balloon to separate the spine and then fill in the empty cavity with some type of quick hardening bone placement.

    As Im getting older, Im realizing that im constantly have to correct my posture to stand up straight and not look like im slouching. The problem is, all im really dong is pushing my Lumbar area out towards my stomach to correct my upper posture. Im afraid that in time im going to have lower back problems also.

    I hang from my pull up bar every evening before bed to help retract the pressure on my spine. It helps but only for awhile.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    columbia, sc

    T-8 Vetebra Fracture

    I just had a T-8 compression fracture a few weeks ago. After searching the ends of the internet, and speaking with two different neurologists, I always dead-ended at Kyphoplasty. They insert two balloons that supposedly "jack" your broken vertebra up so that it can be filled with bone cement. It's been 6 days since I had the procedure, and I've noticed maybe a 30% reduction in pain. It's a very severe compression. The disk under the T-8 was virtually indistinguishable. There wasn't much left of the anterior side of the vertebra. I appreciated the surgeon's candor as for what the procedure might do for me. He told me I was the youngest person he had performed this surgery on. This procedure is usually done on women 30 years my senior with osteoporotic bones. He said since my bones are not osteoporotic, he was uncertain of the results if any, because of the density of my bone - and that he may not be able to move the bone tissue by much. In my case, this is strictly for pain management. He told me that the bend in my back (about 30°) would always be there and that he couldn't fix that. I have lost about an inch in height. He told me I might get a millimeter of that back. Right now my ribs are still out of place and hurt all the time. It hurts to take a deep breath. It hurts my entire rib cage to yawn. My newly disoriented back muscles just don't know what to do, so like clock work every afternoon they cramp up violently until I can get home from work and go to bed. It's debilitating and embarassing. I've learned how to brace myself, but pain meds and muscle relaxers don't even touch it. Post surgery my abdominal muscles decided they'd join in and cramp up violently as well. I'm ...well, was 5'5", not skinny but not fat either. A very athletic build, very strong, I used to be described as statuesque. Now, my boobs hang down to my waist, I have a permanent "slouch" that cannot be fixed, and my lower abdomen now protrudes out to look about 3 months pregnant. It's a living nightmare, and all people can do is hand me pamphlets for a procedure performed solely on geriatric patients. There IS NO procedure for younger people. My physician said this is because it's SO rare for someone my age to sustain such an injury. I know I should be greatful because it could be a lot worse. But I find it hard to believe that in the year 2012, there isn't ANY procedure that will restore me to the way I was before. This unatural bend in my back will eventually render more stress on my other vertebrae, making me more susceptible to further injury and pain. Neither do I think I should have to live with this new deformity either. It's had a huge impact on me psychologically. Chiropractors scare me. I cannot remain this way for the rest of my life. I cannot move furniture, reach shelves to put things away, etc. I'm not disabled because I can still sit down at my desk job. THERE MUST BE SOMETHING OUT THERE. If anyone has any info besides Kyphoplasty, please respond. The Kyphoplasty isn't bad, in fact, it gave me a sense of stability, but there's got to be something a step up. I'm even willing to try something experimental at this point.

  5. #5
    Six days isn't a long time. I would give it time to heal then really attack it with PT and I am sure your quality of life will improve.

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