T10-11 Herniated Disc

6 years ago, I fell heavily on both knees, which resulted in numbness and pins and needles in my thighs. This disappeared after about 6 months, but left me with pain which has worsened over the years.

The most uncomfortable pain takes the form of what feels like a violent electric shock in my right lower abdomen, followed by a pulsating burning pain. I wake up screaming and crying in pain and it usually takes around 5 minutes for the episode to pass, although sometimes it can be up to 45 minutes. This occurs mostly during the night and can happen 5 or 6 times.

There are occasional similar episodes during the day, but usually, I just experience the pulsating pain. In addition, there is a bearable underlying continual pain.

During an MRI on my lumbar spine, an incidental calcified, herniated disc was discovered at T10/11, which is compressing the spinal cord and takes up over 90% of the cavity. However, for 18 months it was thought that this was asymptomatic and that the pain was from another source.

I have had various investigations, including CT and bone scans, which have ruled out problems with the hip. I have mild arthritis throughout my spine and right hip, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 61 year old woman and nothing which would explain the type of pain experienced.

The consultant has suggested a 2 stage anterior discotomy and decompression at T10/11, but cannot guarantee that this will solve my problem.

I am reluctant to undergo this major surgery and still have the pain. What do you think? I am reluctant to have it.

- Margaret

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