Does anyone know anything about nerve pain in the thoracic spine of the back?

I had a complete mastectomy-with the reconstruction surgery 9 years ago. Two months later I developed pain in my throrasic spine , and the pain goes around too my right breast. It is terrible aching pain, that never quits. I have been through several tests. MRI, bone scan,had the steroid injections 5 times at 3 separate pain clinics. On several different pain medications. I had the Medtronic Neurostimulation temporary implantd in my back. Nothing has helped me. Several rounds of Physical therapy. I suffer terrible. I'm on my back 80% of the time. Which is the only thing I can do that eases my pain. I have not even lived for 9 years of my life. I'm 64 now. Other wise I'm very healthy. . I have always been so active all my life. Bike riding, walking etc. now to be on the couch most of the time. I was doing some research on line. Found this Medical term called Alcohol Abalation. I've read that this procedure may help with nerve pain in my thorasic spine. does anyone know about this procedure? Does any one know about thoracic nerve pain in the back. Upper back.

11 Replies

  • I have that in T7/8/9.... yip, its dam on naproxen and baclofen mainly for that, they do help slightly, enough to get you moving around.

    Am also like you, sports for me are out the question, rugby, football, lifting a pint

    It's very hard, folk say it does get easier, well lets hope....

    All my pain is mainly on the left side, yes, its sore.

    When my left side goes totally limp, they tested me for having a stroke, all came back clear, now am still getting the left side shutting down, am waiting to go for more tests.

    You take care....


  • Hi Joe, Sorry you are in pain.

    You mentioned that your left side goes limp!! and they checked you out for a stroke!!

    Your are taking Baclofen tabs. They are usually prescribed for patients who have Multiple Sclorosis and they reduce the spactisity of the muscles., and this could make you floppy !!

    I was given this years ago and I felt like a rag doll !! How are you now? Who is looking after you DR wise. Best wishes


  • Hi,

    I have thoracic nerve pain in a similar place to yours, Mine was originally due to shingles (postherpetic neuralgia). The pain can be truly awful, like a bolt of metal going through my sternum from the spinal nerves with searing pain round my torso in a band, also electrical shocks, etc. My pain is constant but is also triggered by cold temperatures and strong winds. I'm on pregabalin and duloxetine which help a lot and enable me to continue working full-time. I use co-codamol for flare-ups. Have you tried any of these?

    Best wishes.

  • Hi Littlebear

    Sorry you are in pain. Post Herpetic Neuralgia is a devil to get rid of, but you know that. I have just left a message on another post. Lidocaine Patches were invented if you like for the treatment of your condition. They are local anaesthetic patches and you wear them for 12hrs at night They are large patches about 6ins x 4ins. Available on prescription. Trade name is Versatis

    I hope this is some use to you

    Regards Moggiemay

  • Hi moggiemay,

    Thank you for your suggestion but I've tried Lidocaine patches and they don't work for me. I have deep neuropathic pain of a mixed etiology, with shingles being 10 years ago, so it's not straight forward, but thank you all the same.



  • Did the physio check you for trigger points? these can cause terrible pain. If not, see a sports physio, they are very good at locating and treating the root of trigger pain. Will show you how to do it yourself too.

  • I have never tried these pain medicine you talk about. I'll have to ask my dr. I just want a fix so bad, I can't stand it..and are you talking about a physical therapist to work on trigger points.?

  • Hi Robshirl, I am sorry you are in so much pain after all you have been through. I have Thoracic pain just beside my left scapula. I have had two lots of Radio,frequency ablation, This is with an electric cautery and not alcohol. The first one gave me releif for 18 months the second one done at the Pain Clinic not much good. I think it depends on the Practioner, I go back to see him in June. The first treatment was done by a Musculo Skeletal Specialist, He has now retired and not been replaced. Have you tried Lidocaine Patches on your back? They are Local Anaesthetic patches like the Local a Dentist would give you. The Trade name is Versatis.

    I hope this is of some use to you

    Kind Regards Moggiemay xx

  • Oh! Thank you so much for the info.was interesting. I don't know much about ablation. I talked to a neurological about this procedure. He said that couldn't be done. It would cause me terrifie pain. What dr do you see? And where is he located? I nerver heard of these patches. Where do you get them,? and are they a script.thanks again

  • Hi Robshirl, Thank you for the reply Where do you live? I am in Scotland near Edinburgh. My first treatment was in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. This is done under X-Ray control and was given a Local Anaesthetic, It worked. The second one done at the Western General Hospital again under X-Ray control, not worked very well I blame the Doc!!!

    The patches have been on the go for a while,first in the USA then here, They are very expensive, maybe thats why they havn,t been mentioned. I am surprised you have not been referred to a Pain Clinic. Who was this neurological Dr you seen? It did not cause me great pain for the procedure. I didnt like not being unable to see what was going on !!!

    You have to keep at the Medics to get something for your pain

    All the best

    Love Moggiemay

  • I had a procedure called thermal ablation done in Salt Lake City dr. G, the smart clinic---It works--your pain radiating arround the rib cage was just like mine. They numb the area after they have found the right area. Under fluoroscopy they insert a needle into the area, then they thread a small wire under fluoroscopy to the exact place then they heat the wire , this can be done to several spinal areas. They relief was impressive, the procedure doesn't hurt and take about 35-45 min. Dr. G at the smart clinic was great, I would travel there to have him do it.

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