T-11 fracture! No wonder it hurts!: Yesterday, my... - PMRGCAuk


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T-11 fracture! No wonder it hurts!


Yesterday, my husband drove me three hours roundtrip to see new rheumatologist (useless) and my pain specialist of several years (always helpful).

Later ordered x-rays and gave me prescribed for opiates that have no NSAIDs or Tylenol. Also gave me shot of Toradol. This is an injectable NSAID that spares GI tract.

Had to go to ER today pain was so bad. Turns out yesterday’s Xrays show l have a spinal fracture at T-11. (Thoracic fracture advice most appreciated dear folks. )

Today at ER got second Toradol injection.

Good news is my A1C is still at 5.9. The rest of Xray report suggests osteopenia but not osteoporosis. I will find out more tomorrow.

My kidney function is fine. Hard not to be miffed that immediate care doc didn’t take XRays to rule out fracture a week ago or 5 days ago.

Year ago today dx’d with PMR.

GCA suspected in May 2019.

Biopsy scheduled and canceled due to abnormal EKG. Prednisone increased to 60 mg

Angiogram 6/42019. Stent placed LDA

Pet Scan with contrast dye 6/27/19

- 13 mm lung tumor

Inoperable due to anticoagulant, etc

Cat scan Dec,2019 stop Plavix for week to do needle biopsy of lung tumor

Reduce prednisone 20-15

Jan 27-31 5 sessions stereotactic radiation

Reduce prednisone 15-12.5 -10

03/04/20 T-11 spinal fracture

Any advice about vertebrae fracture appreciated.

I am leery of bone meds, very pro active re nutrition.

27 Replies

You have a lot on your plate! Wishing you all the blessings for these tough times. When the U.K. awakes they will be along to look at your specific fracture questions. 🌹

Thank you, Jane. Tiny, failing 26 bed rural hospital here. We just voted to affiliate with larger hospital group so there is hope care will improve. Any strategies re back fractures most welcome. I also had RAI 131 for Graves in 1993 so must use T4 and T3... despite everything, l am grateful. Fasting blood sugar 80, BP 120/70, have managed to avoid all the meds my primary insisted l would need by now.

Hidden in reply to Anniegal

I have replied on another thread. But this post has more detail of your history.... Like I said. We can sometimes be a Hardy bunch. Much of what I have read read thoracic fracture, I only have a bit of OA damage and facet joint issues in that region..... With a fracture it's often though a brace that stop you leaning forwards helps the bone heal. That forward bending can keep tweaking the fracture. So sounds like a nice straight upper back is the goal... But as usual... The caveat of keeping mobile!!! 🙄🌻

Anniegal in reply to Hidden

My doctor also suggested brace! Waiting for it to arrive.

Hidden in reply to Anniegal

Good. It is the device that's suggested. Bear in mind that it will take a bit of getting used to and may make other muscles grip a little. I would be interested to know if it comes with a staggered plan of wearing it a little longer each day or just a stick it on and cope strategy!


The spinal fracture is a question of restricting movement and patience if it doesn't need surgery to stabilise it - are you to be examined in more detail for it? OH fractured Th6 in January but it was identified next day (no thanks to him mind you since he didn't want to go to hospital!). Mind you - it was an ambo job, I couldn't have got him to the car never mind out of it again and it is a 5min drive for us. First step was an x-ray and then CT to get more detail to decide how to manage it. He was admitted until they could fit him with a corset to support the spine - had to wait until Monday as it required a special one as it is higher than yours. He was supposed to be on bed rest, but he sulked and fussed until they let him go to the bathroom. Men ...

He isn't to bend to pick anything up or lift anything heavy. He is quite restricted in how much he can move, walking isn't too good either - just the stiffness due to the corset really, much the same as PMR really.

He had his the first check at 2+ weeks and they were happy, will see him after another 6 weeks. The corset had to be worn 24/7 at first but I think he could go without at night now - he doesn't, still wearing it but he found a less than 1 hour drive up the valley on Wednesday made his back ache. The first couple of weeks were awful re pain - i.v. paracetamol in hospital was miraculous but oral paracetamol was useless so they put him on cocodamol (codeine and paracetamol) which also worked well but was a disaster as far as his gut was concerned! Naughty ward didn't give him a laxative from the start and didn't listen when he told them he was having problems - it did get rather severe but all sorted now. So be careful if they give you pain relief - prevention is far better than cure!

He has a rehab appointment this afternoon to discuss likely osteoporosis - it is a typical OP compression fracture. I suspect it will be i.v. bone meds - because there is no way in h*££ he will ever manage oral bisphosphonates. He is a high risk candidate for OP - very skinny, poor diet for the last 25 years (had cancer and since then has had no appetite, is unbelievably fussy and won't eat anything good for him ;) ) and very inactive for that long too.

And yes - no wonder it hurts!!!

Longtimer in reply to PMRpro

Wow, OH has my sympathy and you....his problems are stressful for you, not helping your flare, so I hope he does as he is told!....but I know what they can be like!....

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Longtimer

Don't be silly!!!!!! I've had a couple of meltdown "you stupid man" moments, believe me ;)

Longtimer in reply to PMRpro

Just had one of those.......and they don't like it do they!....

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Longtimer

I get the pout, like a naughty toddler!!!!!!

Longtimer in reply to PMRpro

Mine's always right of course, and very cynical....his favourite saying is, "you don't believe that do you!". .......

Also...." I told you those steroids won't do you any good!! "...


Good job we have two rooms downstairs....and a summerhouse....my salvation!...👍

jinasc in reply to PMRpro

OH Loves BS's....................just making one................can't send over the net......................hugs to bothxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hidden in reply to PMRpro

My last pm re the rest of the year applies even more!!!

Constance13 in reply to PMRpro

Poor OH, he certainly has had FAR more than anyone I can think of in the last 20 years. Hope you are both coping reasonably (have to I suppose)!

If he has ever heard of me give him my regards. I often wonder how the two of you are getting on. In fact - give him regards from most of us.


Anniegal in reply to PMRpro

Off to see pain specialist later today. Three hour round trip Hoping for referral to orthopedic specialist and a plan for how to proceed. My pain specialist is kind and competent.

I am awaiting call from my primary but she is overbooked. Hoping to get comprehensive labs as I have edema and 8 pound weight gain in 8 days not attributable to diet... as I had lost 30 pounds over 14 months up until this week and variance has not been more than 2 pounds in all this time. All I can think is possible reaction to pain meds although none have caused this reaction previously. Reported this to primary office. Hope it motivates an appointment. Not candidate for back surgery due to 12 mo requirement to be on Plavix due to cardiac stent. Hoping a brace and PT will resolve back pain... taking appropriate steps to avoid constipation etc. Frustrated by the endless challenges...

HeronNS in reply to Anniegal

Ah, maybe a magnesium supplement could do double duty then? ;)

Anniegal in reply to HeronNS

No pun intended? 🤣

HeronNS in reply to Anniegal


Anniegal in reply to PMRpro

So sorry for both of you. My OH is helpful unless he is sick ... l empathize with you, truly.

Wow, Anniegal, you really have had a lot to put up with. All credit to you for soldiering on. I know there’s not much else we can do, but still, good for you!

Anniegal in reply to suzy1959

Thank you Suzy, truly kindness is so helpful right now

I had a trauma to my back 4 years ago that left me in excruciating pain for a few weeks. I was in Panama at the time and while the emergency room visit included an x-ray, it only covered the lumbar area, which revealed spinal compression, but no fractures. I was given pain medication ( 5 days supply) and muscle relaxants which helped very little.

There was no way I could get in or out of bed or lay comfortably in bed so I slept in a zero gravity lawn chair padded with towels and blankets for a couple of weeks. I was pretty much incapacitated but forced myself into our little pool ever day with much screaming in my hubby's ear as he helped me in and out. The feeling of weightlessness in the pool was wonderful and I did gentle stretches to slowly increase range of motion. I also walked around the house as much as I could tolerate.

Whatever I did in my self treatment must have worked because things did settle down pain wise within about four weeks and I can't say there are any long lasting affects. The bruised tailbone I received at the same time as the -12 fracture gave me grief for much longer.

Two years later I had full back X-Ray and low and behold a T12 fracture of "indeterminate age" was discovered! The excruciating pain was finally explained!

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Anniegal in reply to nuigini

Trying to get up courage to get into hot tub 🥴 l have a lovely bunch of lumbar disc compressions and thought I knew what back pain was. Boy Howdy! This is a 14 on a scale of 1-10. Great idea about the Gravity lawn chair. I have one and will have hubby bring inside for me. Hope you are continuing to heal. Hoping to use recumbent bike in a few weeks.

I too, am struggling with vertebral fractures. Found after 3-4 months of thoracic pain in various areas. Have five of them. T6, T11 and T12 had vertebroplasty. Now seems to be a get through the healing process, whatever that’s going to be. GP and rheumatologist wanted Prolia started. Had first shot. I am basically nonfunctional. Pain meds let me dress, shower and move about my home. Have found useful things to help, ie. , grab bar to get up from bed and shower handles and seat in tub/shower. I am blessed to have family help and available payed help so I don’t burden children too much. Please share anything that makes this part of our journey better. My best. Sorry you’re dealing with this also. 🤗

I am so sorry you are also dealing with this. I just bought a lumbar support foam pillow that helps a great deal when sitting. Search on Amazon or EBay. A grab bar on the side of my bed would help immensely. I will look into that. Thanks for that suggestion

Have stopped carrying purse... my jackets have pockets for keys, phone and wallet. Also use Fanny pack. Sugar free Ricola drops as pain meds add to dry mouth.

My husband is my rock but he is doing more than his share. Getting a shower, dressed and remembering to eat takes the whole day.

Hidden in reply to Anniegal

Please shower less frequently and save your energy. At this time of year you should be fine. Less chance of bending and moving the fracture points too. 👍🌻

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Anniegal

I echo Poops comment - we do NOT need to shower daily because we don't get "dirty". It is a major user of spoons - so save the spoons for something better and stop irritating the break.

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