This question was answered on Mon 12, Jul 2010 06:07am by Dr.Kokil Mathur

I have two painful vertebrae between the shoulder blades - T6 & T7Painful when pressed.Painful/aching every night after 3 to 4am.Pain can spread around the rib cage.Affected by the cold or by lifting heavy objects - always worse the next day(not the same

    
Asked by shoes (Male; 70; None apart from this pain.; Relevant drugs:None ) on Mon 12, Jul 2010 03:13am

I have two painful vertebrae between the shoulder blades - T6 & T7 Painful when pressed. Painful/aching every night after 3 to 4am. Pain can spread around the rib cage. Affected by the cold or by lifting heavy objects - always worse the next day (not the same day) In the past some relief on the beach with the sun (not now especially if there's a breeze) It's in exactly the same place as a back injury I had - a fall from a great height when I was twelve years old (I'm now 70 but still fit apart from this) The fall seems to have been discounted as the cause as MIR scans show absolutely nothing in this area. It is usually suggested that it's the muscle around these vertebrae, but manipulation/massage makes it worse and muscular relaxants or any other medications do nothing. I had steroid injections into the spine in UK, but this did nothing. I am now in France and the doctors here haven't come up with anything which helps the pain.

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Answer by Dr.Kokil Mathur  on Mon 12, Jul 2010 06:07am:


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Comment by Dr Kristine Miguel on Mon 12, Jul 2010 08:09am:
Hi. Pain along T6 and T7 may result from herniation, nerve entrapment or destruction. I agree with Dr Kokil that MRI of the spine should have detected any of these if present. If MRI was normal, do you feel pain when breathing? Pain at the T6, T7 or T8 levels can suggest pleurisy, costochondritis, or slipping rib syndrome. Further investigation may be needed to determine the cause of your problem. Take care.

Comment by Perplexed on Wed 02, Nov 2011 08:20pm:
My wife, 74 years old, has the identical problem as Shoe. Osteoporosis was hastened by infusion of steroids (predisnone and decadron) over a 3 month period to treat her for low platelets. Suddenly, 4 months ago she developed severe sharp pain in the rib cage on both sides from the back to the breastbone. This pain has become chronic. Initially she was diagnosed with costochrondritis, however, MRI's and CT scans found fractured and collapsed T6, T7, and possibly T8 vertebrae that are believed to be inpinging the nerve. She has seen 3 orthopedic surgeons, 2 neurosurgeons and 2 pain specialists, including Mayo Clinic. Soft bones and age preclude surgery and nerve blocks are not an option as the area is too close to the lungs. The word is that pain management is the only option, but she is sensitive to narcotic pain medications in effective doses and lower doses do not help much. It is all a Catch 22 situation. What kind of quality of life can a person have in this condition?

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