My husband has had pain in a spot in his middle (thoracic) back for the past three or four years that has gotten much worse in the past few months. He also has something like five bad discs in his neck, but they are not bad enough for surgery. He has two metal hips and has had a microdiscectomy in 2008 on his lumbar spine. He is only 30.
His symptoms have included sharp, stabbing pain in the middle back that sometimes radiate into his chest. It got so bad recently that he went to the ER, and they were worried he may be having a heart attack. But his heart was checked, and nothing abnormal was found.
He has also had spasms so bad originating from that spot that he has literally been thrown off from the bed by them. When we go to bed, the spasms usually get much worse after he lays on his back for a few minutes. So, he rolls on his side, and they ease up a little.
His arms often hurt and sometimes go numb, as well as his left leg.
A few weeks ago, he got really dizzy and lightheaded, and his body seemed to turn into a noodle. He couldn't stand or hold his head up and struggled to stay in a chair. His speech became slurred, and his vision became blurry, but he was still thinking coherently. These symptoms were accompanied by worsening pain in that spot in his back and a severe headache. We went to the ER, and they released him with a little bit of Valium but really didn't do anything about
Most recently, he has started having the hiccups several times a day, and I am wondering if this may have any connection to possible nerve damage somewhere.
He also appears to be retaining excess fluid. Sometimes his feet swell from it.
Over the past few months, he has had his lungs checked, finding nothing but granulomatous disease; his heart checked, with no abnormal results; a nerve conduction study which found nothing abnormal; a bone scan which found nothing abnormal (other than his metal hips and normal degeneration); and an MRI of his thoracic spine which found nothing abnormal. He has also had CT scans of his head, various blood tests, and multiple x-rays, all of which found nothing.
He has tried physical therapy which eased a lot of the pain in his body but did nothing for that one spot. He has even said that, when they gave him a shot of Dilaudid at the ER a little while back, it eased everything but that spot. Same thing with the morphine he was given on a separate visit.
We are desperate to find out what is wrong and how to treat it. He is in severe pain. (He says it's getting almost as bad as how he felt when he woke up from having each hip replaced.) And yet nobody can find anything wrong; so no one will treat him.
From my research, I've found that the morphine-resistance in that spot may indicate nerve pain. But none of the tests have confirmed it; so, I don't even know if the doctor would believe it.
I've also read that the nerves that cause hiccups feed into the intercostal/thoracic nerves. Could there be a connection here?
Can anyone help us figure out what's wrong?
Post Edited (Ransomed) : 12/29/2010 1:17:05 PM (GMT-7)