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T6 compression fracture

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  • T6 compression fracture

    I have an old T6 compression fracture (1980) with a parcel constriction of the spinal cord. I have reduced pain sensation in both arms and legs, but have been blessed with the ability to walk and be pain free for going on 30 years
    Recently I developed what the doctors originally thought was Cushings. (A buffalo hump at the base of the neck). Also my back is now causing continuous pain at T6, if I wear a bra for any extended time. Cushing tests have proved negative and the doctors now think that my spine is curving from the compression upward.
    I recently had a nerve conduction study ran. It shows I have reduced conduction in both arms and legs. (Dah I could have told them that LOL, as since the compression I have had to be caution not to cut or burn myself as I don’t feel the pain)
    The doctors are telling me that the poor nerve conduction can NOT be caused by my T6 compression since it is affecting my arms and not just my legs. The think it is caused by some other problems such as the possibility of diabetes. Is this true? Does a T6 compression only effect below the chest?

  • #2
    A T6 injury would not cause any problems with the arms, either motor or sensory. A nerve conduction study (EMG) looks at peripheral nerves, not the spinal cord, so if this is also abnormal, it is much more likely that you have a peripheral neuropathy such as can occur in chronic alcoholism, diabetes, heavy metal poisoning, or peripheral vascular disease.

    A dowager's hump at the base of the neck is much more likely to be related to severe osteoporosis that to a previous T6 fracture. Problems with your old fracture site would be mid-back, not at the base of the neck, and would more likely be scoliosis, or a kyphosis or gibbus.

    I would recommend that you see a good internist or endocrinologist to be evaluated for possible metabolic diseases that could be causing your problems, and also see a good orthopedic spine or neurosurgical spine specialist to evaluate your dowager's hump and old fracture site to see if anything can be done for your osteoporosis as well as your recent pain.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


    • #3
      T6 fracture

      This is so interesting, reading your story... because the exact same thing is happening to me. I had a fall 5 weeks ago and fractured my T6. The MRIs + CT showed no other damage than the fractured T6. They say there is no damage to the cord, but on the MRI part of the T6 touches the cord. There is still plenty of room behind the cord so they say it is not compressed in any way. However, like you, I have been experiencing this on and off numbness/ weakness/tingling in both arms and legs. I notice it is worse when I move more. But I've had several days in a raw without it. They tell me the same thing, it can not be from the T6 because it is not related to the arms. It must be something else, perhaps head related, endocrinological. However, I never had this before my fall. It would be too coincidental. I think they're missing some connection. By the way how old are you? I am 38. I am still recovering in a brace, wondering how long more before I can resume my normal life (wondering if I would ever). It's depressing at times, thinking if this numbness (like my limbs go to sleep) will evolve into anything worse, neurologically. How did it happen for you? Did the loss of sensation get worse or stay the same. Did the idea of surgery ever come up?
      It would be nice to hear from you.