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Vertabrae Damage due to Radiation?

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello Family.....I have no mets in the spine, but they say the radiation from 1.5 yrs ago is causing "abnormalities" in my T6/T7 vertabrae. It causes back pain and muscle spasms.

Not much they can do I guess at this point until it gets real bad, then maybe orthopedics to get involved.

Anyone have something similar?

Thanx
Dave
stage IV nsc adeno-carc,brain mets

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

Hi Dave, I've been advised to stay away from chiropractors. Except if they are directly involved in your case. I lost 40 % of one of my vertebrae. Bone heals but takes time, it's a wait and see thing for me. So far so good. I'm not real sure how radiation effects bone, though answers should be easy to find. I've read about long term effects but then by statistics, we're not supposed to be around that long ... UH OH..Mybe see a nuerologist for help.

mamacita5's picture
mamacita5
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2010

I was just wondering today if I should see a chiropractor for the pain I feel in my back due to the spinal met at T2. Tarceva is working its magic on the met which has shrunk considerably, but I still have pain. I would not consider seeing a chiropractor without first clearing it with my oncologist though. I have read where others who have healing bone mets, that there is some pain associated with the healing process itself. I try to imagine this healing process when I experience pain at the site of the met.

dennycee
Posts: 733
Joined: Mar 2011

The combination of steroids and radiation had an adverse effect on my t6, t7 and t8 vertebrae. They were so weakened that they would crack when I laid on those hard metal tables for my 3 month ct or an mri. Actually, all my bones were greatly weakened. By the time I found a doc who listened to me when I told him what I believed was causing me excruciating pain I had 3 cracked vertebrae and 4 cracked ribs. I went into the er on a Friday evening and had a procedure called kyphoplasty on two of the vertebrae on Sunday.

In a kyphoplasty a small balloon is inserted into the vertebrae and blown up so that the bone is in the right place, then the balloon is removed and bone cement put in. Pain relief was instant.

Talk to your primary care doc and see if you can get a referral for an evaluation by an ortho now, don't wait. Also ask your primary for a scrip for Neurontin (Gabapentin) for the nerve pain. If the muscle spasms are bad ask for a referral for phys therapy and a scrip for a muscle relaxer. It has been my experience that my internist will help find a cure or relief for my pain issues where my oncos brush them off and tell me that they are chronic and there is nothing that can be done.

Edit to add that my surgeon put me on Fosamax to strengthen the bones. Another side benefit to taking it is that patients on fosamax have fewer bone mets.

AlanRinHBG
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011

That all makes alot of sense. good job with that reply. That's why I stick around here. You guys are full of great food for thought. I'm glad you are my friends.

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanx DennyC....that is very good info. I have read a bit about the Kyphoplasty. My Onc is part of a team at the hospital-Henry Ford, outside Detroit. I have great faith in them but wonder why, I assume, that she didnt bring it by a Ortho, i forgot to ask. So right now it was the Nucler radiation doc and the Onc Doc that reviewed the scans I believe.

Keep you posted!

Thanx again All
Dave

dennycee
Posts: 733
Joined: Mar 2011

So Dave, are you going to the Farmington Hills facility? I am at St Joes in Ann Arbor. My aunt has her leukemia treatment at H Ford in Farmington. She really loves her onco. Remember this, your oncos are staying on top of the cancer and studying or researching new techniques, your internist or primary care doc may have an answer for you, definitely ask for a referral.
Best regards, Denny

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

DennyC....going to Henry Ford West Bloomfield, ..sometimes I have to go to Detroit. I think they are pretty good !???

Dave

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 281
Joined: Mar 2011

... I developed an area of long muscle damage behind my left shoulder. It's basically hardened up like a permanent charlie horse, and is very visible through a t-shirt, for instance. I'd say it's an elliptical area maybe 1.5X3" in size. At first nobody seemed to want to comment on it, but during my last visit with the radio doc, he said this is something that sometimes happens,and that they "now accept" in service to delivering the maximum dose of radiation possible. Onco-doc concurs. My answer was, "Whatever works, guys. I'll wear looser shirts."

There is no pain involved, but, and this may be related to what you're experiencing, if I get in certain positions, most often lying on my back, I definitely get uncomfortable spasms, not in the exact damaged area, but in close proximity.

I haven't done anything about it yet, nor has anything been recommended, but they're keeping an eye on it.

dennycee
Posts: 733
Joined: Mar 2011

Your description sounds just like the muscle spasm on my back. I actually have 3 spots where the back is hard as a rock and soft around it. Each is also discolored and my internist had no problem finding them. Mine are painful but it might be because there is more than one spot. It feels like there is a knife in my back amd its being twisted. Sometimes its a paring knife and others a chef's knife.

Mine started about the time I was finishing concurrent chemo/rad. I talked to my hemonc and the radiation onc. Both denied that it was related to their treatment but neither examined it closely so I went to my internist. She put me on the muscle relaxer and ordered phys therapy. Its been a week with the Rx and I am in less pain, phys therapy starts in a week and a half (soonest I could get in).

I will update you on the success/failure of this treatment plan.

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

ExRocker....
Exactly....mostly on my back, spasms/charlie horse. I have not seen any Alien Creatures protruding out from under my skin...(Yet!!!)

I guess I had a crazy notion that I will stay young forever and come out of cancer treatments "better than new". But I guess that is not the case in reality!....and I am also two years older now !!

Dave

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