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What is anterior wedging in T11?

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Hi, I have an appt with my dr. tomorrow to discuss this but the nurse told me this is what was found on my xray. What causes this to happen? Is it serious? Is it treatable? Does it cause pain? Where would the pain be? I have a few different issues with my back but this is what came back on the xray. I'm also having a nerve test done to find out if I have pinched nerves. Wondering if I will need an MRI as well. Any help would be great. Thank you!

P.S. Sorry for all the questions. I'm just worried, haven't been able to find much online and am restless and worrying about it until I see my doc tomorrow evening.
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replied August 2nd, 2011
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It depends upon how much of an anterior wedge there is. If it is only a few degrees, then it is not a problem, and there really isn't any treatment for it.

If the wedging is significant, and it is causing the posterior facet joints to splay, or you are developing a kyphotic deformity of the thoracolumbar junction, then something may need to be done (ie surgery).

There is a disorder known as Scheurmann's Kyphosis, where there is anterior wedging of three adjacent thoracic vertebrae. This is a developmental disorder, and usually does not cause any problems, unless the wedging is significant.

In women, especially postmenopausal ones, the wedging is due to osteoporosis. When osteoporosis is present, it takes very minimal trauma (like stepping off a curb wrong) to cause a vertebral fracture.

In young men and women, an anterior wedge fracture, just picked up on x-ray, is usually an old one. Where the trauma occurred long ago, and was ignored and not x-rayed at the time.

The area of T11 is just about the end of the rib cage, in the back.

If the physical exam and nerve testing points to a problem in the spine, then an MRI is usually obtained, to look at the disc complexes.

So, before getting too worried, wait and see what the surgeon finds on exam. All studies have to be correlated with a patient's history and exam. Good luck.
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