Thoracic spine spasms secondary to hemorrhagic intestinal ulcer

C. W. Slipman, W. S. Whyte, G. R. Lichtenstein, D. Lenrow, D. Braverman, M. Ellen, E. J. Vresilovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case of thoracic spine spasms secondary to a bleeding duodenal ulcer is presented. A 41-year-old male with 14-week history of thoracic spine spasm was treated with bed rest, spinal manipulation, physical therapy, medication, and a thoracolumbar brace. Subsequently, a provocative thoracic discogram performed at T9-T10 created periscapular pain and also reproduced the presenting thoracic spasms. Intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty (IDET) was performed at the T9-T10 level, but without sustained relief. The patient presented to a spine center for evaluation. The diagnosis of thoracic discogenic disease was suspected. A second provocative thoracic discogram was performed and failed to reproduce his thoracic spasms. Three weeks after being referred to a chronic pain management physician, the patient presented to a local emergency room with hematemesis. An endoscopic evaluation revealed a bleeding duodenal ulcer. Following medical treatment of the duodenal ulcer with a proton pump inhibitor the patient had complete resolution of his thoracic spasms. This represents the first reported case of thoracic spine spasms as an initial presenting symptom of a bleeding peptic ulcer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-100
Number of pages4
JournalPain Physician
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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