Overview of back surgery for the thoracic spinal region
Thoracic surgery is typically recommended to address significant problems with the thoracic (middle) segment of the spine. Typically, thoracic surgery, as with nearly all spine surgeries, is seen as a last-resort option after other, more conservative treatments have been exhausted. Surgical options for the thoracic spine can include traditional open back procedures as well as minimally invasive spine surgery.
Before deciding on the best treatment option for your needs, be sure to research all thoracic back surgery options. Some minimally invasive procedures offer benefits compared to traditional open back surgeries, and this information may be helpful in deciding which treatment option to pursue. At Laser Spine Institute we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief since 2005 with our minimally invasive spine surgery. We are dedicated to helping patients find the information they need about their spine care so an informed and confident decision can be made. If you have any questions about your treatment options, contact our caring and dedicated team today.
Conditions treated with thoracic back surgery
The thoracic spine describes the 12 vertebrae between the neck and lower back. This segment is responsible for supporting the ribcage, which requires great strength but also greatly limits range of motion. Because of this, there is less wear due to motion and issues with the thoracic vertebrae are less common than with their counterparts in the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) spine.
It is possible for the thoracic spine to develop problems, however. Thoracic surgery is often required to treat middle back pain that can be caused by:
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Pinched, compressed or stressed nerves
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs or tumors
Understanding thoracic back surgery
A physician will typically only present traditional open back surgery as an option after other treatments have been fully explored. A person experiencing neck or back pain can often manage the symptoms with more conservative methods, such as physical therapy, pain medication and the application of ice or heat. Thoracic surgery, cervical surgery and lumbar surgery only become options when these treatments have not brought the relief necessary for a good quality of life.
Depending on the source of the problem, a number of surgical procedures are available. For some patients, the option of both traditional open back surgery and minimally invasive surgery are available for thoracic spine conditions. At Laser Spine Institute, we can review your MRI report or CT scan* and determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive spine surgeries.