Spinal Stenosis (narrowing spine) — spinal stenosis in the thoracic spine

Thoracic spinal narrowing is a form of spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a spine condition in which the spinal canal narrows and begins to compress the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Thoracic spinal narrowing is when spinal stenosis is located in the thoracic spine in the middle of the back. When a nerve in the middle of the back is compressed, a patient may feel pain at the site of the nerve compression and radiating into the extremities.

If you have been diagnosed with thoracic spinal stenosis, you understand the pain and frustration of living with chronic back pain. The effects of spinal stenosis can prevent you from doing the activities that you love and, if left untreated, may eventually cause you to experience a decrease in quality of life. Sometimes, it may even feel like life is passing you by as you watch from the sidelines.

At Laser Spine Institute, we say it’s time to get you back in the game. We are confident that our minimally invasive stabilization surgery can help you take back your life without restrictions from chronic pain. As you research treatment options for your thoracic spinal stenosis, please feel free to reach out to our care team with any questions or concerns. We are here to help you find the best treatment option for your needs.

The thoracic spine

The thoracic spine is the section of 12 vertebrae in the middle back that is responsible for supporting the weight of the rib cage. Unlike the cervical spine above and the lumbar spine below, the thoracic spine is not particularly mobile and is designed more for structural stability than flexibility. As a result of its function of stability, the thoracic spine doesn’t exhibit degenerative spine conditions as frequently as the cervical and lumbar segments. However, no section of the spine is immune from spine conditions that cause pain and discomfort.

Spine conditions that cause spinal stenosis in the thoracic spine

Spinal stenosis can be caused by many conditions, ranging from injury to the natural aging process. However, our minimally invasive procedures specifically treat spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spine conditions, such as:

  • Degenerative disc disease — Gradually, usually from general wear-and-tear, the discs between vertebrae in the spine will deteriorate. When this happens, the disc may expand its normal parameter and cause the spinal canal to narrow in that particular section.
  • Spondylolisthesis — A misaligned vertebra in the spine might cause the spinal canal to narrow in one section.
  • Bone spurs — Bone spurs are extra growths on the vertebrae which could cause the space between the spinal cord and the spinal canal to decrease.

To learn more about thoracic spinal stenosis or the treatment options available to help alleviate your chronic pain, contact our care team to schedule an MRI review with one of our consultants. We can help you determine the cause and severity of your thoracic spinal stenosis, as well as determine if you are an eligible candidate for one of our minimally invasive stabilization procedures.