The T2 vertebra
The second vertebra in the thoracic spine, known as the T2 vertebra, is responsible for helping to support the rib cage. One of the smaller vertebrae in the thoracic spine, the T2 vertebra possesses facets that create joints with two of the ribs.
Because the T2 vertebra and other vertebrae in the thoracic spine are attached to the rib cage, this section of the spine is more stable than the cervical spine in the neck or the lumbar spine in the lower back.
The thoracic spine refers to the 12 vertebrae in the upper and middle back. These vertebrae grow in size as they move down the back and are all separated by elastic, flexible discs to stabilize the spine.
Each of the thoracic vertebrae also has a large spinal foramen to allow the spinal cord to pass through and vertebral foramina for nerve roots to branch off into the body. The T2 vertebra is connected to the T1 and T3 with facet joints, which are covered with a lubricating liquid to allow for limited motion.
Problems and treatment
While the T2 vertebra is a stable segment of the spine, it is still prone to deterioration — often leading to nerve compression and potentially painful symptoms. Some common causes of T2 vertebra degeneration include:
- Bone spurs
- Herniated, bulging or prolapsed discs
- Facet disease
- Other forms of osteoarthritis
- Traumatic or sports-related injury
If you are experiencing back pain or other symptoms of nerve compression like muscle weakness, numbness in your torso or traveling pain, contact your physician. In many cases, problems at the T2 vertebra level can be relieved with a conservative treatment course of strengthening exercises, pain medication and heat packs over several weeks or months.
After you have run the course of conservative treatments, if you are still experiencing chronic pain, you should contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Because we take a minimally invasive approach to the spine, our procedures are proven safer and more effective than traditional open back surgery^.
Depending on the location and severity of your spine condition, we may recommend a minimally invasive decompression surgery or minimally invasive stabilization surgery. To see if you are a candidate for either one, contact Laser Spine Institute today and request a review of your MRI report or CT scan.