The T2 vertebra — definition and treatment for dysfunctions

The second vertebra in the thoracic (middle) spine, known as the T2 vertebra, helps 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 (upper) spine in the neck or the lumbar (lower) spine.

Function of the T2 vertebra

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 which can lead 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 vertebral 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 exhausted conservative treatments, if you are still experiencing chronic pain and are starting to consider surgery, you should contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Because we take a muscle-sparing approach to the spine, our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to 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 one of our procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and request a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*