Your question: How common is a herniated disc in the thoracic spine?

“You have millions of people who herniate discs in the neck or lower back, but a herniation in thoracic spine area is exceedingly rare,” Bydon explains. A herniation like Gil’s occurs in one out of every one million people per year—the likelihood of the injury is, quite literally, one in a million.

What percentage of herniated discs occur in the thoracic spine region?

Herniated discs in the thoracic region, which is the largest segment of the spinal column, account for less than 1 percent of all herniated discs. However, they may be underdiagnosed due to subtle or unspecific symptoms such as chest pain.

Can you have a herniated disc in thoracic spine?

When a herniated disc occurs in the thoracic spine it can be extremely serious. In some cases, the first sign of the herniated disc is paralysis below the waist. Luckily, herniated discs in the thoracic area are not nearly as common as in the lumbar spine.

What does a thoracic herniation feel like?

The first symptom of a thoracic disc herniation is usually pain. The pain is most often felt in the back, directly over the sore disc. Pain may also radiate around to the front of the chest. Pressure or irritation on the nerves in the thoracic area can also cause symptoms.

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How long does it take a herniated thoracic disc to heal?

Nonsurgical treatments

Self care: In most cases, the pain from a herniated disc will get better within a couple days and completely resolve in 4 to 6 weeks. Restricting your activity, ice/heat therapy, and taking over the counter medications will help your recovery.

How long does it take to recover from thoracic spine surgery?

Most people completely recover in about three to six weeks with physical therapy. It is common to have infrequent tingling, numbness, or shooting pains after surgery, which typically improve with time and physical therapy as the nerve continues to heal.

How successful is thoracic spine surgery?

Review of 241 thorascopic procedures showed a success rate of 98% to 100%, low morbidity, and favorable complication profile.

What do you do for a thoracic herniated disc?

How is thoracic disc herniation treated?

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. …
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. …
  • Muscle relaxers decrease pain and muscle spasms.
  • A steroid injection may be given to reduce inflammation. …
  • Physical therapy may be recommended by your healthcare provider.

What does an MRI of the thoracic spine show?

An MRI for thoracic spine shows snapshots of discs, nerves, spinal cord, and other soft tissues in this region of the spine. A trained radiographer and consultant radiologist will be able to point out anomalies and other irregularities occurring in this region which require closer attention.

When should I be concerned about thoracic back pain?

Pain that doesn’t get better after 2-4 weeks of treatment. Pain that is accompanied by severe stiffness in the morning. Changes to the shape of the spine, including the appearance of lumps or bumps. Pins and needles, numbness or weakness of the legs that is severe or gets worse over time.

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