Upper Back Pain Shouldn’t Slow You Down
Are you experiencing pain in your upper back? Does it radiate through your chest or belly? Does it intensify when you cough or sneeze? Any of these symptoms could indicate a thoracic herniated disc. The problem can also manifest as problems with balance or walking, numbness or tingling, or even problems with bladder or bowel issues.
Patients who experience pain with or without associated arm pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling may be helped by the thoracic procedure. Prior to this procedure, patients should have attempted more conservative therapies such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain medications and epidural steroid injection.
Your Thoracic Spine
The thoracic spine is the largest portion of your spine, consisting of twelve vertebrae. It acts to stabilize your core, helping the ribs protect your organs and allowing free, unencumbered upright motion.
Since it needs to be less flexible than the other potions of the spine, the discs between the vertebrae are thinner and the spinal opening is narrower. This can make it easier for the bulging matter of a herniated disk to press on or pinch the spine and associated nerves.
The following are the most common procedures performed on the thoracic spine to treat upper back symptoms.
A laser thoracic discectomy may be performed to remove soft tissue abnormalities, such as bulging or herniated disc material. This procedure is performed through a hollow needle and utilizes a laser to shrink the affected soft tissue that is impinging a nerve. Learn more about the laser spine procedure.
Kyphoplasties are performed to treat compression fractures that have resulted in collapsed vertebral space. These fractures are often the result of osteoporosis, and often multiple vertebrae are in need of treatment. During a kyphoplasty, your surgeon will use specialized instruments to inject vertebral cavities with a medical-grade, cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) that will quickly harden and stabilize the bone.
Kyphoplasty is usually outpatient, meaning patients are able to leave the surgical facility the same day as the procedure. The recovery period following this surgery is typically much shorter than traditional open back surgery. While any surgery requires time to heal, many patients report pain relief within just a few days and are able to return to light activities the following day.
To find out if one of our thoracic procedures is right for you, call us 24/7 at 877.474.2225 or submit the form on this page. We’ll review your MRI or CT scan and provide you with a customized treatment plan at no cost.