Thoracic Disc Prolapse

This occurs rarely (0.2% of all disc lesions) due to the relative rigidity of the thoracic spine.


- Root pain and/or

- Progressive or fluctuating paraparesis (may lead to mistaken diagnosis).

As vascular involvement may produce damage above the level of compression, sensory findings may be misleading.


A combination of sagittal and axial views on either MRI or CT myelography should clearly demonstrate the disc herniation and the extent of the associated cord compression.

MANAGEMENT Sagittal reconstruction of

Root pain - may settle with bed rest. CT scan at T11/12 level

. . showing cord compression

In the presence of cord compression or unremitting frQm g |grge djsc protrusion root pain, either a posterolateral or an anterior transthoracic approach is used to remove the disc.

(A posterior approach - laminectomy — carries an


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