Pain and injury of the upper back, also called the thoracic spine, is uncommon but can cause you significant pain and discomfort when it does occur. If you’re suffering from upper back pain in Los Angeles, then you may benefit from fusion surgery. The purpose of this type of spine surgery is to alleviate back pain by providing stability and decreasing movement in joints of the spine that are causing nerve irritation. Thoracic fusion surgery is typically recommended for spine deformities, treating a fractured vertebra, and treating vertebral instability.
If your spine specialist advises fusion surgery to treat your back pain, there are a variety of approaches that she may use to complete the procedure. However, all fusion surgeries involve the use of a bone graft that is placed between the vertebrae. The purpose of the bone graft is to create a solid bonding of the two vertebrae located at the site which is the source of your symptoms. In some cases, hardware may also be used to promote the union or provide additional stability. A recovery time will follow the surgery, and your surgeon may advise a break from your normal activities and participation in a rehabilitation program.
The thoracic spine is the portion located in your upper back, between the cervical spine in your neck and the lumbar spine in your lower back. Pain in the thoracic spine is less common than back pain that affects other areas, because this part of the back is relatively stable and moves only minimally. If you experience pain in your thoracic spine, see a spine doctor in Los Angeles for diagnosis and care. As with all types of spinal injuries, upper back pain is easiest to treat when you see a spine specialist soon after the onset of symptoms.
Thoracic back pain is typically caused by muscle irritation, or myofascial pain, or joint dysfunction. Myofascial pain usually occurs because of overexertion or de-conditioning of the muscles in the thoracic region. Joint dysfunction can also be caused by accidents and other spine injuries.
Non-operative spine care is sufficient for most cases of upper back pain. Physical therapy, steroid injections, and massage can all be helpful. When non-invasive methods don’t work, surgical solutions including fusion and laminectomy, are possible.
The Athlete’s Guide to Spinal Injuries [INFOGRAPHIC]
A spine injury can happen to anyone at any time, but athletes are particularly vulnerable to both acute and chronic back injuries. Although players in contact sports are most at risk, all athletes have the potential of suffering an injury to the cervical, lumbar, or thoracic spine. If you experience a back injury, the steps you take next will determine how long you will be sidelined. Never try to play through an athletic spine injury, as you could do further damage. Instead, get out of the game, rest, and see a spine specialist right away for diagnosis and treatment. With non-operative spine care and minimally invasive spinal surgery, a specialist can get you off the bench and back to your pre-injury level of fitness. Find out more about spine injuries in athletes in this infographic from Marina Spine Center . Choose us when you need a spine doctor in Los Angeles, and please help your fellow athletes by sharing this information.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Herniated discs can occur in the lower back, the upper back, or the neck. A herniated disc can also be called a slipped disc, or a ruptured disc, and is often caused by aging and gradual wear and tear on the spinal discs. It can also be the result of a traumatic injury, such as a fall. Treatment for a severe herniated disc may include lumbar spine surgery, thoracic spine surgery, or cervical spine surgery. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from a herniated disc near Los Angeles , continue reading to learn about the common symptoms of this condition.
Arm or Leg Pain
If you have a herniated disc in the lumbar spine, the primary symptom would likely be leg pain. This pain can be
intense, and may spread across your buttocks, thighs, calves, and even part of your feet. A herniated disc in the thoracic spine results in pain that shoots from your shoulder to your arm, and may even spread to your leg if you cough, sneeze, or move your spine in a certain way. A herniated disc in the cervical spine causes neck pain that can radiate to the shoulders and arms.
Numbness or Tingling
A herniated disc often affects the surrounding nerves because the disc tissue can press on the spinal nerves at the level of the spine where the herniation occurred. A lumbar spine herniation will cause numbness and tingling in the lower body. A thoracic spine herniation can cause numbness and tingling in the arms, and a cervical spine herniation may cause numbness and tingling in the shoulders and arms.
If the disc herniation is large, it will press on the spinal nerves that are on both sides of the body. This will cause noticeable and severe muscle weakness in the extremities. Even in minor cases, the muscles that are served by the nerves affected by herniation can become weak. This may cause you to have trouble walking or lifting and carrying items.
Solutions for Your Thoracic Back Pain
Thoracic back pain affects the upper and the middle back and extends a little bit past the shoulder blades. The thoracic spine connects the cervical spine and the lumbar spine and can experience muscular problems, joint dysfunction, herniated discs, arthritis, and vertebral fractures that all lead to varying levels of pain. Keep reading to find out how you and your spinal surgeon serving Los Angeles can reduce and possibly eliminate your thoracic pain:
There are both minimally invasive and traditional procedures that can target pain in this part of the spine. A discectomy, laminotomy, a fusion, a laminectomy, or a kyphoplasty can be performed to fix issues that are causing pain in the thoracic spine. The kind of thoracic issue you are experiencing will affect the type of treatment you will need to fix it.
If you have issues in your upper or middle back, it is important to schedule a consultation with a spine doctor in your area. After a thorough exam, the doctor can determine the best solution for your specific pain issues.
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