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thoracic disc rupture

      Re: thoracic disc rupture

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Posted by CCF NEUROSURGERY MD on August 12, 1997 at 22:10:56:

In Reply to: thoracic disc rupture posted by judith a gearhart on July 25, 1997 at 17:25:29:

: I have had a ruptured disc t 11-12 from a fall in the bathtub, repaired approximately 5 yrs ago. 2 yrs. ago I was told it reruptured, but to wait until I couldn,t stand the pain anymore. Recently I bent down in the car and had a muscle spasm on opposite side of initial injury. Now I experience numbness and tingling on both sides down to legs, especially in left leg-also known to have bulging L5S1.  I have not had any studies completed yet but feel I may have a recurrence.  What are my options if it proves to be reputured-told by neurosurgeon 2 yrs ago that they would have to do an anterior approach.  What are my options and who are excellent neurosurgeons-none in Lima area.
Dear Judith,
A thoracic disc herniation is a rare condition that is much harder to
treat than the more common lumbar disc.There are at least 3 different
surgical approaches to the problem and it sounds like surgery is your
only option for a lasting result.
1)From behind (posterior): not a very good choice especially if the disc
is ruptured in the central area
2)Postero-lateral (from the side and behind): results are better with this
but it is a bigger operation that requires removal of more bone and
sometimes part of a rib to allow the surgeon to reach around the spinal
cord to reach the disc
3)anterior or transtoracic (from the front and through the  chest):
This is the best operation but also the biggest with 2/3 of people  
completely cured and 1/3 feeling much better.
No. 3 requires an experienced thoracic surgeon and neurosurgeon for the
best outcome.
My advice would be that you need a new MRI scan since your previous
studies probably predate your new symptoms. Then you should decide with
your own physician whether a consultation or at least a second opinion at
the Cleveland Clinic or other large center near Lima would be appropriate.
Good luck!  

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