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Thoracic Myelopathy

Upper Back

Thoracic Myelopathy occurs when the thoracic spinal cord in compressed. This occurs mostly because of bulged discs, fractures, or bone spurs.

The thoracic region specifies the middle portion of the spine. Myelopathy describes the clinical findings associated with compression of the spinal cord that results in impairment of nerve function and may cause partial or complete paralysis of the lower extremities (paraplegia). Common symptoms include numbness and weakness in legs accompanied by loss of coordination/gait disturbance.

The natural history for most is of slow steady decline in function. The primary treatment is with surgical decompression often through a laminectomy. In certain circumstance more intricate procedures including removal of an entire vertebrae (Corpectomy) or Disc need to be performed by approaching the spine through the chest (Thoracotomy).

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