Treatment Neurology & Neurosurgery

Thoracic Disc Herniation

Most often, thoracic disc herniation is treated with bed rest and pain medication. However, surgery may be recommended if the condition doesn't respond to conservative treatment or if the disc is impinging on the spinal cord and causing symptoms or signs of spinal cord dysfunction.

Surgical treatment consists of removing the damaged disc or discs, a procedure called a discectomy. It also may include removing the lamina, the upper part of the vertebrae, to give the spinal cord more room. In the past, discectomy was usually a major surgery done through a large incision. Today, it is more likely to be performed using small incisions, miniature instruments and a viewing instrument called an endoscope.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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