Case Report: Thoracic Spine-ruptured disk (Dr Stephens)

51-year-old white male involved in a motor vehicle accident six months prior to his surgery.  He had a long history of low back trouble and neck trouble which necessitated him having four separate operations on his cervical spine.  However, after his motor vehicle accident, in which he was thrown around the car, he began complaining of severe mid-thoracic back pain with radiation of the pain down into his left leg to his foot.  The pain became progressively worse.  He began to have some spasticity in his left leg and notable weakness.  He had no bowel or bladder problems.  The MRI scan showed a large herniated disc at T7-8.  This disc was removed through a thoracotomy approach and a fusion was done at the same time with a rib graft.  Postoperatively he had no neurologic impairment at all, all of the pain was gone in his leg, and all the spasticity had recovered.  Although surgery for thoracic discs are rare, when indicated they yield extremely successful and safe results when carried out anteriorly with a fusion in conjunction with the discectomy.

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Last Updated: 10/4/03