The bulging disc treatment will mainly depend on the severity of the condition, however, if there is a treatment for treating acute disc or back problems than your surgeon will recommend the following:
• Your surgeon will advise you to take proper rest and avoid the activities like bending, twisting, prolonged sitting, and lifting.
• Your surgeon will also design some exercises which specifically address the cause of the symptoms.
• Your surgeon will advise applying ice to the thoracic spine which helps in reducing pain and associated muscle spasm. They suggest applying ice right away and then at intervals of 20 minutes, also do not apply ice directly to the skin take some cloth and wrap the ice and then apply.
• They will use a brace or take other support which is helpful in reducing the stress on the discs, muscles and lumbar spine.
• They will recommend some anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medications.
What are the Surgical Treatments for bulging disc in the thoracic spine?
Your surgeon generally performs laminotomy and discectomy surgeries to treat a bulging disc. Laminotomy is a procedure in which your surgeon will open the lamina, whereas discectomy is a procedure in which your surgeon will remove the disc. The main aim of taking out a bulging disc is to decompress your spinal cord or spinal nerves. However, there are chances that nerve problems will occur with this traditional method of decompression, which has been discontinued by many surgeons.
To perform a surgery for the bulging disc is in your thoracic spine your surgeon will perform transthoracic decompression, which is the best way to decompress your spinal cord or spinal nerves by removing a small amount of the vertebral body and a disc which creates problem can also be removed through a small opening in the side of your chest. If a large section of vertebra needs to be taken out then your surgeon will perform a spinal fusion.
It has been found that the bulging disc in your thoracic spine may also be surgically treated by using a costotransversectomy. This is a procedure in which a section of the transverse process which means the small bone on the side of the vertebra will be taken off, which helps your surgeon to see the injured disc. When your surgeon found the injured disc they will treat that by making an incision through the back of your spine.
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) this is a new method to perform thoracic spine surgery where your surgeon can see and treat the bulging disc by using a small camera which is passed through your chest cavity. As there are small incisions are made so most of the patients have an easier recovering time from the VATS procedure.
If surgery on the bulging disc is performed to remove the large section of bones and disc material, in such cases, the section of the spine may become loose or unstable. When this situation occurs it may be necessary to fuse the bones above and below the unstable section. Your surgeon will then use the bone graft material to get the unstable bones to grow together and they use rods, metals, plates, and screws to hold the bones in place so the bone graft heals.
How the bulging discs in the thoracic spine are diagnosed?
Spine Surgery India is a medical tourism company which has tie-ups with the best and renowned spine hospitals where the surgeons can diagnose a bulging disc in the thoracic spine with a complete history of the problem and a physical exam. If after examination they found that your thoracic spine is pushing against your spinal cord then your surgeon will perform certain diagnostic tests which include an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
a) X-ray: Your surgeon will perform an X-rays of your spine. Although this X-ray cannot show a bulging disc in the thoracic spine, it can only give your surgeon an idea of how much wear and tear is present in your spine.
b) MRI: This is the most common test to diagnose a bulging disc in the thoracic spine. This is a painless test and very accurate. Usually, the surgeons preferred this test to be performed after X-rays if a bulging disc is suspected.
c) Myelogram with CT scan: There are chances that the X-ray and MRI are failed to tell the whole story. In such cases, your surgeon will recommend other tests which are myelogram with CT scan. A myelogram usually combined with a CT scan, which will give as much information as possible.
Causes of bulging discs in the thoracic spine
The following are the causes of bulging discs in the thoracic spine :
• If there is a degeneration or general wear-and-tear which breaks down the walls of the disc due to which bulging of the disc occurs.
• Repetitive bending and twisting motions can cause bulging discs in the thoracic spine.
• If there is any sudden fall or trauma, such as an accident can cause bulging discs in the thoracic spine.
• If there is a family history of bulging discs in the thoracic spine can contribute to the likelihood of intervertebral disc disease.
Symptoms of bulging discs in the thoracic spine
The symptoms of a bulging disc will depend on the location of the bulge and which soft tissue structures are involved. Symptoms of the bulging disc can vary from none to mild or can be more severe. Other symptoms can include the following:
• If you experience pain in the upper back and stomach area.
• If your nerve is compromised because of sensory changes such as numbness or tingling.
• If there are a muscle spasm and changes in posture which leads to the injury.
• If you face difficulties in bending and standing or poor tolerance to sitting.
• If you face difficulties while sitting and bending when the bulge is severe. In such cases, the patients have difficulty finding a comfortable position.
• If there are changes in bladder or bowel function.
• If you feel that your body from the waist down has been paralyzed.