Thoracic Disc Injuries Follow-up

Updated: May 30, 2017
  • Author: Kambiz Hannani, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

Thoracic disc disease is usually self-limiting; return to play depends on the success of conservative management in controlling the pain/radiculopathy that is associated with the disc herniation.

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Complications

The most serious but rare complication of thoracic disc disease is myelopathy. Myelopathic features, including hyperreflexia, weakness, and bowel/bladder dysfunction, may not improve after surgical decompression. Worsening myelopathic findings are an absolute indication for surgical decompression.

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Prevention

Exercises, including cardiovascular training and abdominal/lumbar muscle training, are the primary preventive measure for thoracic disc disease.

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Prognosis

Thoracic disc disease is essentially self-limiting and rarely requires surgical intervention. Most cases resolve within the first 4-6 weeks following onset.

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