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Thoracic Arthritis

There are 12 thoracic vertebrae that make up the middle segment of the spinal column. Located between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae, the thoracic region encompasses the rib cage and the chest area. Arthritis can affect any part of the body, including the thoracic spine region. Pain and stiffness in the shoulder and chest areas are common complaints in individuals suffering from thoracic arthritis.

Since arthritis is a general term for more than a hundred rheumatoid disorders, it's important to get an accurate diagnosis before beginning treatment for symptoms. Some of the more common forms of arthritis that can affect the thoracic spine are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and others.

Surgical Intervention for Thoracic Arthritis
Initial comfort measures may include anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy for stiffness that often accompanies thoracic arthritis. If symptoms do not improve with conservative therapy, surgery may be indicated. Arthritis can lead to the formation of bone spurs and the loss of cartilage that puts excessive pressure on the nerve roots in the spinal canal.

At The Bonati Institute, surgical intervention to open the canal within the spine and relieve the pressure caused by thoracic arthritis is highly successful. In fact, many patients report immediate relief from the pain. If you've been diagnosed with thoracic arthritis, or if you need a second opinion, the surgeons at The Bonati Institute will give you a written report of findings if you send a copy of your recent MRI. Their endoscopic and arthroscopic surgical expertise offers a welcome alternative to traditional invasive surgery for the relief of thoracic arthritis pain.


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