THORACIC SURGERY IN INDIA
The section of the spine found in the upper back is called the thoracic spine. It goes from the base of the neck to the bottom of the rib cage. Knowing the main parts of the thoracic spine and how these parts work is important as you learn to care for your back problem.
Two common anatomic terms are useful as they relate to the thoracic spine. The term anterior refers to the front of the spine. The term posterior refers to the back of the spine. The front of the thoracic spine is therefore called the anterior thoracic area. The back of the thoracic spine is called the posterior thoracic area.
This Guide Gives A General Overview Of The Anatomy Of The Thoracic Spine. It Should Help You Understand : –
- What Parts Make Up The Thoracic Spine
- How These Parts Work
Important Structures in India
The important parts of the thoracic spine include :-
- bones and joints
- connective tissues
- spinal segment
This section highlights important structures in each category.
Thoracic spine injuries can be caused by trauma, injury, strain or even poor posture. Upper back pain is common for those who do not have an ergonomic office environment, but work at the computer during the day.
Simple Thoracic Pain
- The thoracic spine extends from the round bump at the base of the neck (T1) all the way down to T12 (about 4 – 5 ” below the bra-strap).
- Simple Thoracic Pain implies pain arising due to relatively minor problems with the muscles, ligaments and joints of the thoracic spine. It implies also that there is no spinal nerve root involvement (trapped or pinched nerve, slipped disc).
- The pain can come on after a minor injury or sprain. In many cases no injury can be identified, with the pain coming on say just after sleeping badly in bed at night (see Postural Thoracic Ache).
- Investigations (X-rays and MRI scans) only show age related changes, reassuring the doctor and patient that no serious damage has been done.
- 90% of all episodes of simple thoracic pain get better within 2 weeks with conservative management (analgesics – pain killers / relievers, keep it moving, avoid excessive rest).
Symptoms in India
An injury to the thoracic spine area may result in paralysis of the lower body, pain that travels into the legs, numbness and tingling, weakness in the muscles and changes in reflexes, according to the Maryland Spine Center.
Abnormalities of the thoracic spine are detected using X-ray and MRI imaging to look for fractures, dislocation, osteoporosis of the spine, soft tissue damage, nerve impingement and other problems.
What is the cause of the pain ?
- The sprained part is usually in the superficial part of the spine (muscle, joint or ligament). The sprained tissue becomes inflamed, causing pain signals to be sent to the spinal cord.
- If the incoming pain signals are strong enough and go on for long enough, processing centres (dorsal horn) in the spinal cord become sensitised, sending out signals to the muscles in the vicinity of the sprain to contract to produce muscle spasm. This is initially a protective reflex which may prevent further injury to the sprained part.
- If the muscles in the area are contracting quite strongly, then the tension receptors in the local muscles and joints are activated. Strong signals from the tension receptors can be interpreted in the spinal cord as pain, adding to the pain signals from the inflamed tissue. These two kinds of signal combine together to keep the spinal cord dorsal horn in a sensitised state, and also keeping the spinal muscles in a contracted state through a feedback loop. The sequence of events can be therefore summarised in the diagram below:-
Treatment in India
A doctor will often require rest after a thoracic spine injury, especially if the pain is severe. Pain medications and anti-inflammatories are often prescribed.
Physical Therapy in India
Physical therapy, including stretches and exercise, is often prescribed for thoracic spine injuries. Increasing strength in the abdominal muscles can help prevent spinal injuries and improve strength and stability. A physical therapist can also review potential causes, such as poor posture or lifting incorrectly.