Symptoms of thoracic disc herniation
What is the clinical presentation of a thoracic disc herniation?
Fewer than 1% of protruded discs occur in the thoracic spine.
Over 75% of herniated thoracic discs develop below T8, with the highest incidence at the T11 to T12 level.
The protrusion is usually central. Most patients have a degenerative process as the main causative factor; trauma accounts for only 10% to 20% of protruded discs.
Pain (radicular or midline) is the most common initial symptom, followed by numbness.
Motor weakness involving the lower extremities is an initial symptom in 28% of patients.
Bladder involvement is a rare initial symptom but may be seen in 30% of patients at presentation.