Causes of osteonecrosis of the thoracic spine, symptoms and treatment

Tumor of thoracic spine

Tumors of the thoracic spine are rare and disguise themselves as other diseases, making them difficult to diagnose. Degenerative-dystrophic changes were observed in the patient's intervertebral discs and vertebrae in the thoracic region. Pathology in this area of the spine is much less common than osteonecrosis of the neck or waist. It is due to the specific structure of the thoracic region, which has a close connection with the spine and ribs.

Chest pain can signal various diseases, including osteonecrosis. If you feel discomfort in this area, see your doctor, start treatment. Prolonged lack of treatment will lead to serious complications, serious deterioration of the patient's health, which can lead to death.

The origin of the disease

In thoracic osteonecrosis, the structure of the bone tissue of the vertebrae changes

The thoracic region is inactive, the load on it is small compared to other regions of the spine. For this reason, thoracic osteonecrosis in the early stages of development is almost asymptomatic, the pathology being diagnosed when there are already irreversible consequences in the bone tissue.

The main cause of disease formation in any region of the spine is metabolic disorders. Under the influence of a negative factor, the bone tissue structure of the vertebrae changes, the cartilage surface begins to collapse, and the work of the musculoskeletal apparatus is interrupted. The totality of pathological processes develops against the background of aging of the human body, but the presence of osteonecrosis of the thoracic region accelerates them, leading to the development of complications and a feeling of difficulty. bear continuously.

Among the factors that negatively affect the development of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, doctors distinguish the most common ones:

  • physical inactivity. The sedentary spine area leads to impaired blood circulation, leading to faster development of pathological processes;
  • curvature of the spine, lying for a long time in one position leads to muscle spasms;
  • Excessive physical activity or improper exercise adversely affects the thoracic spine;
  • congenital malformations of the spine structure, adjacent organs;
  • obesity, the presence of systemic diseases, various mechanical injuries of the spine (not necessarily in the thoracic region);
  • frequent hypothermia, inflammatory processes in the body.

Genetic predisposition plays an important role in the development of thoracic osteosarcoma. According to statistics, a family history of diseases of the musculoskeletal system increases the risk of similar diseases in a patient by 50%. If you are at risk, follow the recommendations of prevention, trying to prevent the development of the disease.

Clinical picture

The clinical signs of thoracic osteonecrosis are easily confused with a variety of other diseases. Listen carefully to your feelings, see your doctor to find out the exact cause of your discomfort.

Symptoms of thoracic osteonecrosis:

Thoracic fibroma with pain and discomfort in the middle of the back
  • discomfort in the chest area of varying severity (developing against the background of a person being in a position, after sudden movements, when lifting weights);
  • pain syndrome that increases when the arms are raised or moved to the sides;
  • discomfort in the middle back spine difficulty breathing normally, deep breathing accompanied by pain;
  • constant dull pain in the shoulder blade area;
  • patients complain of pain and numbness in some parts of the body, "crawling" in the back;
  • decrease in body temperature in the lower extremities, itching, burning in the legs;
  • violation of the vascular system is manifested by peeling, redness of the skin of the damaged vertebrae, the nail plate is also destroyed;
  • malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract (diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, abdominal pain);
  • the presence of problems with reproductive, sexual function;
  • Usually the victim complains of intercostal neuralgia.

Seek help to rule out other dangerous diseases: myocardial infarction, pneumonia, angina, stomach diseases.

Pain in thoracic osteonecrosis is divided into two types:

  • backache- A persistent pain that accompanies the patient, localized in the damaged disc area;
  • dorsago- Pain manifests in the form of convulsions, causing difficulty breathing, impeding movement of the patient.


Visual examination of the patient and diagnostic maneuvers will help determine the cause of discomfort.

Symptoms are similar to other diseases, confirming or disproving suspicions of thoracic osteomaX-rays will help doctors diagnose osteonecrosis of the thoracic spineSome research will help:

  • X-ray;
  • CT scan, MRI;
  • Ultrasound of internal organs;
  • clinical study of urine, blood (indicators will indicate an inflammatory process in the body).

Try to cure yourself based on the resultsAbsolutely prohibited.The doctor will help decipher the tests, and will prescribe the appropriate course of treatment.

General rules and methods of treatment

How to treat thoracic osteonecrosis?The main goal of therapy is pain relief.Discomfort is the catalyst that stimulates the development of the disease with renewed vigor: against the background of the compression of the nerve roots, a pain syndrome is formed, which leads to muscle spasms, muscle disorders. biology of the spine, exacerbating the compression. A vicious cycle is forming that needs to be broken.


To relieve pain, the following groups of drugs are used:

  • NSAIDs. This is the main group of drugs used to treat thoracic osteonecrosis. Medicines to treat pain, reduce inflammation of the nerve roots, improve the health of the victim. Long-term use is prohibited on the grounds that there is a high probability of side effects;
  • glucocorticosteroids. Drugs have a more pronounced effect than NSAIDs, but adversely affect the functioning of the liver / kidneys / gastrointestinal tract, so they are used in severe cases to relieve acute exacerbations of osteonecrosis;
  • diuretic. Means that contribute to the elimination of edema around the damaged vertebrae, are used in periods of exacerbation of the disease, as an adjuvant;
  • B group vitamins. They start metabolic processes in nerve tissue, have a positive effect on nerve roots;
  • chondroprotectors. Designed to restore cartilage tissue of spinal discs, initiating the natural regeneration process. There is no reliable evidence for the effectiveness of chondroprotectors, but they are actively used to treat diseases of bone and cartilage tissue.

Note!Many ointments, creams and gels are ineffective. The damaged disc is hidden deep under the muscles and ribs, so the active components of the fund cannot penetrate into the heart of the inflammatory process. With regard to thoracic osteonecrosis, only NSAID-based ointments are effective.

Alternative therapy options

In addition to medication, doctors recommend using other methods of treatment to treat osteonecrosis of the thoracic spine:

Massage to relieve spasms and relax muscles in case of osteochondrosis in the chest
  • Massage. The technique quickly copes with discomfort, helps to relax muscles, relieves spasticity, restores part of the biomechanics of the back spine. Any medical facility has at least one qualified masseur;
  • physical therapy. Exercises for bone resorption help reduce the load on damaged vertebrae, strengthen the muscles and relax the muscles. This category includes swimming in the pool, self-massage;
  • Acupuncture(insert needles into specific points on the body). Manipulation allows you to relieve tension from the muscles, relax the whole body and reduce discomfort.

Diet and medical nutrition

Any disease requires an adjustment of the diet to normalize the work of all organs and systems, osteonecrosis of the chest is no exception.The main recommendation is to reduce salt intake,It is this aspect that greatly affects the metabolism in the body. It is not possible to completely refuse salt, but reduce its salt intake. Eat fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish.

Opt out:

  • alcoholic and carbonated beverages;
  • fatty, salty, smoked dishes;
  • flour products;
  • Keep seasoning to a minimum.

The drinking regime is very important - at least 2 liters per day. It is not recommended to drink coffee, replace drinks with green tea, herbal decoction (for osteonecrosis, medicines from rose hip, chamomile, calendula, oak bark are considered healing).

All non-drug treatments should be discussed with your doctor first.During exacerbations, any mechanical impact on the damaged spine is prohibited.Massage, exercise, and physical therapy are performed only during the remission of the disease.

Complications and prognosis

Lack of therapy leads to muscle tension, weakening of the ligamentous apparatus, which contributes to the formation of sciatica, scoliosis, disc herniation, spondylosis and other unpleasant diseases. Exacerbations of the disease often occur, leading to the patient's inability to work, and eventually the patient becomes disabled. The advanced stage of osteonecrosis reduces the patient's life expectancy by 5-10%, but the prognosis is generally favorable, with prompt treatment.

Prevention tips

It is always easier to prevent the development of a disease than to treat it, and thoracic osteonecrosis is no exception.

Doctors highlight common preventive recommendations that will protect your spine from pathological changes:

In case of suspicion of the development of thoracic osteosarcoma, it is necessary to see a doctor.
  • Exercise regularly (swimming, gymnastics, Pilates are all suitable). Strength sports do not have the best effect on the state of bone tissues;
  • Put a special orthopedic chair in the car, this will help avoid heavy loads on all parts of the spine. Trips longer than 3 hours are not recommended. In case of being forced to stay behind the wheel for a long time, stop every hour, start small for 5 minutes;
  • similar recommendations for sitting at the table. Choose a chair with a high back that you can lean on;
  • avoid hypothermia, spinal injury, excessive force on the thoracic region;
  • If you experience chest discomfort, see your doctor. The earlier the disease is identified and treated, the better the prognosis.

Osteonecrosis of the chest is less common than similar diseases of other parts of the spine, but this does not mean it is less dangerous. Take care of your health, weigh the possible risks. If a disease is detected, get treatment, perfectly according to the doctor's recommendations.