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Spinal Stenosis (Thoracic)

Thoracic Spinal stenosis is the term given to a constricted or obstructed spinal canal in the middle of the back. The spinal canal is made up of bones called vertebra which are joined together and run down the middle of the back from the base of the skull to the pelvic area.

Sections of this vertebral column are broken up according the area they run through. The cervical part of the spine is located in the neck area and can be considered the top of the column. The thoracic area runs from the upper back to just below the rib cage. The lumbar area is the base of the tower which starts in the pelvic area.

The thoracic area of the spine is the most inflexible part of the spine because it is firmly joined to the sternum as well as the ribs. Because of this rigidity thoracic spinal stenosis happens very rarely. In fact only 1% of spinal stenosis patients have it in the thoracic area. Being so uncommon there is no set pattern of treatment for patients so it may be a good idea to explore 3 of the most common reasons for getting this condition. These reasons, in no particular order are: Paget’s disease; congenital and ageing.


Due to the mildness of the early symptoms it is usually either not diagnosed or misdiagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage. In its advanced stages it can disrupt bowel movements, cause uneven or difficult gait or sometimes cause paralysis in the lower body.