4 doctors weighed in:

What are the risks of spinal surgery? What are the risks of spine surgery for herniated disks, located just below the level of the shoulder blades?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Varies

In general, spinal surgery is safe with relatively low complication rate.
Complications can be spine and surgery related or related to anesthesia and perioperative medical complications. Each specific spinal surgery, such as in a thoracic disc herniation which you are describing, has it's own unique risks and benefits and so you should certainly have a good talk with your surgeon. Thank you.

In brief: Varies

In general, spinal surgery is safe with relatively low complication rate.
Complications can be spine and surgery related or related to anesthesia and perioperative medical complications. Each specific spinal surgery, such as in a thoracic disc herniation which you are describing, has it's own unique risks and benefits and so you should certainly have a good talk with your surgeon. Thank you.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Dr. Edward Hellman
Thank
Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sognificant

Disectomy of thoracic disc herniation just below shoulder blades is this is a very unusual level to operate on check back with level of surgery, thoracic disectomy is risky and rarely indicated disectomy in neck or lumbar spine much lower risk of problems.

In brief: Sognificant

Disectomy of thoracic disc herniation just below shoulder blades is this is a very unusual level to operate on check back with level of surgery, thoracic disectomy is risky and rarely indicated disectomy in neck or lumbar spine much lower risk of problems.
Dr. Mark Weston
Dr. Mark Weston
Thank
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Risks

Risks of any surgery include bleeding, pain and infection.
Surgery on the spine adds risks of injury to the nerve leaving the spinal cord, or even injury to the cord itself. Being placed in a prone position for surgery is also associated in very rare cases with a risk of blindness, and the reasons for this are not well understood. Specific to surgery at the level you describe, which would be the thoracic spine, the risks of injury to the cord and nerves is perhaps greater than it would be at a lower level. The spinal cord ends at the first lumbar spine, and therefore surgery below this level does not carry the risk of injury to the cord since it is not present at that level. In the thoracic region, the presence of the spinal cord is an added risk.

In brief: Risks

Risks of any surgery include bleeding, pain and infection.
Surgery on the spine adds risks of injury to the nerve leaving the spinal cord, or even injury to the cord itself. Being placed in a prone position for surgery is also associated in very rare cases with a risk of blindness, and the reasons for this are not well understood. Specific to surgery at the level you describe, which would be the thoracic spine, the risks of injury to the cord and nerves is perhaps greater than it would be at a lower level. The spinal cord ends at the first lumbar spine, and therefore surgery below this level does not carry the risk of injury to the cord since it is not present at that level. In the thoracic region, the presence of the spinal cord is an added risk.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Thank
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