Thoracic discectomy is a surgical removal or excision of all or part of an intervertebral disc of the thoracic spine. This technique is used to treat a herniated disc in the thoracic spine that is causing pain and nerve irritation or injury.
The procedure is also done to stop the motion across a portion of the spine and create a solid structure. An incision is made on the side of the ribcage and the herniated disc fragment is removed. After the procedure, a drainage tube is left in place around the lung which is then removed after 1-2 days. This technique results in faster recovery but pain or soreness in the chest area may occur which resolves after few days.