Thoracic osteonecrosis: symptoms, sensations and features of therapy

thoracic osteonecrosis photo 1

Osteochondrosis - dystrophic and degenerative changes in cartilage and bone tissue. Spinal osteomas can occur in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine. Progression of the disease leads to destruction of ligaments, structures of joints, discs.

Osteoma of the spine in the thoracic region is uncommon. This is due to the peculiarities of its structure. Its mobility is lower than that of the cervical and lumbar regions. Part of the load is assumed by the ribs and sternum. The danger of pathology in the difficult diagnosis. Symptoms of the disease are like other diseases, detected quite late, complicating the treatment process.

Cause of disease

thoracic osteonecrosis photo 2

The development of thoracic osteonecrosis is associated with metabolic disturbances and an increased load on the intervertebral discs. Inside the disc is the nucleus pulposus, surrounded by ring-shaped fibers. If it is damaged, the kernel will dry out and lose quality. As a result of degeneration, inflammation and clamping of the nerve fibers of the spinal cord occur.

Causes of osteonecrosis can be:

  • heredity;
  • disc herniation;
  • the presence of bone-forming substances;
  • poor blood supply to the spinal cord due to vascular clamping;
  • violation of mineral metabolism (in particular, calcium deficiency);
  • curvature of the spine, which creates an uneven load on the intervertebral discs;
  • trauma to the thoracic region due to falls, bruises, bumps;
  • strength sports, regular weight lifting;
  • passive lifestyle.

Symptoms and sensations of osteonecrosis in the chest

Several factors influence the clinical picture of pathology:

  • degree of damage to the spine;
  • the patient's age;
  • stage of the pathological process (exacerbation or remission).

The symptoms of thoracic osteonecrosis are varied and nonspecific, so the disease is often confused with other diseases.

The main signs of osteonecrosis of the breast:

  • Low back pain - sudden, severe pain in the chest and back ("low back pain"), the patient feels short of breath.
  • Back pain is mild pain in the affected vertebrae that develops gradually over several weeks. The pain can be aggravated by taking deep breaths, bending to the side and forward, and remaining in a static position for long periods of time.

Severe low back pain and shortness of breath are associated with intercostal neuralgia, in which nerve roots are compressed. The intensity of the pain usually increases in the afternoon and gradually decreases after a night of waking up.

Among the neurological symptoms are:

  • violation of the sensitivity of the extremities;
  • myocardial numbness;
  • lung syndrome;
  • tingling, burning, numbness of the skin;
  • convulsions and muscle spasms;
  • A sensation of the presence of a foreign body in the pharynx when osteonecrosis is localized in the upper thoracic region.

Intercostal neuralgia is a concomitant symptom of degenerative - inflammatory diseases of the spine (osteoarthritis, vertebral displacement, scoliosis). But its appearance resembles a sign of various diseases of the peritoneal and thoracic organs.

Note!Most often, the pain occurs in the upper chest area, gradually covering it completely, as well as in the shoulder blade area (reminiscent of angina attacks). Pain in the right hypogastrium occurs with medial thoracic osteonecrosis. They can be diagnosed as pancreatitis or cholecystitis. Gastrointestinal pain occurs with lesions of the lower thoracic region of the spine, simulating enteropathy.

Stages of disease development

back pain with bone necrosis in the chest

The degree of development of the disease is associated with pathological disorders of the spine, which are characterized by certain clinical symptoms.

There are 4 stages of disease development:

  • Degree 1- the appearance of cracks inside the annulus, after which the pulp fluid penetrates. Pain syndrome occurs, localized only in the affected area. May have heart muscle pain, muscle spasms.
  • Degree 2- Abnormal mobility occurs between the vertebrae, may notice additional movement in the thoracic region. With prolonged static posture or with movement, discomfort and pain increase.
  • Grade 3- rupture of the annulus, going outside the nucleus pulposus. Disc herniation occurs. This causes severe pain in the shoulder, reduced mobility, and other symptoms.
  • 4 degrees- pathological processes extending beyond the spine. In degenerative-dystrophic changes, the vertebral ligaments are involved, fibrosis develops.


X-rays are highly informative. The presence of pathology is indicated by:

  • uneven disc edges;
  • expand and sharpen simple processes;
  • reduce the height of the discs, deform their shape;
  • presence of bone marrow.

Sometimes an X-ray contrast study is done. Contrast fills the destroyed disc, helping to determine the degree of bypass of the pathological process. MRI and computed tomography are considered equally informative.

Effective treatments

How to treat thoracic osteonecrosis? The therapeutic approach must be comprehensive. It is necessary to take into account the stage of development of the disease, the degree of destructive processes, the general condition of the patient.

Drug treatment

In the treatment of osteonecrosis of the chest, several groups of drugs are used.

  • NSAIDs and muscle relaxants;
  • Glucocorticosteroids. Their therapeutic effect is more pronounced than that of NSAIDs, but the risk of side effects is higher.
  • Chondroprotectors. It is believed that chondroprotective agents contribute to the regulation of damaged cartilage tissue. But their effectiveness has yet to be properly confirmed.
  • Diuretics are used for short periods of time to reduce swelling of constricted nerve fibers during an exacerbation of osteonecrosis.

Folk remedies and recipes

Celery to treat breast fibroids

It is used more often during periods of remission of the disease and as an adjunct treatment only.

Treatment of osteonecrosis at home with traditional medicine:

  • Pour 30-40 g of chopped celery root with 1 liter of boiling water. Emphasize 8 hours. Drink 1 dessert spoon three times a day.
  • Melt 150g lard with steam. Add 2 tablespoons of wax to it. Warm for 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of ammonia. Rub problem areas twice a day. Store in a cool place.

Massage therapy and exercise

One of the most effective treatments for osteonecrosis is massage. It eliminates muscle spasms, improves blood supply to the problem area and normalizes the functional state of the spine. With an exacerbation of the disease, vibrating massage is recommended. After the clinical manifestations subside, you can take a course of classical massage.

Massage should not be given to grade 3 thoracic fibroma, when there is a herniated disc. This can aggravate the patient's condition.

The goal of physical therapy and gymnastics for cervical spondylosis is to improve the mobility of the disc joints, toning the muscles. Exercise therapy allows you to relieve muscle spasms, eliminate stiffness in the spine. Classes should be conducted daily under the supervision of an experienced instructor. Their plan is tailored for each patient.

Power feature

The main principles of proper nutrition in the treatment of osteonecrosis of the chest:

  • a large amount of protein in the diet;
  • exclude fat and fry;
  • Food should be boiled or grilled.

Salt should be excluded from the diet or it should be significantly limited. Avoid carbonated drinks and caffeine. It is better to replace them with herbal teas, natural juices. To enhance the synthesis of cartilage tissue, it is recommended to include jellies, jellies, and jellies containing chondroitin in the diet. To get enough calcium for bone health, you need to eat dairy products. Compliance with a reasonable diet prevents the progression of the pathological process.

Preventive measures

To prevent the development and exacerbation of destructive processes in the thoracic spine, it is advisable to take preventive measures as soon as possible and monitor them regularly.

spinal model and thoracic osteonecrosis


  • perform special exercises for the back every day;
  • give up addictions;
  • eat right and balanced;
  • normalize weight;
  • with sedentary work 10 minutes per hour you need to warm up;
  • swimming, water aerobics;

Thoracic osteomas are uncommon compared with cervical and lumbar vertebrae. But it is no less dangerous in its consequences for the body. Detecting the disease in the early stages is quite difficult because the pathological symptoms are quite similar to other diseases. Therefore, it is important to monitor the health of the spine at all times, taking all measures to prevent the destruction of pathology.