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Thoracic Conditions Specialist

Jeff Pan, MD

Neurosurgery & Spine Specialist located in Edison, NJ

Your thoracic spine connects your cervical spine to your lumbar spine and is the least flexible portion of your backbone. However, there are thoracic conditions that affect the structure and function of this part of your spine that may cause pain and affect your quality of life. At his private medical practice in Edison, New Jersey, Jeff Pan, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic conditions. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book online today.

Thoracic Conditions Q&A

What is the thoracic spine?

The thoracic spine is the longest portion of your spine and connects your cervical spine (neck) to your lumbar spine (lower back). By design, it provides stability, protects your spinal cord, and anchors your rib cage.

Though less flexible than your cervical and lumbar spine, thoracic conditions that affect the structure or function of this part of your spine may lead to upper back pain. 

If you have upper back pain, Dr. Pan can find the underlying cause and provide the right care to alleviate your symptoms. 

What are thoracic conditions?

There are many thoracic conditions that affect the structure or function of this part of your spine. Some of the thoracic conditions Dr. Pan specializes in treating include:

Scheuermann’s kyphosis

Scheuermann’s kyphosis is an abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine that occurs during periods of growth, usually during adolescence. With Scheuermann’s kyphosis, the upper back may be described as a “round-back posture” or “hunchback.”

The deformity develops slowly and rarely causes spinal nerve damage. However, the deformity limits space in the chest cavity, which affects heart and lung function.

Age-related kyphosis

Age-related kyphosis occurs from degenerative changes in the thoracic spine, often from osteoporosis, that lead to the “round-back posture.”

Compression fractures

A compression fracture is a type of vertebrae fracture in which the bone collapses or crumbles, which affects vertebral height.

Spinal tumors

Spinal tumors are growths that develop in or around your spine.  

How are thoracic conditions diagnosed?

Dr. Pan conducts in-depth clinical exams to diagnose thoracic conditions. He spends time reviewing your symptoms and when they started, as well as your medical and family history.

He performs a physical exam, paying close attention to the structure and function of your spine and the source of your pain. 

To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, Dr. Pan requests diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. 

How are thoracic conditions treated?

Dr. Pan customizes your treatment plan based on your diagnosis, severity of symptoms, medical history, and general health.

Though an experienced and skilled neurosurgeon, Dr. Pan takes a conservative approach to care and may recommend non-surgical treatments for your thoracic condition, such as pain or anti-inflammatory medication, bracing, and physical therapy.

When non-surgical treatments fail to improve your thoracic condition or your symptoms worsens, Dr. Pan may recommend surgery.

For Scheuermann’s kyphosis, Dr. Pan performs complex spinal reconstruction to correct spinal alignment and prevent the progression of the abnormality.

For compression fractures, Dr. Pan performs vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, which are minimally invasive procedures that restore vertebral height and alleviate symptoms. 

To schedule an evaluation with an experienced neurosurgeon to discuss treatment options for your thoracic condition, call the office of Jeff Pan, MD, or book online today.