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Arthritis and Rheumatism

OA of thoracis spine

04/25/2007

Question:

Can OA of the thoracic spine cause stenosis in that area? What are the symptoms? Would it affect leg function or create a band of tightness aopund the chest? Thank you.

Answer:

Osteoarthritis of the spine has the potential to cause narrowing (stenosis) at any level of the spine, be it cervical, thoracic, or lumbar. If the stenosis is significant enough, it may compress the spinal cord and cause neurologic symptoms. Thoracic spinal stenosis is more likely to cause symptoms of pain, numbness, or tightness in a band-like distribution around the chest. However, occasionally stenosis at a higher level may still cause lower level symptoms such as leg pain, numbness, or weakness.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University