Thoracic disc herniation is rare and mainly occurs between T8 and L1. The herniation is calcified in 40% of cases and is labeled as giant when it occupies more than 40% of the spinal canal. A surgical procedure is indicated when the patient has severe back pain, stubborn intercostal neuralgia or neurological deficits. Selection of the surgical approach is essential. Mid-line calcified hernias are approached from a transthoracic incision, while lateralized soft hernias can be approached from a posterolateral incision. The complication rate for transthoracic approaches is higher than that of posterolateral approaches; however, the former are performed in more complex herniation cases. The thoracoscopic approach is less invasive but has a lengthy learning curve. Retropleural mini-thoracotomy is a potential compromise solution. Fusion is recommended in cases of multilevel herniation, herniation in the context of Scheuermann's disease, when more than 50% bone is resected from the vertebral body, in patients with preoperative back pain or herniation at the thoracolumbar junction. Along with complications specific to the surgical approach, the surgical risks are neurological worsening, dural breach and subarachnoid-pleural fistulas. Giant calcified herniated discs are the largest contributor to myelopathy, intradural extension and postoperative complications. Some of the technical means that can be used to prevent complications are explored, along with how to address these complications.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Thoracic hernia, Surgery, Complications, Giant calcified herniated disc, Surgical approach