You are one of the rarer patients with a thoracic disc hernation. I see about 10 patients a year with a thoracic disc hernations compared to 300 lumbar and 100 cervical hernations.
I try to keep most thoracic disc hernations out of the operating room as the surgery to remove the herniation is extensive. The chest has to be entered and ribs are either stretched or removed which can lead to intercostal neuralgia. The other technique is to do a transpedicular approach which can occasionally lead to incomplete removal. None the less, there are times that a surgery has to be performed due to cord compression. There are some surgeons who use endoscopy to remove thoracic herniations and those results are mixed.
Epidural steroid injections can work well for these herniations. If there is no cord compression and in your case, it sounds like there is none, injection treatment can give relief. If you can be patient, in my opinion, 80% of patients with these herniations can have moderate to significant symptom relief over time.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.