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Back Surgery - T8-9 Thoracic Discectomy (Diskectomy) Procedure. Surgical steps: 1. Creation of a large posterior incision from T4- T12 with exposure of the vertebral elements and ribs; 2. Removal of the left side proximal rib and costovertebral portion of the T9 vertebra; 3. Final view of the T9 vertebra shown from above, detailing the decompression and removal of the disc herniation to free the spinal cord and nerve roots.