Twenty-two herniations of a thoracic disc in nineteen patients were surgically excised between 1972 and 1984. An anterior transthoracic decompression or a costotransversectomy was used for all discectomies. Pain and paraparesis were the most common symptoms preoperatively. The average length of follow-up was forty-eight months. Sixteen patients had an excellent or a good result, one had a fair result, and two had a poor result. Twelve of the fourteen patients who had had motor weakness preoperatively had varying degrees of improvement in motor function postoperatively. Pain was relieved in ten patients, reduced in eight, and unchanged in one. Anterior decompression of herniated thoracic discs yielded gratifying results, but the procedure is associated with some risk of damage to the spinal cord. It therefore requires meticulous preoperative planning and careful surgical technique.