The thoracic spine consists of twelve (12) vertebrae, or bones, located in the middle of the back. The top portion of the thoracic joins the lower portion of the back of the neck (cervical) and extends down to approximately five inches below the bottom of the shoulder blade. The thoracic extends down the back until it meets with the top of the lumbar spine or low back.

workers compensation lawyerMid back injuries are typically more severe and result in complicated treatment and extended recovery. The experienced mid back and thoracic injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt are ready and willing to help you obtain the benefits to which you may be entitled under Florida’s workers’ compensation law.Whether you injured you mid back falling off a ladder at a construction site in Florida, you were a clerk who was robbed and beaten at a convenience store in Georgia or suffered a horrific accident delivering flowers in Illinois, we can help you get started on the road to recovery today.

Made up of bones, connective tissues, nerves, muscles and joints, the thoracic spine is solidly constructed to provide stability and support. Structurally, the thoracic spine is different from the lumbar and cervical spine which is built for power for heavy lifting (more so for the low back) and flexibility to turn and rotate.

The thoracic spine provides support by connecting each of the thoracic vertebrae to the rib cage. The top ten (10) mid back vertebrae meet with the ribs which curve out and away from the spine toward the front of the chest wall, forming the sternum. By merging the spine and the ribs to the sternum, the human body provides a protective support structure for the heart, lungs, liver and other vital organs. The bottom two thoracic vertebrae (T11-12) provide protection for the kidneys located in the back of the body. Because these two levels are not fused into the sternum, they have less stability and are more susceptible to damage and injury.

Similar to the lumbar and cervical discs found above and below the thoracic spine, the vertebrae (bones) are separated by gelatinous padding or shock absorbers. However, the shock absorbers at the thoracic levels are thinnerthan those in the lumbar or cervical which leads to less flexibility. One small added benefit is less likelihood of injury to this area due to the thinner spaces. However, if there is injury to the thoracic spine, there is a greater chance of spinal cord injury as the spinal canal, a hollow core for the spinal cord to pass through, is narrowest at this level.

The most common fractures of the thoracic spine occur near the thoracolumbar junction (where the thoracic and lumbar meet). These fractures are typically caused by high-velocity or high-energy trauma accidents such as, but not limited to:

  • Car crash
  • Fall from height
  • Sports accident
  • Violent act or attack

Symptoms found commonly reported in the mid to upper back, or thoracic region, include muscular problems caused by irritation or tension, which may result from poor posture or aggravation of large back and shoulder muscles. Pain can also be generated by joint dysfunction, especially where the ribs attach to the spine. Though less common in the thoracic without specific trauma, herniated discs can also cause pain or discomfort. Degenerative disc disease or arthritis, caused by swelling in the spine, can place pressure on the spinal canal or the nerve roots and limited range of motion and ability to participate in activities.

If you believe you have a work-related thoracic or mid back injury call one of the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt today.

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