Thoracic and Lumbar Spine

Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Surgery in Kansas City, MO

Your spine is one of the most essential parts of the body. Two sections that compose the spine are the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine. The thoracic, also known as the middle back, is the largest portion of the spine and consists of 12 vertebrae. These 12 vertebrae connect to ribs that wrap around your chest and into your spine.

The lumbar, also known as the lower back, comprises five vertebrae. These vertebrae, however, are tasked with the job of supporting the rest of the spinal column, which means that they operate under the strain of constant pressure. Because of this constant strain and pressure, more back problems occur in the lumbar area than in any other part of the back.

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Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Conditions

Let’s look at a few conditions that affect the thoracic and lumbar spinal areas. Because they’re in different positions and perform different functions, they aren’t prone to all the same problems.

Thoracic Spine

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylosis
  • Compression fractures
  • Sciatica

Problems in the thoracic spinal area are often the result of disease or injury. Injuries to this part of the back aren’t as common as lumbar injuries, but they’re every bit as painful.

Lumbar Spine

The lumbar area is the most commonly injured portion of the back. It’s responsible for lifting and carrying heavy objects and supporting the rest of the body. Here are a few common conditions of the lumbar spine.

  • Herniated discs
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Spinal nerve compression
  • Spinal deformity
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spinal tumors

While every portion of the spine is prone to these conditions, they are most commonly found in the lumbar spinal area.

Thoracic or Lumbar Spine Repair

Regardless of whether your injury is in the thoracic, lumbar, or other portion of the spine, you’ll likely turn to an orthopedic surgeon for help. Orthopedic surgeons are specially trained on how to diagnose and treat most bone injuries and disorders, including those of the lumbar and thoracic regions of the back. Here’s how the orthopedic surgeons at Ortho of Kansas City can help you.


Before your thoracic or lumbar injury can be treated, you’ll have to receive a proper diagnosis. Using the latest technology, we can determine what the problem is and where it’s located. Pain is transferable, which means that the spot where it hurts the most isn’t always the location of the injury.

Treatment Options

While surgery is a big part of what we do, it isn’t always the best form of treatment. If your thoracic or lumbar injury can be repaired without surgery, that’s what we’ll try to do. We also specialize in minimally-invasive surgery to repair degenerative conditions and deformities, as well as reconstructions.

Post Surgery Recovery

If surgery is required to repair your spine, post-surgery recovery is also a big part of an orthopedic surgeon’s job. An orthopedic surgeon should develop a plan of care that includes bed rest, exercises, and when you can return to everyday life. Nutrition, physical therapy, and pain medication will all be a part of the post-surgery recovery plan your orthopedic surgeon creates for you.

Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Doctors

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and make an appointment with one of our Kansas City spine and back specialists. They will perform a complete examination, diagnosing and ultimately treating any problem. From simple physical therapy to complicated surgery, you’re in good hands with Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and we will do what it takes to get you active again.