The tenth thoracic vertebra (T10) is one of twelve vertebrae that make up the central section of the vertebral column. This particular vertebra has a complete articular facet and the thoracic spinal nerves passes out under it. It, in conjunction with the other vertebrae, surrounds the spinal cord providing it with protection from damage. T10 innervates the muscles of the lower abdomen. It is part of the section of the spinal cord which is most vulnerable to injury due to the area's high level of flexibility. A person who sustains an injury in this area will most likely experience limited or complete loss of use of the muscles in the lower abdomen, buttocks, legs, and feet. The extent of the disability is determined by the amount of damage done to the T10 vertebra. If there is only partial damage, the patient may only experience weakness, numbness, lack of muscle control, or loss of the use of only one side of their lower body. Complete damage to this vertebra could result in the patient losing complete use of their lower body (paraplegia).
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: T10