Now, we need to stop at this particular slide
and to understand what the structural blueprint
is of a typical vertebra. Once we understand
this basic structural blueprint, we can better
understand the segmental specification that
exists as we move from one vertebral segment
So, here is the basic blueprint. It is quite
simple in this slide, but in this view, looking
down upon the vertebra and then in the lateral
view, we see this prominent structure. This
is referred to as the body of the vertebra.
And if we go up to the superior view, the
upper image here and look posteriorly to the
vertebral body, we will see that we have a
vertebral arch that attaches to the body.
And this vertebral arch has several different
elements that are associated with it. But,
what you see here in this central aspect defined
by the body and the arch is the vertebral
foramen. This is what houses the spinal cord
and its covering, the meninges.
Now, this slide helps you understand the complexity
of the vertebral arch. And there are various
components that are associated with the vertebral
arch. And these components are referred to
as pedicles, laminae and processes.
So, we’ll begin with the pedicles. The pedicles
are these stout processes that are connected
to the vertebral body. These then project
posteriorly and then, when you come out here,
you’ll see connected to each pedicle is
this sheet or flat bonelike component. And
each one of these is a lamina. So, here’s
a lamina on this side, here’s a lamina on
this side and then they project toward the
posterior midline and where they join, we
will then have one of our seven processes.
This happens to be the spinous process. These
here projecting out laterally, where the pedicles
join the laminae, transverse processes is here.
And then we have four different articular
Here in the upper image, looking down upon
the superior aspect of this vertebra, we see
two superior articular processes. If we take
a look at the lateral view, we see those same
articular processes looking like ears projecting
upwards. But, here are the other two and these
are inferiorly oriented.
So, again, the vertebral arch is made up of
two pedicles, two laminae, seven processes
and it’s also probably important at this
point to also demonstrate how the inner vertebral
foramen is formed because the pedicles are
going to be notched.
And so, if we take a look here at the superior
aspect of our two pedicles, we have a superior
notch represented here. And if we take a look
at the inferior aspect, we see a very prominent
inferior notch. And when those two notches
join together, that will then define the inner