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Typical Vertebra – Vertebral Column

by Craig Canby, PhD
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    00:01 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 to another.

    00:30 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.

    01:35 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.

    01:55 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.

    02:52 And then we have four different articular processes.

    02:58 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.

    03:22 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.

    03:40 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 vertebral foramen.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Typical Vertebra – Vertebral Column by Craig Canby, PhD is from the course Abdominal Wall.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Superior and inferior notch.
    2. Processes.
    3. 3 laminae.
    4. Only superior notch.
    5. Inferior notch.
    1. Four.
    2. Three.
    3. Five.
    4. Two.
    5. One.

    Author of lecture Typical Vertebra – Vertebral Column

     Craig Canby, PhD

    Craig Canby, PhD


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