Typical Vertebra Features

Body (centrum, pl. centra): The large cylindrical portion, anterior to other features. On its sides, it has semi-ovular indentations for ribs called costal facets (not shown).

Vertebral Arch: The features that encircle the vertebral foramen with the body. It is formed by the L/R pedicles and L/R laminae.

Vertebral Foramen: The hole created by the body and vertebral arch. It contains the spinal cord and is in the center of the vertebra shown.

Vertebral Canal: The tube formed by stacked vertebral foramina. The spinal cord runs through the canal.

Intervertebral Foramina: L/R lateral openings out of the vertebral canal. When vertebrae are stacked, this hole is formed in between the pedicles of each vertebra. Spinal nerves exit the spinal cord through these holes.

Spinous Process: A bone feature that projects posteriorly from the vertebra.

Transverse Processes: Project L/R and have costal facets for ribs

Superior and Inferior Articular Facets: 2 each on L/R, connect to adjacent vertebrae. These processes point up and down while the Transverse Processes point L/R.


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