3D Models Related Images

Posterior View of the Thoracic Spine

Surgical Correlation


Posterior view of a segment of the thoracic spine demonstrating characteristic features of thoracic vertebrae. These include superior and inferior articular processes that possess facet surfaces covered by hyaline cartilage. Superior and inferior facets between subjacent vertebrae form synovial zygoapophyseal or facet joints that permit limited movement (rotation in the thoracic region). Bodies of thoracic vertebra are located anteriorly and are bound together by intervertebral discs. The vertebral canal is completed posteriorly by paired pedicles and laminae that fuse in the posterior midline to the spinous processes. The spinous processes in the thoracic region overlap one another like shingles on a roof and limit access to the vertebral canal. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)