1.6. A Typical Thoracic Vertebra


Note the following features of a typical thoracic vertebra. 

  • Body of the vertebra

  • Pedicle

  • Lamina

  • Spinous process (remember, only one of these!)

  • Transverse processes (remember, two of these - one on each side)

  • Vertebral foramen

  • Articular processes (two superior and two inferior)

  • Costal facets (remember, one superior demi facet and one inferior demi facet)

  • Transverse costal facet (remember, two of these - one on each side)

  • Intervertebral foramen

Note that the intervertebral foramina are the gaps in between the vertebral pedicles where the spinal nerves leave the spinal cord after the two nerve roots (dorsal and ventral) merge. For the thoracic vertebrae, the T1 spinal nerve leaves at T1, the T2 spinal nerve leaves at T2, and so on. It's worth pointing this last statement out because this organisation is not the case for the cervical vertebrae.