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Intervertebral foramina

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Bone: Intervertebral foramina
Sacrum, pelvic surface. (The two rows of four holes are the intervertebral foramina of sacrum, visible but not labeled.)
Peculiar thoracic vertebræ. (Intervertebral foramina are visible but not labeled.)
Latin foramina intervertebralia
Gray's subject #20 96
Dorlands/Elsevier f_12/12373154

When the spinal vertebrae are articulated with each other the bodies form a strong pillar for the support of the head and trunk, and the vertebral foraminae constitute a canal for the protection of the medulla spinalis (spinal cord). Between every pair of vertebræ are two apertures, the intervertebral foramina (singular: foramen; also called neural foramina). The foramen allows for the passage of the spinal nerve root, dorsal root ganglion, the spinal artery of the segmental artery, communicating veins between the internal and external plexuses, recurrent meningeal (sinu-vertebral) nerves, and transforaminal ligaments.

Their size is variable due to placement, pathology, spinal loading, and posture. They can be occluded by arthritic degenerative changes and space-occupying lesions like tumors, metastases and spinal disc herniations.

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

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