Lower lumbar spine from a 45–year–old
woman at the mid–pedicle level of L5. At L4–L5 and L5–S1 the large
dorsal root ganglia occupy the subpedicular notches of the foramina
(root canals) and are bordered superiorly by the pedicles and
posteriorly by the ligaments flava Ooint capsules). At both levels
the much smaller motor roots can be distinguished from the ganglia.
The upper portion of the foramina carries the segmental arteries and
veins. The discs have a dark outermost annular layer of collagen
fibers that resemble a capsule. At L4–L5 the ligamentum flavum
divides into two layers: the vertical portion extends laterally and
terminates with a sharp lateral border, the posterior extension
merges with the capsule of the facet joint. Note the dark
collagenous inferior capsule of the L4–L5 facet joint.
©2000 Wolfgang Rauschning, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Anatomy
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
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