Thoracolumbar Spine Anatomy and Pathology - T12 thru L2
Normal Thoracolumbar Junction Between T12 and L2
Coronal section through a normal thoracolumbar junction between T12 and L2 through the pedicles. The T12 pedicles are bounded laterally by the 12th ribs. The L1 and L2 pedicles are narrow and slender and display venous channels that constitute communications between the internal and external spinous veins. The thecal sac is wide and has strut–shaped axillary pouches where the cauda equina roots pierce the thecal sac. Surrounded only by a thin layer of glistening (frozen) CSF, the conus medullaris almost completely occupies the thecal sac. The gray matter and the central canal of the cord can be distinguished from the surrounding white matter The cauda equina roots snugly follow the inner aspect of the pedicles. At L1–L2 the most anterior portion of the ligamentum flavum is displayed. Note the differences in shape and dimensions of the right and left pedicle at each level and at levels above and below.
©2000 Wolfgang Rauschning, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Anatomy
Academic University Hospital
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
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