Cervical Anatomy and Pathology - Midthoracic Spine

Midthoracic Spine of a 64 year old female

Midsagittal section through the mid-thoracic spine 64-year old female

Midsagittal section through the midthoracic spine of a 64–year–old female. Due to the supine position of the cadaver there is engorgement of the deep posterior veins. All discs show degenerative changes. The disc between T9 and T10 is completely resorbed and the cartilaginous endplates have fused. On the most spondylotic segments the anterior longitudinal ligament is thicker than in the less degenerated segments. Normally thoracic discs have a perfectly straight posterior margin. Of surgical interest is the relationship of the laminae to the intervening ligamentum flavum The long slender spinous processes as well as the flat wide laminae al overlap like obliquely sloping shingles, completely hiding the ligamentum flavum. The latter attaches to the adjacent laminae in a consistent fashion: into the anterior surface of the lamina above and into the upper rim of the lamina below. Viewed from the spinal canal (anteriorly) only a narrow band of bone is visible; the posterior wall of the spinal canal thus is predominantly elastic–ligamentous, yet shielded by the "hidden" lamina portion. Note that the veins behind the dura (belonging to the posterior internal venous plexus) are invariably located at the level of the bony lamina, not the ligamentum flavum.

Updated on: 11/29/18

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