Vertebral arch

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A vortex. The vertebral arches form the upper half of the vertebra. The vertebral hole can be seen in the middle, the transverse processes to the right and left and the spinous process above.

The vertebral arch ( arcus vertebrae , syn. Neural arch ) is a paired, arched and dorsal (backwards directed) outgrowth of a vertebra . It begins with a "foot" ( Pediculus arcus vertebrae ), which unite in the arch plate ( Lamina arcus vertebrae ). Between the vertebral arch and the vertebral body is the vertebral hole ( foramen vertebrale ), which, together with the vertebral holes of the other vertebrae, forms the spinal canal in which the spinal cord lies. The vertebral arch is cartilaginous or bony.

Various processes extend from the vertebral arch: The spinous process ( spinous process or neurapophysis ) sits dorsally (backwards ). On the side of the vertebral arches are the transverse processes ( processus transversus or diapophysis ), to which the ribs attach - in mammals only to the thoracic vertebrae . In some fish and terrestrial vertebrates (Tetrapoda), the vertebral arches are connected by the four articular processes ( processus articulares or zygapophyses ), which are located on the front ( prezygapophyses ) and the back ( postzygapophyses ) of the vertebral arches. The vertebral arches disappear in the caudal spine.

See also


  • Keyword: "Neuralbögen", page 162 in Lexikon der Biologie , Volume 6, Verlag Herder, Freiburg 1986, ISBN 3-451-19646-8