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Lumbar vertebrae

Other Terms: Lumbar vertebrae, Lumbar vertebrae (LI-LV), Lumbar vertebrae [L I - L V], Lumbar vertebrae set, Vertebrae lumbales (LI-LV), Vertebrae lumbales [L I - L V]




There are five lumbar vertebrae. These vertebrae are the largest of the true or mobile vertebrae. They are distinguishable by their large size and lack of transverse foramina and costal facets. They form a strong column of support at the base of the vertebral column. The articular processes of the lumbar vertebrae are robust having their facets oriented in the sagittal plane to provide for flexion and extension movements of this region of the vertebral column. They have thick pedicles arising from the cranial aspect of the vertebral body. The laminae are thick and short. They project caudally to unite as thick, quadrilateral spinous processes. The vertebral bodies have a large elliptical shape when viewed from above.


The word lumbar comes from the Latin term lumbus for loin. It is an ancient term, first used by Claudius Galen in the 2nd Century. The word vertebrae is the plural form of vertebra. It arises from the Latin verb vertere meaning to turn. In 30 A.D., Celsus originally used the word to describe a joint as well as a bone of the spine. It was during the Renaissance revival of anatomy that the term attained its present meaning as a reference to the back bones.


The lumbar vertebrae articulate with each superjacent and subjacent lumbar vertebra, the last thoracic vertebra, and the sacrum. The two superior articular facets articulate with the corresponding inferior articular facets of the adjacent vertebra and the superior and inferior surfaces of the vertebral bodies form an articulation via the intervertebral disc of cartilage.


Five cartilaginous centers arise as anlage to all vertebrae and ribs. One center forms the body, two anterolateral centers form the costal elements, two posterolateral centers form the vertebral arch elements.


Vertebrae lumbales (LI-LV)


Vertebrae lumbales [L I - L V]


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