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Spinous process of thoracic vertebra ...

Other Terms: Processus spinosus, Processus spinosus vertebrae


The spines are long, obliquely directed processes. They are thin near their superior margin and gradually thicken inferiorly. They are wider near their junction with the laminae and taper to rounded tubercles at their apex. Spines five through eight are oblique, almost approaching vertical, and overlap the subjacent spine. Spines one to four and nine to twelve being more transverse. The spines form extensive surfaces for the attachment of muscles and ligaments.


Spinous refers to spine, from the Latin spina meaning a thorn. The spines of the vertebrae formed the most palpable elements in this chain of bones leading to, as early as the 14th Century, the name spinal column or column of thorns. Since the spinal or vertebral column is a column of support, the term spine took on the secondary meaning of a column of support.


Processus spinosus vertebrae


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