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Flashcards in Thoracic Spine Deck (34):

What forms the thoracic spine?

12 pairs of ribs and the sternum


What are the functions of the thoracic cage?

To protect the thoracic organs.
To form a joint between the upper limbs and the axial skeleton.
To provide attachments for muscles.


Which 4 thoracic vertebra are considered typical?

T5 - T8 are considered typical

T1-T4 are similar to the cervical

T9 - T12 are similar to the lumbar


What shape are the vertebral bodies?



What are the attachments for the ribs?

Costal facets


Describe the thoracic vertebrae.

Short tube-like pedicles
The laminae are taller than they are wide
Laminae are set obliquely
The spinous process is long and beak-like and
The spinous process points caudall


What direction is the axial plane?



What direction is the frontal plane?



Where do the ribs attach to the spine?

The costal tubercle of the rib attaches to the bulbous tips of the transverse processes of the vertebrae


What does the T12 act as?

A bridge between the kyphotically curved thoracic spine and the lordotically curved lumbar spine.


Where do the ribs articulate with the vertebral bodies?

At the costocentral articulations


What are costovertebral joints?

Synovial joints made up of 2 costal facets, one on the superior border of the lower vertebra and one on the inferior border of the upper vertebra. This joint has a slight concavity, which fits perfectly with the slightly convex shaped head of the rib.


What does the lnterosseous ligament attach?

The head of the rib between the two articular facets adn the disc divides the joint into two distinctive cavities, superior and inferior.


What does the radiate ligament do?

It has three bands and reinforces the costovertebral joint


Describe the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament

Cervical spine through thoracic to the lumbar
Thick fibrous structure
Wider than the vertebral bodies it attaches to
Attaches via short fibers to the annulus and the vertebral bodies


Describe the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament

The PLL is weaker than the ALL
It runs concurrent with the posterior aspect of the vertebral bodies
Runs from the cervical through the thoracic to the lumbar
Attaches to the vertebral bodies at the end plates and to the annulus


Describe the interspinous ligament.

Connects adjacent spinous processes in the thoracic spine
It is especially well developed in the thoracic spine


Describe the Supraspinous Ligament

Very strong band that connects the tips of hte spinous processes. It runs the full length of the thoracic spine


Describe the Ligamentum Flavum

Yellow ligament
Very elastic
Runs on the underside of the lamina throughout the thoracic spine
Thicker in the thoracic spine than in the cervical


Describe the intertransverse ligament.

Connects the inferior surface of one transverse process to the superior surface of the adjacent transverse process.
Also acts as an attachment for muscle groups.


Describe the Costal Ligament.

Connects the head of each rib to the vertebra and intervening intervertebral disc


Describe the Costotransverse Ligament.

Connects the neck of the rib to the transverse process.
It has 3 bands: anterior, middle and posterior.


What is a transverse plane?

The transverse plane (also called the horizontal plane, axial plane, or transaxial plane) is an imaginary plane that divides the body into superior and inferior parts. It is perpendicular to the coronal and sagittal planes.


Describe the posterior muscle group.

Divided into superficial, intermediate and deep muscle groups.


What is the erector spinae?

The superficial posterior muscles are collectively called the erector spinae made up of 3 muscle groups called:


Describe the Iliocostalis muscle group.

Erector spinae
The most lateral
Originates from the iliac crest and sacrum and extends superiorly to insert into the six lower ribs


Describe the Longissimus muscle group

Erector spinae
3 parts and lie medial to the iliocostalis group
Connects transverse processes and the heads of ribs


Describe the Spinalis muscle group.

Erector spinae
The most medial of the erector spinae muscles
Lower thoracic spinous processes up the midline to the upper spinous processes of the thoracic spine.


What is the name of the intermediate thoracic muscle groups?

The Semispinalis


What 3 muscle groups form the Semispinalis?

Semispinalis thoracis
Semispinalis Cervicis
Semispinalis Capitis


What muscle groups make up the deep thoracic muscles?

Multifidus - transverse process up 4 levels to the spinous process
Intertransversari - transverse process to transverse process
Rotators - long and short - transverse process to base of spinous process - long are similar but cover 2 levels
Levator costae - transverse processes to the ribs


What are the names of the 2 deep muscle groups which extend from the thoracic region down to the lumbar region?

The psoas and the quadratus lumborum - originate from the transverse processes from T12 to L5 and runs inferiorly blending into the iliacus muscles.


Where does the thoracic aorta lie?

Anterior to the thoracic spine on the left side between T4 and T12


Where do the intercostal arteries originate from?

From the posterior aspect of the thoracic aorta.