Test your knowledge: identification of lumbar vertebrae
In physiotherapy, manual therapy and other medical professions you need comprehensive knowledge of the physical anatomy, especially the musculoskeletal system.
Here is a small test to check your knowledge regarding the vertebral column:
How can you recognize a typical lumbar vertebra? Give at least 5 key characteristics of a lumbar vertebra.
(Image taken from: living-with-back-pain.org)
And, was it difficult to enumerate 5 or more key characteristics without the aid of literature?
Below you can find the most important characteristics:
- Transverse processes instead of costal processes in thoracic vertebrae;
- L3 transverse process is the longest, L1-L4 are the shortest;
- Spinous process is thick, broad and ends in a thick notch;
- Big vertebral corpora, wider from side to side than from front to back;
- Strong pedicles horizontal oriented backside the vertebral corpus;
- Big intervertebral discs, thickest at L5-S1;
- Upper lumbar vertebrae have sagitally orientated facetjoints (thoracal joints are more frontal orientated);
- …and even more in:
Bogduk N, Clinical anatomy of the Lumbar spine and sacrum, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone 4th edition, 2005.