Typical vertebrae (part 2)

A number of characteristic projections can be seen on a vertebra.

These projections serve as

  • Attachments for muscles and ligaments;
  • Levers for the actions of muscles;
  • Sites of articulation with adjacent vertebrae.

The roof of the vertebral arch is formed by laminae (singular: lamina), which merge in the midline.

The two projections of a typical vertebrae are:

  • Spinous process - projects posteriorly and usually inferiorly from the middle of the vertebral arch;
  • Two transverse processes - one on each side, project laterally from the vertebral arch.