STRUCTURE AND POSITION
- Each of the Thoracic Vertebra is connected to the respective ribs on both sides and easily identifiable from other vertebrae by presence of the articular surfaces of the Ribs.
- Thoracic Vertebrae become bigger progressively, cranial to caudal.
- Thoracic Vertebrae have long spines projected posteroinferiorly, and they overlap each other.
- Each Thoracic Vertebra has two Transverse Processes with articular surfaces for the Ribs on each side. Articular Facets for Ribs are also seen over the Body. They also have a Lamina, Superior and Inferior Articular Processes like typical Vertebrae.
- Thoracic Vertebrae start just below the Cervical Vertebrae and end at Lumbar Vertebrae.
Each Thoracic Vertebra articulates with 2 ribs and 2 vertebrae, one above and one below.
- Each Thoracic Vertebra has Fibro Cartilaginous joints with superior and inferior adjacent Vertebrae. It joins their Bodies with each other.
- Superior Articular Process of each Thoracic Vertebra articulates with the Inferior Articular Process of the Vertebra lying superior to it.
- Ribs also articulate with the Thoracic Vertebrae. Head of each Rib forms a joint with the Body of the respective Thoracic Vertebra.
- Costal Tubercle of each Rib forms joint with the articular surface over the Transverse Process of respective Thoracic Vertebra.
- Thoracic Vertebrae provide strength to the Vertebral Column and Thorax for support of the structures present adjacent to them.
- Thoracic Vertebrae also help in movement of the Rib Cage for breathing and other purposes.