T12 (12th Thoracic Vertebra)

The T12 vertebra is the last or most caudal of the twelve (12) thoracic vertebrae, situated just above the lumbar vertebrae of the spine. As such, it is the last of the vertebrae to attach to the ribs, supporting the rib cage and protecting the inner organs within the torso. Like the T11 vertebra, it differs from the other thoracic vertebrae in not having facets on its transverse processes and in being the largest of the thoracic vertebrae, closer in size to the larger lumbar vertebrae. The...

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    Full T12 (12th Thoracic Vertebra) Description

    [Continued from above] . . . T12's transverse processes are also split into three parts. Otherwise, it shares characteristics with both the lumbar vertebrae below and the T2-9 vertebrae. Its ventral body (centrum) is significantly larger than the other thoracic vertebrae, and at its joint with the L1 vertebra, the articular surface is convex to match the lumbar pattern. The superior articular surface of the centrum is flat, to match the T11 vertebra and the rest of the thoracic vertebrae. The vertebral foramen is the smallest of the thoracic vertebrae, and the vertebral arch has larger pedicles, shorter tuberculated transverse processes, and a nearly horizontal spinous process that, like that of the T11 vertebra, is relatively short.