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T6 (6th Thoracic Vertebra)

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2015

The T6 vertebra lies in the middle of the twelve (12) thoracic vertebrae that make up the central portion of the backbone. It is smaller than the more caudal thoracic vertebrae but larger than those above it, with a heart-shaped centrum or ventral body, which attaches to the ribs near it to support the rib cage and protect the torso. Costal facets on the transverse processes - together with superior and inferior demi-facets on the exterior of the centrum - aid in articulation of the ribs, connecting with the tubercles located on each rib. The laminae across the vertebral arch of the T6 vertebra overlap with the T7 vertebra below to further protect the spine. Likewise, the downward projecting spinous process overlaps with that of the T7. Within the vertebral arch, the vertebral foramen that encloses and allows the passage of the spinal cord is smaller and circular.