Health Information Management

Tip: Learn the anatomy of a vertebral body

APCs Insider, November 4, 2011

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Each vertebra includes a vertebral body that surrounds the spinal cord to protect its front portion. The spinous process and the pedicle protect the back portion of the spinal cord.

The pedicles are short stout processes that attach to the superior part of the vertebral body on each side. These extend posteriorly to meet the laminae, which are broad flat plates of bone. The pedicles also overlap the laminae of the vertebrae beneath.

The articular processes arise from the junctions of the pedicles and laminae. These bony projections have a small smooth surface known as a facet. Each vertebra includes four articular processes, two upper and two lower, that comprise the facet joints.

The tip is adapted from “ICD-10-CM anatomy refresher: Spine” in the October issue of Briefings on APCs.

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