Thoracolumbar Junction

This region consists of the Tll and Tl2 levels and features short, stout spinous processes that are contained entirely within the lamina of their own vertebra, and which are more reliable than the spinous processes for palpation during intervertebral motion. The transverse processes of this region have small tubercles, and the mammillary processes are larger and more superficial. The zygapophysial facets of Tl l resemble those of both the vertebrosternal and vertebrochondral regions. The facets on the inferior articular processes of Tl2 resemble the lumbar region but have both a coronal and sagittal orientation, with a 90-degree change occurring. The joints in this region are designed to rotate with minimal restriction of ribs. Rotation can be ipsilateral or contralateral to the side-flexion.47

The biomechanics of this region has thus far been described for a normal thorax. As elsewhere, pathologic or aging processes can stiffen the thorax and produce the following biomechanical changes.

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  • Category: Musculoskeletal system