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The intervertebral foramina, commonly also called the neural foramina, allow passage of structures out of and into the vertebral canal.
- anterior: lower posterolateral aspect of a vertebral body and the intervertebral disc below, in the thoracic and lumbar regions.
- in the cervical region a portion of the vertebral body below, predominately the uncinate process, also contributes to the anterior boundary; also, because the pedicle arises more inferiorly from the back of the vertebral body, a small portion of the vertebral body inferior to the disc is also included in the anterior boundary.
- posterior: facet joint and associated fibrous joint capsule
- superior: inferior vertebral notch of the pedicle
- inferior: superior vertebral notch of the pedicle below
- spinal nerve root
- dorsal root ganglion
- recurrent meningeal (sinuvertebral) nerve
- segmental spinal arteries
- intervertebral veins
- transforaminal ligaments (when present)
The normal neural exit foramen is said to have an appearance resembling a keyhole on sagittal spinal MRI.
- 1. Last, R. J., McMinn, R. M. H.. Last's Anatomy, Regional and Applied. (1994) ISBN: 044304662X - Google Books