Limbus vertebra is a well-corticated osseous density, usually of the anterosuperior vertebral body corner, that occurs secondary to herniation of the nucleus pulposus through the the vertebral body endplate beneath the ring apophysis (see ossification of the vertebrae). These are closely related to Schmörl nodes and should not be confused with limbus fractures or infection. They occur before the age of 18.
Anterior limbus vertebra are generally asymptomatic and are detected incidentally.
Posterior limbus vertebra have been reported to cause nerve compression.
Limbus vertebrae should be well corticated (sclerotic margin), triangular in shape and occupy the expected location of a normal vertebral body corner, with a smooth sclerotic subjacent corticated vertebral margin.
A limbus vertebra of the anterosuperior corner of a single vertebral body in the mid lumbar spine is the most common presentation. The anteroinferior and posterinferior corners are seen far less frequently. Occasionally it may be seen in the thoracic spine.
Usually radiography with or without CT or MRI is sufficient for diagnosis. Initially the etiology was confirmed with discography where contrast extends into the intra-osseous herniation of the nucleus pulposis.
- intercalary bone: ossification is in the anterior annular fibers of an intervertebral disc
- acute fractures: should have adjacent perivertebral haematoma
- degenerative disease of the spine
- infection: adjacent cortical loss and soft tissue mass
- cervical spine
- thoracic spine
- lumbar spine
- vertebral body
- neural arch
- transitional vertebrae
- ossification centres
- intervertebral disc
- anterior longitudinal ligament
- posterior longitudinal ligament
- posterior ligamentous complex
- cervical spine ligaments
- iliolumbar ligament
- musculature of the vertebral column
- muscles of the neck
- muscles of the back
- gross anatomy
- white matter tracts
- anterolateral columns
- lateral columns
- dorsal columns
- gray matter
- nerve root
- spinal meninges and spaces
- functional anatomy
- spinal cord blood supply
- vascular supply