Spinal canal

Dr Craig Hacking and Crishan Haran et al.

The spinal canal, also known as the vertebral canal, is the cavity within the vertebral column which contains the spinal cord.

Gross anatomy

The spinal canal becomes progressively narrower from its superior opening at the foramen magnum to its inferior opening at the sacral hiatus 1. The canal itself is primarily formed by the vertebral foramen of adjacent vertebrae. Allowing for variation, the spinal cord occupies the superior two-thirds of the spinal canal and terminates at approximately the middle of the L1 vertebral body 2.

The canal has a typical shape depending on it's level:

Boundaries
Contents

Related pathology

Anatomy: Spine
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Article information

rID: 59562
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Vertebral canal

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