Author: Dr Peter de Souza
Last modified: 13 December 2020


The structure indicated is the lamina of the vertebra.

The typical vertebra consists of the following features:

  • Vertebral body
  • Vertebral arch (neural arch) consisting of lamina and pedicle
  • Spinous process
  • Transverse process
  • Vertebral foramen (collectively form vertebral canal)
  • Superior and inferior articular processes
  • Superior and inferior vertebral notches

The vertebral arch is formed from two pedicles and two laminae. The pedicles attach on either side to the posterolateral aspects of the vertebral body and unite posteriorly with the laminae which complete the vertebral arch. The laminae provide attachment for the ligamentum flavum, which connect adjacent laminae along the length of the spinal column. There are several important which provide support to the spinal column:

  • Anterior and posterior spinal ligaments
  • Ligamentum flavum
  • Interspinous ligaments
  • Supraspinous ligament (and ligamentum nuchae)

Learn more about the anatomy of the vertebrae in this tutorial.