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C7 vertebra

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The C7 vertebra is termed vertebra prominens because of its prominent spinous process which is palpable through the skin:

  • vertebral foramen is more oval and smaller than foramen superiorly
  • body:
    • relatively broader than vertebrae superiorly
    • uncus or lip sited at its lateral margin and facing superomedially
    • joined to pedicle posterolaterally
  • pedicles:
    • directed more posteriorly than superior vertebral pedicles
    • joined to body anteriorly, transverse process laterally, and continuous with lamella posteriorly
  • transverse processes:
    • contain smaller foramen transversarium than superior vertebrae which transmits vertebral vein
    • foramen is bounded by anterior and posterior tubercles connected by intertubercular lamellae
  • anterior tubercle of transverse process:
    • longer than posterior tubercle
    • may form a poorly developed rib-like structure as a fibrous or bony strip - the origin of cervical rib syndrome
  • superior articular process:
    • oval in shape
    • at junction of transverse process and lamella
  • inferior articular process: face more anteriorly than inferiorly
  • laminae: relatively long and project posteriorly in median plane to spinous process
  • spinous process:
    • very long and prominent projecting directly posteriorly
    • not bifid
    • spinous tubercle at tip

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